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Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"

Lesson 4 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"

Lesson 4 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

4. Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


What is a Baby Plan?


7 Steps to Baby Plan Success


Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


4-5 Month Olds: Tummy Time and Headshots


4-5 Month Olds: Basket Shot


The Baby Plan Structure


Lesson Info

Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"

This segment we're going to be shooting so we're gonna talk about the first stage that you can shoot of a baby planet as I told you earlier, I don't always shoot this session much anymore, but we give our clients the option to do so so on will explain more about that when we get into structure but because of the time frame and just how were going to be sure we want to shoot babies in the mornings because they're happier we're bouncing back and forth just to touch and not kind of doing things absolutely sequentially when it comes to shooting when it comes teo the outline of the class because I want to make sure we get we maximize our potential for getting good images with babies on shooting them in the morning and you know, I hope that helps you guys understand that you know, baby plans really are shot best in the morning when baby is happy after their first nap and refreshed so we're going to go through a little bit of I want to talk to you about what kind of what to expect at this sta...

ge esso and what to shoot for what problems may come about but first things first really want to review this step by step approach so what we're going to be doing right now it's kind of jumping to step for a bit and discussing shooting and creating a good system for doing sessions. Okay, what problems you're going tto learn well what to expect at this stage what to shoot for to mark baby's growth, what problems occurring each stage and how to overcome them and of course, designing a shoot for an annual product. Remember, I want you to get out of that thinking of a session as its own individual animal and thinking, uh and thinking more about the whole year as being one product. Okay? So that's really important to consider when it comes to producing a successful a successful baby plan? So er like you don't go here, this is the gear that I pretty much use either shoot with a d seven fifty or a hundred a fifty millimeter one point actually the one point four lands on a one point two on my eighty five millimeter, one point for lens and of course, toys and entertainment for the kids, archy and you'll see some of that as we go through the session here lighting here I do shoot in studio, you could do this with natural light, I shoot with continuous light, which mimics natural light. My studio does not have really good windows, so I take it take until you make it right now what I'm using, I used two different systems and actually just started using this new sweet light hybrid six system and I love it a lot. It's from sweet light and jon snow owns that company. He's actually just doing some amazing things with lighting. The hybrid six system is a light that has six fluorescent bulbs in it, but it also has a back plate on it that you can stick a flash inside so you can switch back and forth from both continuous lighting to strobes should you desire so I if I am going to shoot with strokes, I'll usually shoot with two alien be for hundreds, I just used the low power stuff I don't I want if I am going to shoot with strokes, I want to be able to have a pretty to a depth of field. You know that out of focus background, which isn't super easy to achieve in studio because studio lights are so high powered, you know, with your sink it one, two fifty the second you have to shoot at like eight or higher, too get the right exposure well with an alien before hundred because it's a pretty low power light strobe, I can shoot at f to have two point two in studio pretty well and still think it one two fiftieth of a second, so but for now we're going to use the continuous light that simulates daylight. So those of you who don't have studios and are working with natural light can also mimic this in your situation on guy used to four by six larson soft boxes the larsen box is a really nice I've been using those for years it's one of those things where you buy at once and you never have to buy it again so that's really good I also use in aurora seventy two inch reflector which is thing right here has it sits on a really nice stan larsen has some good ones as well but this one has just become my kind of go to because it's super easy tio transport and I like the way it has its own little stand like this it doesn't ever collapse on me which is is nice and again twice in entertainment for the kids uh my sources for what we're going to be using here because everybody ask this is like oh where'd you get that prop where'd you get this where did you get that intuition backgrounds becky gregory we're gonna be using some of her stuff serendipity backgrounds were using some of their floors I'm a huge advocate of their floors I use them all the time a new company I'm working with natural whispering wonders all the baby clothes that you're going to see come from her on if they're not from her I will from stephanie I will tell you that it's either the clients or something else that I brought in, but for them she does beautiful knitted mohair will cute stuff for older