Newborn re-shoot, yay! Pic heavy, CC please!

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TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2346
Newborn re-shoot, yay! Pic heavy, CC please!

Hey ladies,

I got to do a re-shoot of my friend's baby from last week. He was 17 days old yesterday, so he is SO much more alert and we got very few sleepy shots. And towards the end he was really cranky, so we whipped off a few family shots in the space I didn't intend (as my backdrop was not really big enough); but overall, I'm so much happier with the results. I had to do very little editing on any of these. Some cloning of wrinkles in the sheet (which I had ironed, but still...). The only thing I'm not 100% happy with is the grey in the sheet in the upper portions of the images, but I'm finding that sometimes if I modify it too much, it looks unnatural with the lighting. So suggestions/input on that would be great!

I really only had the white sheet to work with, and one basket. The blanket is theirs, and a favourite of theirs.

Anyway, there's tons but here are some of the ones I like. Sorry so many, I'm having trouble picking what to share!!

I'm not going to post settings unless asked, because they're almost all 1000 ISO, focal length between 100 - 135mm, and aperture as wide open as possible, between 5.0 and 5.6 mostly.

1. Their family in a VERY tight space, and the dad's head was swapped out from another photo. Let me know if you can tell!

2.

3.

4.

5. One of my faves:

6. Not sure this worked. Baby was cranky and we were doing these fast, not too much concern about set up.

7. Dad is a big "tool guy" and brought power tools! Sheet got really wrinkly at this point, because babe was cranky, the power tools were heavy, and we just worked fast and plunked things down.

8. I like this because the tool is the same size as the baby... a good comparison shot for as he gets older!

9. A different take on the feet thing. Does it work?

10.

11.

12.

13.
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shadow_grey's picture
Joined: 05/03/12
Posts: 581

Tracey I am short on time but just wanted to say I absolutely adore #3

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

They are all extremely precious and cute!!! But I gotta say the power tools lying next to the baby are freaking me out a little!!! LOL

StateChick's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 3629

So glad you got a chance to give it another go! I'm not gonna comment on color/light because I really am not sure.

#1 Love it! re: the head swap - I think I can see just a little bit of a jagged halo on the left side of the hairline, but only because I was looking - I don't think I would have noticed otherwise (and maybe I'm imagining it anyway!).

#3, my fav of these! Very sweet

#4 and 5 are nice with the eyes open -- a different crop might work better for 5? Not sure how...just a thought.

#6 and 9 are fine, but I don't care for 10...maybe a black and white in number 9 also since the skin tones are so different?

I prefer #7 over #8 because baby looks squirmy in 8 Smile

Love #11, but think I would crop in tighter. Seems a little unbalanced to me.

#12 is lovely, but I really like your first pictures of mom and baby better (from the first shoot)

Great job, Tracy!! TFS

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3409

Nice set! I'm sure the family will be so pleased!

I don't have time to comment on them all, so I'm going to pick a few ...

1. I couldn't tell the headswap. Looks really good and despite the head chop, I think this is a really nice family portrait.

3. SO SWEET! this is probably my favorite! I'd love to see it in b&w as well.

6. this works for me, especially the b&w conversion.

9. I like this take on the feet thing, but I wish we had all of the big feet in there. The chop bothers me a bit. Also, the big feet look really orange on my work monitor (take w/ a grain of salt).

10. this is another favorite of mine! Baby's expression really completes it. Smile

11. very sweet!

TFS, Tracy!

Best,
GiGi

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

Great job!! I haven't gone to check out the first images, but I these are really sweet.

1. I honestly don't think I would have noticed this was a head swap without being told. Nothing screams out at me as unatural. A good way to get the background more even (if you have a darker shaded spot) is to either dodge it or paint over it with a lighter shade of white. I'm not sure what program you're using, that will obviously dictate which method you use.

2. Not thrilled with this one. Can't see much of his face, just looks kind of smooshed.

3. Such a sweet sleepy shot!

4. Facial expression is a bit eh here, but nice

5. Love the smiley boy Smile I would probably have put a bit more padding underneith him to lift him up a bit more, though.

6. Sweet photo but I would have backed up a bit more (though it sounds like you were using a pretty long focal length) and I'm not 100% fond of the BW processing. I just can't seem to put my finger on why, though.

7. Sorry, this is my least favorite of the group. That heavy drill on baby's leg just isn't what I'd want to see.

8. This one is better! I see why Amy is a bit freaked, but if Dad is into construction and tools, it is kind of neat to see the comparison of how little he is compared to Dad's tool. I just might not have chosen a saw as the comparison Wink

9. I like it. But Dad's feet seem awfully yellow

10. I like how baby's expression is almost like he's sliding off of Dad's legs! Not my favorite, but cute.

11. Lots of chops here, but sweet siblings!!

12. I like the Mommy/Baby shot. Not thrilled with your perspective. I might have come up a bit at a higher level.

13. Cute face and expression, but I'm not liking the crop.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2346

Wow, thanks for the great response and awesome CC! I am so new to shooting anyone but my kids, so this was all very intimidating to me, so I'm thankful for the chance to learn!

