I absolutely love “that” newborn pose! You know the one, sleeping baby with chin resting on hands propped up on elbows, swoon! My first 5 years as a newborn photographer I spent at least 15 minutes with each newborn trying to get them to balance just right on their tiny little elbows. No success at all. It was so frustrating to see these images, have my clients see these images and ask for them, but to not be able to deliver.
I had to learn a lot about newborns to realize there were other ways to get “that” pose! The first thing I changed with my newborns was to require them to come into the studio younger than I was used to. Traditionally a newborn in my studio was around 4 weeks old. They were awake for most of the session, usually unhappy because we were asking them to defy gravity!
The second thing I had to change was to educate myself on composite photography for portrait photography. A composite photograph is where you merge two pictures using the best parts of each image to come up with one spectacular image. I had done this with landscape photography, even dabbling in HDR, but hadn’t thought to incorporate it into my newborn photography.
Upon researching different blogs and forums from some very inspiring photographers, I began to successfully get the images I had been wanting and that the clients had been requesting!
With the help of a great assistant we situate the baby into a pose we love and I have my assistant hold the baby’s elbows and support her cheek. It’s important that her hands don’t reach much higher than baby’s mouth. I grab a couple of shots vertical and horizontal to make sure I get an image I can work with.