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Making Your Own Props & Safety When Making Them

Lesson 14 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

Making Your Own Props & Safety When Making Them

Lesson 14 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

14. Making Your Own Props & Safety When Making Them

Newborn photography props don't have to always be bought from an expensive props store. Learn how to determine if a DIY newborn prop is safe, and watch Kelly make a prop similar to the one used in the bonus video image.
Next Lesson: Posing with Props


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


Flow Posing


Kelly's Home Studio


Day 2


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Planning


Day 3


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Foundation


Lesson Info

Making Your Own Props & Safety When Making Them

during this lesson I'm gonna talk about you know making props and coming up with something that's just a little bit different and um having some fun actually and we're also going to talk about the safety measures that I take when I am making some of my props it some it's probably not great you know just dive headfirst into making something without planning it and giving it some you know some really good thought when I created this problem I'm not sure if any of you have seen a video that has been posted online about making an award print it's had that money I never anticipated that it would have that many views but it did and people kind of really you responded well to that we had a few people that would like all of this way too much photo shop and that but that's okay because it's for an award print and when I am doing some of my award prince I'm always looking for something that's different and coming up with a concept coming up with an idea that some thiss unique so that you know wh...

en the judges turn around to look at an image there like wow we haven't seen that before um sometimes I can really work well on your favorite sometimes that kind of make people go oh it's different you know so a lot of thought and a lot of planning has to go into it and this particular prop didn't take me long to make it all we're going to make something similar shortly but I just wanted t o explain that when I did actually come up with this concept I had already visualized what my final image was going to pay on dh size you know I'm looking at the wrist to my forum I know I'm gonna be able to kill a baby up in there the the day that we actually filmed that and thought we'd have some fun with it the baby that turned up was a lot bigger than what I had anticipated that we made it work and we've got an incredible photo and it really was it was great to be able to share that with people to sort of motivate them to come up with something that's this unique to you so what I'm yeah cannot kelly I just wanted teo mentioned I know you're pretty humble person but that this image that we see up on the screen that you're describing this concept image actually just won a first place award at w p p I just a week ago from where were you when we're filming this right now so so I think that's just so cool that the bonus video in for this course is all about making this inmates that we're seeing in the flour and conceptually and you want so congratulations you here was it was it was pretty incredible to actually make this and about probably twelve months ago I was on a on a plane I wasn't sure I kind of remember where I was flying from that I had bought a vogue magazine and it's not something that I actually buy that often but I was looking at the covers and the cover and it had a great story and that I wanted to read so I purchased this magazine and I was flicking through and I came across a flower in there that had been made probably about six feet tall because it had a rule this is what it I assumed anyway it had a model standing in front of it in a beautiful dress so in the actual the bonus material in the video you can see all of that information and you can see how I made it but I saw this picture and I took a screen capture of it with my phone in case I forgot what magazine it was in or something like that and I had it there and I looked at it often you know when you're scrolling through your photos you see it yeah yeah I forgot I had done that so I started to plant a seed about you know creating something like that and what materials I would need a lot of those things and when I actually contacted the company I found and found them online with the help of my good friend garrett we contacted the company and it was not an actual object it was a three day image that they had designed for a campaign that they were doing and they couldn't believe that it actually made the flower there like you've made it so that was actually really cool for may because yeah I'd seen something that had never been made before it had been made digitally but not an actual thing and it's about this wide and when I talk to him when I talk through the video I explain everything that goes into making it and showing you so it was so much fun to do it and at the end of a very long day of filming when it was completed I can't conquer describe how incredible was to actually look at something that I had made and then when I photographed it and I put this baby in it to see it actually work and come tto life was pretty amazing and then obviously it w p p ay when yeah when it won an award I was it made it all that hard work and that that process worthwhile which was really really cool and I'm coming up with something that's different and I don't make these props for other people to bingo I'm gonna make a flower I make them for me so it's really important as you is artists you know tio to find what it is that that inspires you and find that inspiration and make something that you love like I'm not saying don't make flowers but you know like do it from from your place of inspiration do it from from your levels of creativity because I can teach photographers howto work with babies I can teach photographers you know certain technical aspects about photography but I can teach them how to see I can teach them how to be creative that's within you so it's really important that you find that and you work with it because that's what's going to make you you as an artist um and yeah this is something that I love doing coming up with my own things and it pushes you to do something