babies and I've had so much trouble finding this because you confined in a dime a dozen for newborns everywhere you go on at sea and search newborn props and you'll find you boring props but finding for that range between four months and one year really cute stuff that looks good and photographs is incredibly difficult to find. Um jd vintage props I used for buckets and fabrics and fluffy full cadi rugs and things like that little oliver used for headbands and of course, savage seems paper all the colors that I use are listed in the resource is as well, so you definitely want to try to download that if you can't okay, so the four to five months ages the smiling stage this is the tummy time this is when they're just starting to smile and the doctor always tells you when you have ah baby at this age to put him on their bellies and and make him do the many push up it's really, really, really critical that you make sure the child you're going to photograph khun do this before you come in because there is nothing worse than getting a three or four month old who can't do this and you wind up having just a bomb session because the baby can't really do a whole lot of this point, but this little girl was, I think, four months, four and a half months when we shot this, and some of the fun things to capture during this age are, of course, that many push up the feet, grab when you put him on their back and they like such an old fart I can't do it, but they land they're back and they grab their feet and flexible, they are, they could just pretty much do anything super cute to get them grabbing their feet with from above and from the side smiles, of course, and then I always do the classic head shot, which is kind of on off kilter, lots of negative space shot, so I mean, really, these are the only things I get during this stage, so there's not a lot going on in the stage, but if you can give some variety with this and I'm going to teach you how to do that, you'll get enough for a full session. Now. There are some times when a child in this age can sit up like they tripod or what we call it, and I don't e can sit on the ground, right? You guys don't mind if I sound around, they'll they'll sit on the ground, and they kind of like just goes to show how old I am oh yeah, I'm so inflexible time funny, but they like kind of lean on their hands and they can kind of we call it tripod so they do the three the three points of a triangle help some kind of pop up a little bit they can only hold it for a matter of a few seconds so if I am going to do a shot like this, I will make sure and have an assistant close by because let me tell you at this age if you're doing this and you leave them unassisted, they will topple over and, you know, bunk their heads so you want to be really, really careful with that now some of the problems you'll have at this stage are and overwhelmed child and I'm a little concerned about that here and the reason why is because we're in an incredibly contrived environment that creative flies and there are black objects flying around on big booms and tally lights with red and all this like distracting scary stuff for a little four month old to do with so hopefully she won't get overwhelmed with us and what's going on here, but even in the studio at home, the lights and everything can really intimidate them, so you want to be a super just cognizant of that andi don't let a child get overtired so and of course this is another factor we're going to dealing with here because we have a time slot for this segment and I'm usually pretty flexible in the studio I tell my plants you're my only session for that morning I don't want you to wake up your child you let that child sleep until he's ready to come to me and then so if we schedule their session at ten and they don't show up to eleven fine I'd rather have a nice rested child who's going to give me a great session than have mom wake him up so we're dealing with that factor here a little bit where you know uh sloan upstairs has been awake for a while she's going to need that pretty soon so hopefully she'll get overtired on this some of them hate tummy time like some of them do not my son hated to be push up to do the many push up things so you have to be cognizant of that they won't grab their feet and they have a short timeframe for stuff so we're going to get started so of course when sloan's ready she can probably start to come on down here we're going first white balance I want to show you guys what changed my shooting and I have done this on the last class but it's so incredibly important that I think it makes a huge difference so uh if let's see if daniel or somebody back there could kill that I think we killed the houselights enough yet looks like why is this not on? We're not getting lights. You're fixing up for me already look atyou you're awesome cells. There we go. Okay, thank you so very much so. Like I said, I'm using the hybrid sweet light system on lee in did you know continuous mode? So there are no strobes inside these lights right now. This is a four by six light and I want to introduce to you my right hand over here. This is a beautiful lauren lauren biscuit she has been weren't even working with me a year now about a year about here now lauren and that's really critical for me to tell you this lauren does not normally assist me on these sessions. I do these by myself, okay? Baby plan sessions of you maybe help what once or twice like twins or really hard babies or some like that. But for the most part, I usually