One thing, re: the limb chops (and the one head chop in the family shot)... I know, it is terrible. But they really wanted to just get going and asked if I'd please just consider doing the photos in front of the "set" for the baby, and I simply did not have enough space to do it properly. DH and I have been talking about backdrop stands -- and the dad of this baby and I talked about it too; they're good friends of ours and he's a real handyman, and he said he'd look into some options for a DIY like I've seen here. That'd really help in the future, for sure.

About the yellow/orange feet of the dad's. Yeah, I can play with the colour. I did consider doing it B&W, and probably will try. But somehow I find it oddly appealing to see the baby's much redder/more purple feet look against the dad's, too. I'm a bit odd that way, I'm sure!!

Head-in-hands shot, yeah, I wanted to pull back, but I kept getting so much extraneous stuff in and for some reason that I can't recall, it wasn't easy for dad to move at that point. Darn, huh?

Lots to learn!! Thanks again! Smile

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

Tracy, I LOVE #3 very sweet! Like Amy the power tools also freak me out a little but glad you got a second chance:) How did you have an iso of 1000 with no noise? We are using the same camera and I still get a little noise at 1000!? Very impressed with that whats your secret or is noisewear really that good?

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2346

I find the noise is not bad if the image is properly exposed. If it's under-exposed, the noise shows up quickly. But ISO 1000 seems to be no problem for a well-exposed photo on the 60D. I've even been impressed with ISO 3200. The family pictures I took were ISO 2500, and were still not bad -- but they were run through noiseware (the whole family, and the one of the kids).

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

"TracyF" wrote:

I find the noise is not bad if the image is properly exposed. If it's under-exposed, the noise shows up quickly. But ISO 1000 seems to be no problem for a well-exposed photo on the 60D. I've even been impressed with ISO 3200. The family pictures I took were ISO 2500, and were still not bad -- but they were run through noiseware (the whole family, and the one of the kids).

I have also been impressed with 3200 cause with an iso that high I thought it would be horrible and its not. I have only noticed it on a few photos where I did not like it but mostly inside churches with the yellow lighting so maybe its the lighting throwing me off a little. Thanks, I will try again somewhere other than a low lit church:)

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

Just had to comment that I looked at the pictures before I really read all of what you wrote, then I went back and read it, and I totally didn't notice the head-swap on the dad... Good job!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

I'm coming in a little late on this, so there's not much else to add. I notice huge improvement from the last shoot, though, so I just wanted to say, "Way to go!!" Smile

cazzoom's picture
Joined: 06/22/02
Posts: 1315

Wow. I take a break from this site and look what happens.

You have improved so much!

Love # 3

Cazz

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2346

Thanks so much, everyone! And great to see you again, Cazz! I've been wondering where you got off to! Smile

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

I'm late on this too...but wanted to comment anyway. Haven't read other responses so I'm probably repeating stuff.

#1, nice swap...didn't notice. Cute group shot of family.
#2. not a fan....can't see the face and the paci isn't helping things. I find that pacis are fine in informal shots, but not for posed ones.
#3. Best of the bunch. I really don't like the blanket because I feel it pulls focus from the baby, but otherwise this is a really nice shot.
#4. Not really a great expression. It's not a cute typical newborn look...I'd probably dump.
#5. Would be cute if he were looking at camera. I know how difficult it is to get a newborn looking at camera, but it can be done. This is kinda cute, but there is really no connection with anything so it doesn't work for me.
#6. Sweet shot. It's a pretty typical newborn composition and was done well.
#7. I hate hate hate the power tools. It ruined this shot. Hopefully you got one of him looking that cute without the dangerous, ugly, power tool sitting inappropriately and uncomfortably in his lap.
#8. I still hate the power tool, but at least this time it's not laying on him...so it's somewhat more acceptable.
#9. I like the feet shot but wish the color were a bit more matched.
#10. Would be better if you hadn't chopped the heel.
#11. Cute. I'd crop it differently so it were more balanced.
#12. Wish there were more connection between baby and Mom. You've got a lovely expression on the Mom, but it would have been a much stronger picture if the baby were looking back at the mom. As it is, baby looks a bit like a lump.
#13. Nice shot....looks like the focus might be off? Maybe it's just over sharpened or something. Something just looks not quite right.

Overall, these are much much better than the first shots. You've got a good start. Newborns are HARD! My advice is to slow down, try less. Get the baby in a nice sleepy spot and take dozens of photos in that pose....lips, hands, feet, from above, from the side. Even at 17 days old, you should be able to get baby to sleep in one on the back position. You can get lots of good stuff done while baby is in one position. When baby wakes up then do Mommy baby face to face, Daddy-baby shots, family shots, Then try to get baby back to sleep with baby in a new pose. A good newborn session takes hours. Really sleepy 5 day olds can go in lots of different sleepy positions....at 17 days old, you have to do fewer poses...but you should be able to get 2 sleeps in a 4 hr session.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2346

Thanks, Amber, that's great feedback and great advice. The parents came for shoot #2 with a lot more ideas than they had in shoot #1, so I got a bit overwhelmed, particularly as the baby was not terribly cooperative. He only slept once for more than just a few minutes.

I know the chops are terrible, just didn't have the space... Next time!!! I will take all of this great advice and learn from it. I'm so, so pleased that everyone likes #3!