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Table Top Portraits

Babies are notoriously difficult to photograph but they do have one advantage - they're small. Some projects need a little space to set up the bits and pieces needed to light a portrait successfully, some may even require that I hire a studio; this portrait however was taken on the kitchen table. This has in fact started a series a "table top portraits" which are evolving slightly each time.

The key to this image are the props which are made up of a combination of a blanket from a home store, a hamper basket and a fluffy cushion from the cupboard and the most expensive component - hat and nappy cover from e-Bay. After the studio environment was set up in the kitchen, lighting was added in the shape of a "studio" strobe with a brolly and a reflector. A second light was also set up to bounce light off the white ceiling to reduce shadows. While it is possible to set up this shot using the light from the window, lighting the scene allows me to set up the shot anywhere and anytime. This is an advantage when photographing young children who often have their own schedule.

The other thing that was essential for this shoot was a baby wrangler and a lot of patience. The baby wrangler of course was mom, who was just out of shot. While the period to get this type of newborn shot is typically in the first two weeks, that doesn't mean they make it easy for you and this idyllic moment was a brief period of calm that lasted about one minute.

The picture was printed out onto post cards and sent to family and friends to announce the birth. Initially the job of printing the cards was given to an overnight printer however the colours in the delivered cards were just awful so I printed them myself and achieved a much better finish. The most disappointing thing about this picture is that when it was sent around to the family they wanted to know who took it.