How to Stylize Setups for Newborn and Baby Sessions
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
I have always been asked how I plan my set ups that are so unique to every baby and maintain a style that sets me apart from the others. Want to know what actually goes through my brains while planning a photoshoot session? Read on.
But first lets understand a few things.
WHAT IS STYLIZATION?
Placing props, fabrics and accessories in a certain colour tone that brings everything together and blends perfectly is called Stylization.
When a picture is styled well, it brings life into that image, there is a personality to that picture. It all begins with a vision and styling helps enhance that vision.
Visions can be inspired from different factors. Parents become an important source for a vision.
PARENT’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROCESS
Parents’ involvement in this process is very important. It is necessary to understanding what they like and don’t like. This really gives them a chance to sit down and decide what they like to achieve in a photoshoot session with me.
Preference of colour shades, the moods - darker tones or lighter tones are discussed. If it is a girl baby, would they like pinks and florals or to stay away from it, similarly for boys and blues. Some like to keep it neutral. And of course, if they prefer to leave the whole process up to me, would love that too!
With this, it helps create a truly customised session for their little one.
So, the next step in this process is to create a colour palette that will be used to tie or match all the items that will be used in the session. This is the start of what I call creating a setup. And it is the vision that starts the whole process.
CREATING COLOUR PALETTES USING COLOUR HARMONY
Colour Palettes are created based on the theory of Colour Harmony. It is a combination of colours that are used which have a visual appeal. Using this harmony while deciding a colour palette makes a world of a difference in making your set ups look beautiful.
If you would like to know more about Colour Harmony, click here.
Before we get into the details, let me tell you my style of choosing colours. When it comes to Babies and Children, I like my colour tones to be pastel or muted as they make the image look soft, natural and above all it brings the focus onto the subject and not make the set up very distracting.
I do not use bright saturated colours in my baby photography as it takes away the essence of a visual appeal. But whatever tones of colours are used are based on the theory of harmony.
To create colour palettes, I gather my inspiration from the environment I’m in, places I’ve travelled or simply by looking at anything and everything around me.
INSPIRED BY NATURE
I love travelling and like many others I do think of work on vacations too. in my own style. I like to look at what nature offers and incorporate them into my set ups.
My recent visit to Bali got me thinking on how to bring back the colours of the scenic beauty of the terrace gardens of Bali, to my studio.
Here is a picture of the terrace garden with a little red plant complimenting the beautiful shades of green. And this is what I came up with.
Similarly, the serene waters of the turquoise sea inspired me to do this.
The lovely colours of the winter sky can bring out a complete new look to our set ups.
WHAT IS A STYLIZED SETUP?
A setup is an actual scene that we photograph a baby in. It could be for example a prop such as a crate, bucket or a basket that is positioned on a wooden floordorop with fabric cascading over the side of the prop and your little one lying in it posing for a picture. All these items for the set up are chosen based on the colour pallet that has been created.
Sometimes simple setups can mean so much more so that the eye does not wander off from the main subject - your baby.
Once we have the setup ready, we photograph the baby using a variety of camera angles such as shooting into the light, or away from the light, getting in close to capture those little details such as hands, feet, nose, and mouth, etc. So just one setup will produce multiple images from your session to choose as your final product in your proofing gallery.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SETUP AND A COMPOSITE?
Now that we have an understanding of what a setup is, then what is a composite?
You were probably first drawn to my website or social media page with a composite image we created. Well, a newborn composite is one image that has been skilfully assembled from two or more images. To learn more about newborn composites and the creative possibilities it offers, click here.
A composite provides you with one image whereas a setup provides you with multiple images taken at various camera angles.