different every time as well yeah lots of inspiration and especially like when you walking around the holes at w people looking at all the incredible images that entered you just continually you know inspired every every corner you turn there's something differently like wow like how do they come up with these concepts these ideas but it's remembering that were all different and we come from a different place when it comes to creativity as well see that's a little fun um so yeah not only do I I make my own props but I re invent some of my older props as well this particular bowl um in the this image you know it's it's lined with cloth on the middle in the middle sorry around the outside on bennett's got the felt the war felt over the top and tucked in and then it's got baby wrapped in the middle so something that I kind of do fairly regularly in my sessions but when I'm looking for something a little bit different and I want to get a bit more creative than that particular bowl is still lined underneath the white image still lined with towels and cloth nappies around the outside it's still got that well but it's got a piece off well betting the this particular stuff stretched out over the top and then what I've done underneath um is used one of my stretchy wraps and I've tied it in a and not to pull it tight so that when I placed the baby in there that it kind of went down like you would push down on say a trampoline or something like that so it was still beautifully soft and secure in there but it's coming up with something that's different andi I've shot it quite high key on a white background just for you know to test myself are supposed to push myself in a new way because it's not something I'd done before and it turned out quite well on the parents really liked it as well so yeah that's some definitely something that I look at all the time and then in the next image the same prop I've just used fabric tio to put around it and the clamps that I use on my backdrop stand I've got little tiny mini ones so when I pulled that fabric around the outside of just clamped it at the back and then I've used some other different colors to kind of drape around it and underneath it a swell so it's um it's just not spending a fortune using what I've got and you know having fun with it and creative sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but I'm type of person is you've got to kind of give it a try before you know and yeah the pink images actually I had set this up because I had got a new piece of texture in like a new piece of fabric and it was such a great color and I thought well I've got a few other kind of text ary pieces of fabric that are similar to that I'm going to set this up and it's set on my shelf for nearly two months before somebody said yes I'd like to use them so it didn't quite work straightaway but it was because I'd set it up but my clients couldn't visualize how it was going to look so it wasn't something that you know they probably looked at went oh yeah yeah I know how they were gonna do that but um giving people that reassurance and saying look I've got a really great idea I can show you that it's gonna look incredible and it's gonna look great with all the other colored terns that were really using so yeah using that in guarding your client's three decisions I love their input you know I want to create stuff that they love but you also do need to guide them to a degree and yeah it's it's just a lot of fun to come up with something new and different all the time do any of you guys make props I don't make drops by I've got a cab passions now when you put your fore arm in off the some of us are not the stahl is you so how can we make sure you know we're getting the right size and the right depth yeah how does that work you know great question and it's actually your forearm from here to here is the same size is your foot and I'm I'm six foot tall but I have actually relatively small foot so I I I don't know how that happened but anyway I've got small hands and a small feet so I think everybody's forearm is going to be slightly different in size but it's just a good gauge and you'll get to know it but yeah having um when I am making something I have my fake baby as well so for for this particular thing you know I found the bowl that I wanted to use is my as my base not this particular bowl at the time of making this one but I used my fake baby to make sure that it could fit inside that bowl and that's a really great way to estimate it but yeah if you you know if you kind of look at your hand from elbows and tip of your finger that's quite a big distance so but if you go like that you khun generally you know from there to there you khun khun kill a baby up quite well inside that some as well but did you have another question apologize now do you do you some exercises that help you see the image you want you know you like okay we got a competition coming up I want think and I want brown and you just stopped there and stare let's say at the bow and try to figure out do you do exercises that help you visualize stuff no so much exercises but I think it's just allowing yourself to think freely you know I think we live in a world where everything is so visual it's all on social media and we're constantly surrounded by what everybody else is doing and I think a lot of people hold back from creating things that they want to create because they're scared of what other people are gonna think so for me I try really hard teo to think about what I want to do from a place off no you know it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks I'm just going to create it so for my flower you know that's not for everybody not a lot of people are gonna like that but I saw this image that had a flower and I thought I wonder if you could put a baby in the middle of that and then I continued to think about it for quite some time it's not for every newborn photographer that's fine that's me I'm different and I had to get past that I had to get past thinking about what other photographers thought of me in my work and feeling judged all the time because that's something that we all have issues with and we'll go through and you have to just do what you love and when it comes to visualize ing and finding those colors um whatever colors you love like whatever colors that you use regularly in your studio if you're it creating a set up and I'm you know here in in the states when you