Meet baby Connor! He is our little subject today as we discuss some of the trickier aspects of newborn photography: those death-defying hanging portraits you see on the internet. Please keep in mind the baby is safe during the entire time it is being photographed. It may also surprise you to know that the “head in hands” image that is widely popular, is also a composite. Did you know this??
Newborn Composite: The Head In Hands
The trick to the head-in-the-hands pose is to have an extra set of hands to help you. I ask the Mom because they usually have a gentler approach to how I want the baby held. First, I do the dirty work in setting up the baby in the position I will be photographing. This usually takes a few minutes, but up to 15-20 minutes if I have to adjust the baby a few times. I watch for signs if they’re uncomfortable; squirming is a big one, but they will be vocal if they don’t like what you’re doing. Sometimes the angel is too inclined for them, or there is too much pressure on their fresh belly button. Their feet being in the wrong position can be uncomfortable too. I always check to make sure everything is in perfect alignment before continuing as the newborn can be sneaky in getting themselves out of position. The second step is to ask Mom or Dad for their help in holding the baby. I instruct for them to kneel beside me. The first image will be of them holding the baby’s head from under the chin. The second image will be them holding the top of the baby’s head. Lastly, I work my magic in photoshop merging the two images together. It is essential that there is little to no movement from the baby when the parents switch hands. The result, a seamless beautiful baby holding its own head in his hands.
In conclusion, these images can be beautiful if done correctly.
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