have the parents helping me on this sessions so she generally helps me on newborns because I feel like there needs to be that extra element of safety with newborns, but she I'm going to have her here just for the efficiency time and I just felt like being broadcast we need to be super extra safe and parents get overwhelmed in this environment cause there's a lot going on and they get self conscious and I just want to make sure we have somebody who really can, like, focus on on little munchkin. So the first thing we're gonna do is we're going to custom white balance, and I know a lot of you don't do this, and it will change your shooting, okay? I'm a huge advocate of getting it right in camera, and I didn't used to be that way. I used to be like, oh, we can't just fix that later, you know, photoshopped adobe, they're great. I just, you know, she might target and my white balance to be perfect. All I've got to do is touch it in raw and we'll be fine. Well, no it's it's it that does work on dh you might say to yourself, oh, it's, not that much extra time to do it, but the pride you feel when you get it right and I mean it's, um, is there something we set for that when your suit, when you can nail an image straight out of camera? So I really encourage you, teo, to do this. So on a nikon, how this works is, first of all, you have to go into pre mode so if you set your white balance if you hit your I'm on a date hundred right now if you set your white balance here I'll go in the light here so that I might can actually see what I'm doing here if you press on your white balance button and then move your your dial back here you can switch between white balance modes I go to what's called pre and you'll see like a d dash one I'm going to set a custom white balance okay? So to do that the first thing I need to do is get a good exposure and so I used this little photo vision target and it has white, gray and black on it on purpose because I can basically take a shot of this of what I think will be the correct exposure look at my history ram and feel pretty good if I've hit my tables on light blown my whites or or knocked out my blacks so I'm going to take a quick shot of this and you will see I'm not white balanced yet it looks pretty junkie if if um I'm not sure if I can actually see I can't see on my thing here yet they got to show it to me on the screen here but my wife balances probably pretty junky right now I think it looks really blue okay yeah looks really blue awesome so what I'm going to do now is basic and this won't show up because I'm just white balancing the cameras just reading that gray so all I'm gonna do is take that white balance button that I showed you earlier I'm little you just going to press it and hold it down until my this button right here until my pre blinks in the preview button so I'll just go ahead and press that and you'll see the little pre thing down in the corner blink you you fill your frame with the gray and it'll tell you good you're good so now when I says good right up here it's blinking good at me okay, so now I'm white balanced that's it so I'm going to take a picture of a target again and you will see the color drastically change go from blue to more what the color tone should be is it going together just a little way go loading that's much more accurate color? Do you see the difference? So we went from not white balance to now looking like the scene that we see here uh on the set okay, so whenever I evaluate weight balance, I look at my background and see if the background is the same color as it looks in real life don't look att skin tones the skin tones change no matter what you really back and forth and different color tones. You want to look at the background, say, ok, is that the bone color, or look at your whites and ask if there's a tinge like a magenta caste or a blue cast cheer to your whites, but now I'm white, fellas. I'm ready to go and that's it. I load him into photo shop. I don't have to touch white balance any way, shape or form and that's a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Customizable BP Postcard Templates
Customizable Recipe Tag Templates
Customizable Stat Card Templates
Baby Plan Images
How The Baby Plan Works
Baby Plan Resource Guide
Baby Plan Success Checklist

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

I just finished to watch this course. And I confess: I've been struggled all the time during the viewing to say already: I LOVE IT! So, I LOVE this course! Julia is so nice teacher, and photographer, and person. And she is so incredible organizator of whole child's photography business. She is amazing, so meticulous, so persuasive trough all and each one of the important points of this business. And she is just great in the part of studio´s shooting examples with the babies. This is one of the best and most valuable courses I found in Creative Live, thanks!

Dawn Potter

I've been so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Live audience experience with Julia. She is an amazing person, photographer and teacher. She does a fantastic job of explaining in detail, the steps she has taken that have helped her success as well as the steps that have set her back. We are so lucky to be able to learn from her experiences and to have someone who is willing to put herself out there to teach us and help us to grow as photographers. For anyone considering adding a Baby Plan to their portrait offerings, this class is a MUST have. Julia, you are #awesomesauce !! xoxo - Dawn Potter

Student Work