into w p p I it's it doesn't have to be from a combat missions it doesn't have to be from a commission shoot so I can enter a baby image that I have come up with and it's on and it's mine when I created the flower I've gotta model in to use it which is in the video and it was actually about a week later I had some clients in and they had a little girl who was nine and we were talking about some issues that she had at school and then um we talked about you know what she wanted to do when she when she grew up and she was talking about how she loves creating things and making things and styling and I said oh you would love this flower I've made so it wasn't actually in my studio because it's so big it takes up so much room and I don't want it to break I said if you just go out the door and turn right and then take the first left into my old studio I said it's in there on the ground and she went out and she came back and she said oh mom you've got to see this flower anyway the mum went out with her they came back and she said is it only for competition because I was explaining why I made it and I'm like no I can use it she said well would you mind if we put a little a little one in it and I'm not at all so I actually got to use it again and the image that you saw before is actually from that session not the model that I actually had come in for it so but in australia we have competitions where it's gonna come from a commission shoot so when I enter the family category the images that I am to have to come from an actual paid session so when I'm working in my studio I'll have an idea um but it doesn't necessarily work all the time and I think it's a combination ofthe the perfect baby at that time in the perfect pose with a wonderful expression and then the props then the colors all of that so going back to the flour I made it I put a baby and it didn't quite pose the way I had visualized it so then when I did another baby in it and it worked so much better I'm like that's the one that's how I had visualized it so yeah when I am trying tio come up with ideas and think of ways teo create a wood prints doesn't always happen the first time but if you keep keep at it it'll eventually just coming into play but it's a combination of so many things um and yeah I think that's kind of what makes it perfect as well because nothing ever happens perfect the first time so you got to keep working at it and re addressing it but there are not certain colors that I tend to go for I had visualized this to be a black and white image to start with so I went with that but here if it's a color image differently but not not necessarily yeah um did you want to ask a question a second ago no I saw you with the microphone you you perfectly answered it I was going to ask you for your concept shoots if you re used the idea for clients you know or if you had certain ideas that you said this is just going to be an exclusive type deal but you perfectly answered all of that what you were speaking so good all good yeah I know and it's and it's it is actually the way with competition entries like when I come up with an idea or a way that I want to do something if I couldn't tell enduring a session that my clients are kind of you know into that kind of thing are interested in that stuff because when they walk into my office they see some of my awards and I've got like a like a like a trophy kind of case I think that's what you call it with some of the things on display and they always ask me about it and in australia we have a book and it has all the winning images from the previous year so I always have that on the coffee table in my office as well in my studio as well which clients tend to flick through so if I can see that they kind of interested in that type of thing and I have a concept idea in their baby's beautiful and sleepy and I think that it's going to do what I want always say to them during the session you know like I've got this idea um at the end of the session would you mind if I actually tried it to see if it worked there are going to say no yes so it's it's coming up with the idea and then you know kind of working on it and then eventually creating it with the perfect perfect baby perfect client so yeah let's get crafting and I got to get her yes I do sorry I'm talking t s oh yeah this is like a few of the steps that I took to make my previous one there's a few things that you have always got to take into consideration which is dead only safety and how you're going to pose the baby if you look at this it's a really quite flimsy onda surfacing here because I've used a fabrics different which is like a glue that drives her drive clear in hard it's scratchy there's no way I would put a baby onto that surface so the same material like this but I used to make it I just I layered it with that and then around the outside actually used one of my stretchy wraps to pull tight and and make it really supportive around the baby so thinks thinking of those safety issues whilst you're making them in the planning stage off your your next prospers incredible and we've already talked about size and then can I have that around yeah good thank you so then yeah we're talking about size and then the materials so what would you use so in their downloadable video in the bonus material you can I talk about the different types of materials because this three in that flower there's a uh like a phone that's firma and then there's like a fabric on iine on stiffening fabric which is it's it's stiff but it's it's a little bit softer than the foam shading and then the middle where the baby was it's more like a soft kind of pliable fabric material that you khun post put around the baby it's actually underlay that goes under your floating floors so it's got like a spongy kind of feel to it which means that I can mold it around the baby and it's nice and soft so taking all those into consideration when you're planning as well is some really important but yeah let's go into the next lives he can see the kind of steps that I've taken to make it and if you've seen the video then you already know all that as well but I've got some war here and we found this great bowl it's just from like a dollar shop did you say kenna yeah and it's a really good size you can see that the baby's going to curl up in there really well and when we um picking out fabric this is something that I found on etc I have no idea the name of this stool but when you go