A common question during the newborn session is “what is a prop scene’. Props are something that baby is placed into or on. Setting up a prop scene, posing the baby properly, and capturing the moment is a time-consuming process that hopefully has a good payoff. The safety of the baby always comes first and either an assistant or parents would always spot the baby! On occasion, some props can also be done as a composite for the purpose of the safety of the baby! We encourage parents to share their ideas prior to the session, as it sometimes can take months to find and/or create a prop scene of their choice. Regardless of how much preparation parents and we do, sessions are dictated by the baby’s temperament. Here, I’d like to show off some of the props and behind the scene, difficulties getting those moments.
As with all the props, the baby needs to be sleeping well. This allows us to pose the baby accurately. As can be seen in this heart bowl, the little one is out cold 🙂 we were able to pose, adjust the post accordingly and capture the moment.
The Bed, is another popular prop, just as above, and can be done with both boys and girls. This is one variation of the bed, where the baby, preferred to be sleeping. However, if the little one isn’t completely out, we can still capture this moment.
The Car is one of my favorite props, for girls it is pink and for boys it’s white. The baby definitely, needs to be sleeping, and cannot be done if the little one is awake and moving around.
Floral Reath, is another of my favorites, often done during the spring and fall seasons. Since we can snuggle the little one, the baby doesn’t have to be sleeping but would be better if the little one does.
During Holiday Newborn Sessions, we try to customize the scenes and make them a bit more personal and meaningful. Here, the little boy is in a bucket, surrounded by apples and honey, customarily eaten during Rosh Hashanah, a Jew New Year.
This is a classic. A few years ago we had parents who asked about incorporating the music theme into the prop setup. The father is a fan of classic rock and plays guitar. For their session, he brought his acoustic guitar and we used it. This time around, it was baby number two, and we once again use a similar theme, however, set it a little different to allow variety and individuality to both children.
Not all family members are of humankind. We encourage and enjoy using pets as props but a few things need to be considered and in the discussion, emphasize the importance. First, the pet needs to be trained, granted that no one can guarantee anything, but a pet needs to be trained, owners need to be able to take control of it and as soon as we’re done with that portion, they need to take the pet out of the studio. At first, most parents feel resentment, but as we continue to explain, we need come relaxed environment when working with our newborn child and when concentrated on the task at hand, pets can sneak up and/or bark and when not used to, can startle not just adults but also the newborn. Second, the session might have a family member or a child who is allergic to pets. Therefore, to keep things fair for everyone, we have to enforce these rules. Those two choose to opt-out and do so, but those who understand and follow accordingly, allow us to produce beautiful family images.
On several occasion, the prop scenes are done in post-production. In those situations, we consider first and foremost, baby’s safety followed by baby’s comfort. Parents know that the final images are done in post-production. Since we need to consider lighting, pose, depth of field, reference point, focus points, colors, exposures, etc etc, creating prop scenes in post-production is significantly harder and extremely time-consuming process. However, in the end, it allows us to create looks that we’d otherwise be able to create.
Here, a father is a fan of motorcycles, and for him, we were able to create this prop scene.
Parents are Harry Potter fans and we used magic to create this theme.
As a parent first and photographer second, my goal is to have the most successful session possible, to eliminate as many variables as we can, encourage parents to follow the prep guide, and hope that on the day of the session, the little baby is happy and allows us to do everything we plan to do.