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How You Shot It

How You Shot It: My First Newborn Photo Shoot | 180 Reflections

By Anthony Thurston on April 7th 2014

How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well!

Today’s entry comes from Brian Drumm of 180 Reflections, who shares how he used the SLR Lounge Newborn Workshop DVD to process this beautifully shot newborn image.

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The inspiration for this series came from watching the SLR Lounge Newborn Photography Workshop and Presets that Pye put together. I had been wanting to get into newborn photography and this was just the tool I needed. I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable photographing newborns and couldn’t quite figure out why. After watching the workshop series, I realized it boiled down to simply not having the right props to pose our newborns in and not being all that comfortable actually posing the newborn.

A friend of ours just had a beautiful daughter enter the world named India and we jumped at the chance to photographer her. One phone call later and we had a newborn session. Guess what time it is now? Time to shop! The Newborn Workshop DVD did a fantastic job of showing me how the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can use as a prop and how safety should always be number one.

How You Shot It

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We went to a fabric store and bought a piece of cloth that resembled wood grain, a wicker basket, and a 6 foot roll of cheese cloth. After taking a bunch of test shots and getting the flash settings just right, it was time to introduce India to our little production and snap a few shots

The set up for this shot is pretty simple. I knew I wanted to use as much natural light as possible, so first thing I looked for was a large window on the side of the house the sun was setting on. Second thing on the list was to get India as warm, comfortable and full of food. The feeding part gave us plenty of time to set up the scene for the picture.

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Getting the basket set up just right was the most important part for me. If India wasn’t comfortable then she wouldn’t sit still. We placed size appropriate pillows in the bottom of the basket and layered a blanket to cover the pillows. Once We got India into place, it was simply a matter of getting her comfortable and getting the cheese cloth to lay just the way we wanted it.

Lighting came from a 430 EX in a soft box on a Light stand pointed directly into the corner of the room. I photographed India positioned directly over her, making sure to keep the camera strap around my neck at all times. All in all, I’m pleased with the way things turned out.

The Lighting

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Post Processing

For adjustments on the image, I started with the My Mixology – Newborn preset #14, one of the presets that come in the SLR Lounge Newborn Workshop collection. This one is NB Bright Fade – Warm Cross. This gave the image just the punch I was looking for. Other adjustments include simple dodging/burning and some curve adjustments.

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The Gear

– Camera: Canon 5D MK II
– Manual Exposure, Manual flash settings, Manual WB, RAW
– Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
– Lighting: Canon 430 EX on a Light stand, 3’ Cowboy Studio softbox, 2 Pocket Wizard Plus III’s

In Conclusion

Post production was a breeze with the Newborn Mixology Preset system in Lightroom.  I highly recommend it for anyone doing a lot of post-production on newborn shoots.  Within a few clicks, I was close to having a finished product.

Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and check out the following links for more great images.

www.180reflections.com
www.180reflectionsblog.com
www.facebook.com/180reflections

About the “How to Shoot It” Series

This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work, please click here for more info on writing for SLR Lounge.

If you are a wedding or portrait photographer, join our Facebook community.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

3 Comments

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  1. Graham Curran

    I find the grain pattern on the wood to be way too distracting. The baby is the subject and the focus should be on it.

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  2. Basit Zargar

    Cute little baby

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  3. Peter-Jon Harding

    This article really helped me out. I have been contemplating doing baby photography for some time now, but I must say I was a little afraid. But I guess the point is to try something different because the results can be nothing short of amazing. Thanks

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