on there you know like looking at unfiltered walls things like that and this one's got some really great colors and textures so I'm hoping that when it dries it's gonna have have something that's just a little bit different to it but it's just a matter of putting it in and then covering it with the fabrics diphenyl and you know this particular one it's a water based so that means that it's got no no chemicals and nothing that's toxic in it to the baby not that her baby is ever going to actually come into direct contact with it you still have to be careful of the materials and the glues and certain things that you do use and in the fact that it drives clear is perfect and that's about it but it's like four dollars for a bottle so it's not expensive to actually do what if that one called this's just called a fabric stiffening yeah that's all it's called and if you go into any sort of crafty type of shop and you can't find it just ask someone and they'll help you we've got a shop in australia called spotlight so I go in there regularly and you can buy quite big but it's it's actually more expensive it harder than it is here I was surprised at how cheap it was and I'm just gonna put these on because when it dries it kind of feels it does anybody have any questions while I'm getting ready so when we're buying devolved how many ounces off what would you recommend because I tried to buy before and they asked me how many ounces did I need and I'm like I don't actually do you know I've never been asked that I kind of see it in bundles and I think people now selling it in a in an actual bundle but yeah I don't know you would probably just have to find something that's a similar white and weigh it if if you wanted to buy announces but if you go into etc most of the little shops on there that assigning them have like like a certain amount so this was one lot that was sent to me and you bite like that when I leave they haven't opened pack a farm allow so it is from the farm so that's why they were asking these sell by the ants yeah well do you know what you could do you could go on to say it see and have a look at at their products and see if they've got a weight in they're a size in and in that way when you go to the park if I am you can go okay what I need excellent announces and do it that way but yeah and if it's not listed to send them a message you know roughly that bundle how many ounces is that I was just going to add to what you're saying when I was trying to find out to make a braid I had no idea it's so deceiving the pictures you order like announce and you give a bag that's really small so if you go online a lot of places will kind of help you out or have descriptions but generally those air just told in the big sizes but if you're buying by aunt's online there's tons of resource is of the hope you do that what what do you actually called that you said a lot I give people aren't familiar with how willis sold on dh it's not fun yeah it's just like an unwavering newall I'm woman here and the other wall that I used in this one it's like it's called a wool batting so this one's actually got quite a few sort of different textures and colors into it so somebody's actually worked at making this one that's more like a raw wool fiber and it's like a wall batting and people use it as insulation in the roof as well so you can buy it from hardware stores but that particular one might be a little bit stiff might be a little bit rough around the edges but hear this plenty of shops now that it's selling it because it's actually taken off in the lost and you know the last six months I think people are using a lot of it so yeah this is just going to get messy and it's just a matter of like distributing the the stiff inner evenly if you put too much in your going tio have to wait a really long time for it to dry so I just kind of massage it into the wall as you saw in the video and hopefully this is going to dry in time and we might be able to get to use it with one of our little models which would be great but while I'm doing this to any of you make your own props just on the the wool nest where it just took actually found a little laundry basket at the thrift store so it gave me the nice roundness and then I used a pool noodle a pool noodle teo wrap around and then I just wrapped my wool around it which works really well and I can easily change out the colors by wrapping different color rules on it but I love the uil stuff I do have a question how are you getting it saturated just so it's like really wet or yeah sure yeah I'm gonna I'm gonna put it in this way and then I'm gonna flip it over and that will be the base and then we'll do it again so yeah I'm trying to sort of make it a bit mushy but I want to be able to keep a little bit of that texture in there as well but it's it's distributing that glue I found like with all my trials and errors in joy I have a little but that's the fun part it's getting it distributed evenly throughout so you don't end up with like a heap of glue over here and you know not so much there so it is a little bit time consuming but you can see that it's starting to kind of stick together which is great if we turn it over now I can start on the other side and then once it starts to get a bit wet you can really push it to the sides of the ball anybody else make their props I joined a facebook group that's all about doing props yourself I don't necessarily get super crafty like this but I've made my own butter fi posers I'm now trying to make mount maternity gowns I've made headbands um just all sorts of random stuff if I can find a way that I think I can pull it off doing it myself to save some money I've been trying to do that searching just going craft stores searching for inspirations different fabrics started making little baby pants and things like that if I find the fabric and ah lot of these groups share patterns things like that so they make it really easy just to kind of get a little creative and do something that might be different than something you see everybody else using but I haven't tried anything like this yet this is if you like to get missing how did you find that group where would you suggest other people look I see suggested groups come up all the time and I'm constantly just adding groups and then just kind of checking it out I'm completely the group is now secret just because it got so big that they just tried tio but you know I can always add