When you first start out in newborn photography there are so many things which can be confusing. Getting it right can take years of trial and error. One of those things is the Posing Bag set up for your newborn photography session.
This is one of those situations where there is no “one size fits all” solution. We all have different styles, but also different budgets, spaces to work in and working arrangements. Some people have a dedicated photography studio outside their home; others have a studio set up in their home and others are travelling to clients’ homes. The important thing here is to work out what is going to work best for you when posing on the bean bag and customise your requirements to suit.
To give you some insight into my set up, and hopefully give you some inspiration for your own, I thought it would be great to explain it visually for you.
POSITIONING MY POSING BAG
Firstly, let’s talk room layout. In my studio, I have my beanbag 2 metres away from the window at a 45 degree angle to the light source. This works for me because of the size of my light source, which is floor to ceiling windows. If your light source is smaller, you will need to place your bean bag closer to the window.
When using artificial light, the principles are the same in terms of how you setup your posing bag and your light. However, once again, this depends on the size and strength of your light, as you can see here.
MY NEWBORN POSING BAG
My posing bag is just over 90cm across in diameter and 30cm in height. My bag is not overfilled as I personally prefer it softer. In fact, using my hand, I can create a well in the middle of the beanbag which is about 15cm deep. This helps to make the baby feel secure & comfortable.
SMOOTHING YOUR BACKGROUND
A great tip for getting a nice smooth background on the posing bag is to use blankets that have a little stretch in them. This allows you to pull them nice and tight when you’re clamping them to your background stand. This will reduce any unwanted creases and save you so much time in Photoshop.
Underneath my posing blanket, are 4 Ikea fleece blankets doubled over to create a nice, smooth, thick layer between the posing bag and the baby. This is to also hide the supports I use to keep the baby in position when posing.
I hope this helps with your aim to create your own perfect bean bag set up. Remember, your set up should be based on your needs and your processes. What works for me, will be different for you, and that’s ok.