Setting Up the Scene | Transcription

Whether I’m shooting engagement portraits, wedding photos or newborn photos, I always like to start with the basic shots. The basic shots are those photos that you absolutely must capture, photos that are considered must-haves. Once we captured these basics, then we move on to creating essentially our artistic sets and concept shots and everything else. At that point, if something doesn’t necessarily work out with an artistic shot, well, it’s not really a big deal because we’ve already covered all the basics.

For our shoot, we are shooting in the living room and we have two options when it comes to window light. We have the first option, which is the three windows side-by-side. Once again, we know that when choosing window lighting, the larger the window the more soft and powerful the light is. The three side-by-side windows are going to be great and that will create a wonderful look, but there is one small issue.

Because the windows don’t extend all the way down to the floor, having the props and the newborn placed on the floor is going to mean that they’re going to be out of that nice window light. This means that we all need to set up a table, then place our props and our newborn and everything on that table when we need to shoot in front of the three side-by-side windows. We are going to do that, we’ll talk more about that in detail later.

For now, we’re going to use our second option, which is our two side-by-side patio door windows. Since these windows extend from the top of the door, which is almost the ceiling, down to the bottom or, at least, close to the bottom of the floor, we’re going to have great light even when shooting at lower, basically, at the ground level.

Now this is a simpler setup and since we’re going to be spending some time to spot shooting our basics, which will call for a lot of top down shots, is a really a better setup options than going with the table setup because it will be hard to get up high enough to shoot the baby top down.

The start out, we place the bean bag down in front of the door. You’ll notice that I’m using a towel in front of bean bag. This is actually for me, personally. No. This is for me to kneel on. I highly recommend some sort of padding. Otherwise kneeling on any hard surface for more than just a couple of minutes is really going to do a number on your knees, and I have bad knees to begin with.

We place the Heating pad on top of the bean bag. Then we get our shooting blanket and we place it over the Heating pad while attaching the backside to our Background Stand. Remember, if you don’t have a Background Stand, then you can always have someone hold the background, or you can just clip it to a chair or a table, or a wall, really anything that you have to stand in place of a Background Stand.

At this point, we bring in our Space heater and we place it on a chair and set it to a nice comfortable setting. With all these items set up, we’re going to wait for everything to heat up so we can check the temperatures for safety prior to bringing in the newborn.

While we’re doing that, we’re also going to do some setup shots. The point of that is basically to make sure that our camera settings are almost ready to go before we bring in the newborn and start shooting.