people and things like that but even besides that there's a lot of people who do tutorials if you just search the internet there's tutorials of how to make your own bonnets how to make your own felted wool or whatever so the internet is like a really great too old for that there's a lot of people out there that'll kind of share you know what they find works for them such a good point that there are a lot of tutorials out there on how to do things and when it comes to to making urinated props and things like that you know my mom is been knitting some great outfits for me which I've brought along so I'm going to be using over the duration of the class and and it's some it's incredible to see like you know you buy them from somewhere but when you start to get your own colors and things like that and you can add a bit of variety but she's getting her patterns from monkey move move who is someone I used to actually buy my props from but now she's doing just her patents so it's incredible to be able to save some money because sometimes props can get a bit expensive especially when you're starting out and you know using your own colors and your own textures and stuff like that that is just a little bit different so kelly you were just pushing that into a ball yeah where are you now in the process and what does it feel like in terms of the ways of the blue and it's a really quiet weii it so but I'm trying not teo completely drown it so it leaves some of that texture in there but we want enough water not enough of the fabric stiffened to you know help create that shape so probably use more around the base than I would around the sides but yeah I did mush it into a bowl and now I'm just opening a backup to spread up the sides so yeah who likes to knit I know everybody I can kelly I actually go round to second hand stores and I just searched through for all different types of fabrics and then take him home come up make little bonnets make little pan what a great love doing yes that is such a great idea yeah just helps to say a lot of the recycled props and it is such a great way to just you know brings a new texture in and things like that and you can save a lot of money if you khun so definitely um question when you're creating a new prop or in general when you're visualizing the final image do you know beforehand that you wonder result to be a square size image or like for example the that for I think it end up in square right is that something that you decide beforehand or in the end I think with a round a round object I would probably go more square but with a rectangle I would probably go with like an eight by ten eight by twelve ratio crop so yeah I think it does depend on the actual prop that year when you visualize and do tend to look or think about how you would crop it and things like that as well that's a good question all right nearly done I'm just gonna put some extra into the bottom and we're out which is good because it's perfect amount and then it should dry hole bottle or was it you know yeah it was a full bottle and you can see it's still got a lot of that texture in here it's not much down like this one but I'm kind of going for a bit of a different look with this one and the baby's going to be wrapped really secure in it not sort of left open like it was in that one so wrap it really well hopefully it's a bit of a sunny day outside we can stick it in the sun for a bit too dry and you're making are you making sure that the thickness is even sort of around the whole thing yeah definitely so I'm just now really pushing it and finding any gaps and filling those especially along the bottom and pushing that glue through so a lot of the fabrics different is going to have a different consistency as well some are going to feel a little bit you know more watery than others and some are going to feel more like a glue so I suppose it's like testing a few of the different ones and finding out which ones I'm gonna be better for for what you're using it for but um there's a couple of different things you can buy like a fabrics different as well in australia there's a product called marge podge and they milliners use it for making hats so it's it's a great thing to use a swell but it can be quite expensive I like the name launch party it is a pretty cool huh and so how long would it take say it is a sunny day for this to dr hopefully only a few hours but the more off the fabrics defender that you put on the longer it's gonna take to dry I we've we've attempted some really crazy projects my friend gary and I we we tried to do like an actual egg and we used giant balloons with paper mache a but the balloons get popping haven't ended like crash and we used so much glue t try and get it to work but it was dis heavy and it took privilege dry and we not thrown in the bin so it's a lot of it's trial and error and just having some fun and getting creative in coming up you know not like even though I already have said that it's it's like a preconceived idea as to how I think the image is going to turn out when you halfway through a process or making something or styling or doing your ideas to kind of change a little bit as well which is also really exciting so sometimes the final image doesn't always turn out exactly the way you had um you know I thought it would but it's actually turns out better in a different way so yeah yeah is that going to stick to the bowlers no it dr elliot and and we'll be able to peel it off just like that one name you consider see the outside of it yeah so you can say like underneath how kind of sets and it shouldn't shouldn't stick to the plastic that will be about appeal it ap just a just a quick question how much that the wall costs just out of interest in wasn't from australian supplier or such a snow getting things poster from the u s just always cost a fortune yes postage does has two fair bit from a few different places trying to remember where I got it from because I actually had it in my studio for a while I saw the picture of it and I thought I really loved the textures and colors in that but I just haven't used it in any of my chutes and I thought actually I could make something pretty pretty cool out of this and come up with a new a new idea so I'm going to leave that as it is you can see that it's still got some great you know texture in there which is awesome and then we're going tio hopefully get it too dry and rapper baby and pop them in there okay just do your question I know that one of the bonus materials that kelly has created when you purchased the class is a list with links to a lot of the places where new source a lot of these props so proper proper bonus material yeah definitely there's a supply of god that's in there and it's just a list of all the old my favorite supplies where I usually you know tend to shop if I am buying something and there's links weber weber dress links to those shops but you know it's funny because you know now that so many people I suppose no me after coming on crowd live first time ah lot of prop shops have contacted me you know because they want to get their product out there they want to be able to sell something that they're making which is fantastic but you know for me I have to stay true to what I like so I'm not necessarily going to promote a product that doesn't suit my style my brand and that's something that I highly recommend all of you you know when you're photographing is is to make things that suit what you do already I'm not going toe you know start creating really bright colorful concepts and things like that because it's just not me but I'm not going to do it also because you know um you know a friend of mine is doing it in her work is incredible like it's beautiful because it's hers that's why it's so incredibly beautiful because it is her and um you know for me I like all this organic natural stuff my mother's often said I should have been a hippie so I'm really trying to stay true to that and that's what I'm attracted to a cz well for my own personal work but just because somebody else is doing something a certain way doesn't mean you have to do it you might really like it but it's only because um it's beautiful because somebody else has created it's not necessarily you as as an artist wei have some slides to get jittery some of the safety factors when creating those products we should do a radio so um we're gonna continue to sound like a broken record but always using a spota when you've got a baby in any problem having them near nearby because you only have to turn your back for a second to grab something and their little arms legs could come flying out startle and hit the side of a prop or something like that and if they are you know further away from the ground in on top of a prop or something like that I mean this is where you have to be extreme and take every single precaution that's necessary on dh never living a baby unattended in anything not even on your posing bag you know it's actually like I mentioned time and time again it's actually reassuring to parents that you you are aware of all those safety measures that makes them feel really confident in you as a photographer and handing the baby over and working with them and never put babies into glass objects or anything that could possibly break like if it has even if it's no glass if it's got any type of crack in it or fracture of any description don't put a baby and it is not worth the risk um and again like you know as photographers we are creatives we we like to get crafty all the time and things like that but al sessions with our clients and not about us is photographers there about why we hired by our clients to capture these incredibly beautiful little babies at this you know thiss special time in their lives like this time goes by so fast you've got two weeks and they're already changing from the time that they were born like it's so so lovely to hear parents say are you they've changed so much in the past two weeks you know so when we're capturing them they're already beginning to change and we've got that very very small amount of time to do that so we need to listen to them and find out what it is that they want and communicate with them and give them what they want um because that's how job as photographers and you know always when you are using props as well putting weights into the bottom off them something like this where the baby's going to be inside and wrapped I'm not going to use a white but when they're in like a bucket in there up right or they're in a bowl you know putting something in the bottom of those to make sure that they're stable and nothing's going to topple over at any time and be careful again with rough surfaces and splinters and things like that it's um it's just little things that we need teo to be careful off and sometimes we're not quite aware of them until sometimes you know something bad happens or um you said something happens to somebody else what do you use for awaits not the type of things that you can you yes so you can use sandbags you can use hand weights or you can use bottles of water or even just like plastic drink bottles and fill them with rice or things like that really great idea so anything that won't leak but if you are going to use any type of food product or anything like that make sure it's something that people who aren't necessarily allergic to so you wouldn't you know fill it with certain things but you can take them up with well with sticky tape remember making homemade toys for my babies when they were little and I you know have to glue the the lid on and then type it a million times things like that so just being careful with those as well because you we'll have total is coming in and out of your studio that will grab anything that they can and if the lid comes off it's eleven give me miss everywhere um so yeah like I'm gonna show you a couple of slides now from instances in my studio that I've made sure that you know we're doing everything that we possibly can so this particular image it was really great because the guy in this photo is a photographer he's an incredible photographer does landscapes so when I said I said to him oh I have this really cool idea for a photo hey was like all for it and we talked about how we're going to do it how the baby's going to be spotted so he had hold of that basket and it is one of my favorite props that I have in my studio probably one of my most expensive ones and as well but it actually says on the scales baby wear and it's from like the early nineteen hundreds but the basket moves so I've got to be really really careful and I always photograph photograph this particular prop being held and then take the baby out and get another one yeah he had hold of the basket I came in position the baby the mum was just off to the other side in case the baby's legs arms came out because I don't want him to let go of the basket to fix a hand or a foot or anything like that because the basket will then move so talking to them and communicating throughout that process and sort of saying right you know we're gonna you're gonna hold the basket you're going to come over here just to the left so if we've got hand or a foot that comes you know flying out or anything like that you can come in and do that and dead you are not to move your hands like you know making sure that we wear explaining all of those steps to them so they know what to do because unless we tell them they don't um but yeah that was a lot of fun coming out with an image I'm just on that last light when you share images like this do you share that thean midge is a composite image yeah that that's actually a really good point if you are going to put something on you know social media or on your block goran your website it is a really good idea actually put on there that it's a composite this particular image hasn't been shared yet anyway so we were kind of coming up with a couple of ideas for certain things but I haven't actually shared it but it's great to share it and this like this and show people those steps and especially for clients as well you know they love the behind the same things like that and you know it it doesn't hurt to grab your phone your mobile phone and takes him video and put that on your instagram account or in your facebook account as well because when they see that image they might go oh I'm not really sure like uh just looks like a good potentially fall from up there that looks dangerous you show up like this and then becomes something wow I wouldn't have known that they'd done that so yeah I have never actually put thes scales on top of a pedestal before and eventually I think I haven't finished working on this particular image just yet but eventually probably really pushed down the height of that pedestal and make it seem lower to the ground so it gives you that sense of stability when you look at it so yeah good question good comment I should say and then prop safety obviously this has got quite a narrow base to it how it comes down and when you are putting a baby that's very top heavy because the head equates teo twenty five percent of their body weight in a prop like this that's leaning forward it could fall forward at any time and of course if they have startled reaction or something like that then you know it could move so putting um I think I actually did have water bottles in the bottom of this one there was three in the bottom and then the parents obviously were right there and hand is on is resting kind of on the side of that basket and at the back of the baby's head and it's literally lifted for two seconds because you're getting your exposure shot while the hand is there and if you've got any problems with a particular basket like that it's so easy just for a parent to come in behind we were in a white backdrop here as well so that's so easy to clone out or to replace you know getting them to hold the back of that basket and then you can just remove the arm later in post I would rather do that than risk the safety of a baby any day do you typically avoid textures and whatnot on backdrops when you're doing something like this of that way if you have to do a lot of cloning and fixing it's not quite a ce time consuming to kind of make everything look right or do you find that's not a problem yeah if it's if it's like a specific patton like a repetitive patton it would be really hot tea make it look like you haven't cloned something out so yeah I would probably tend to sort of go towards more even even textured backdrops that you could potentially either take a selection from one side of the image and then flip it and put it to the other side of the image to replace that area but yeah they're different things that all doing photoshopped depending on that backdrop but that's a good point because sometimes you know when you're working on your posing bag and you've got the baby up like this and you gotta support finger at the back if you've got a blanket that's got like rosa patton in it like a cable patton it's really hard t get it perfect on the other side we're climbing that hand out so yeah definitely more even textures tend to use less with patterns now because of that because it had so many problems over the years so I am looking for something that's a little bit more even and easier to work with you because it's gonna save so much time um and then again prop safety and never leaving a baby on attendance so like we're sitting so close in the final image for this you know she's exactly where she's sitting but I'm kind of just moving my body around to take that shot and the the background is kind of on this side of the baby not behind where my my spotter is actually sitting and the hand is is on the prop the whole time I've got my exposure shot one two three take the shot him back down again so it we're so close to the babies at all times and there's no way that that's going to topple over especially if you are working outside and you've got uneven ground as well and another wooden one so baby is um obviously not touching the hard surface of the problem at any times and it's got a beautiful soft texture in between it and there's a cloth nappy as well underneath that wall so that this it's it's quite firm for the baby teo to rest on its not that soft so that they can feel the wood through the softness of that wall there's there's actually a cough nappy under there as well and the hand it's obviously just lifted up and put back down so yeah I just can we check in see how our prop that we're making is doing maybe put it side by side with uh with the final one as well taken see that's going a long way to go before it dries and we might put it in the sun outside and see what happens if it doesn't drive that's alright but if it does it'll be be great to use it I I did cheat a little bit with this one it was in a metal bowl so I put it in the oven in my fan force devon that I can't put a plastic bowl and they haven't even yeah e I'm not a good cook or anything like that but I do know that you can put those in the oven um say yeah where I think where two spat finished the segment you know which is great for making your own props and coming up with some really different really creative things and then in the next that lesson we're actually going to be posing with some props which is going to be lots of fun

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Home Studio Checklist
What To Expect At Home
What To Expect In Studio
Preshoot Prep for Mothers
Marketing Plan
Pricing Guide
Posing Guide
Prop Guide
Resource Guide
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


What an awesome class! I actually started watching this, not because I was interested in newborn photography, but because I thought I could pick up some good ideas for photography in general. Kelly is such an inspiring person and so professional and such a good communicator that she has a lot to offer any photographer. I actually have been inspired to try newborn photography and can't wait to implement the multiple ideas Kelly has so generously given. I think it is wonderful for the profession of photography that she has the spirit to freely share what she knows to help those who are seeking advice and knowledge. Thank you!

Jennifer Traylor

I cannot say enough to relay the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for this class. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a studio audience member for this course and what I have taken away from this class will never be forgotten. Kelly pours herself into this class both on the head knowledge of photography and the heart knowledge of building a business and making it work in your life. She is such an amazing soul and I will treasure this experience always. This class is so thorough and works amazingly both all on its own or as a supplement to her other classes. You will not be disappointed. Her knowledge, her demeanor, her care, is brilliant. She pulls you right in, and even as an online viewer/purchaser for the previous two classes, I was able to feel her connection with the audience. She is an amazing teacher!!!! Kelly rocks, Kelly amazes, Kelly loves! Buy it today!!!! You will not regret it!!!!!! And don't forget, purchases get TONS of amazing bonus materials including extra videos and PDF's and manuals. This class is a bargain!!!!!


I really have been so happy & blessed Kelly to learn from you! You are gentle and I love your spirit in which you share your "Art". I am a Nurse and worked Hospice for many years. Many of my co-workers and I recently lost our nursing positions due to department integration and have decided that my passion and love for taking photos of children and babies is something I would like to pursue. I am learning so much Kelly from the way you take the time to gently get the baby in position, follow the baby's lead and enjoy the parents and each moment of the creative process. I am not at all a professional and am just really learning, but am enjoying practicing on my friends children and babies and of course my 4 month and 4 year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing free classes as I would not be able to afford any classes at this time in my life. You have a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing so eloquently! You have made a difference in my life. Patty from AZ

Student Work