3 Reasons I Color-Coordinate My Newborn Portrait Sessions
One of the things I love most about doing posed newborn photo sessions is styling the sessions. A few years back, I started coordinating props for newborn sessions. Here are 3 reasons why I color-coordinate my newborn portrait sessions:
1. Narrow down the options.
Now that I’ve been photographing newborns for seven years, I’ve amassed a huge amount of props. Here’s my wall of newborn hats (I’m out of clothespins at the moment, hence the pile of hats on the chair):
Presenting this many options to a client can create complete overload, so instead I ask them prior to the session to pick out two or three colors to use to help us narrow down and determine our target colors.
2. Create cohesiveness in the gallery.
If your props all coordinate, your photos will look better when a client uses them together later on an announcement or wall display.
For the following session, the client wanted to use white and gray for her son’s session.
3. Have the client start thinking about what they want to do with their portraits:
I suggest to my clients that we match their photos to the nursery or another room in their home where they will be displaying their portraits.
For this next session, we matched the props to her nursery, which has a pink and brown theme.
If you’re just starting out, here’s what I recommend doing to amass enough props to start coordinating:
1. Start by collecting neutrals that look good on both genders. Cream and tan look great on all babies. You can always make things look more feminine by adding a little flower clip to the hats.
2. Buy fabric backdrops on Fabric.com and blankets on clearance. Again, start with cream-colored fabric. You can never have too many cream-colored props. The best fabrics are stretchy and “sweater-like.” When purchasing fabric, I often purchase 2 ½ yards, and use ½ yard for a wrap to match the backdrop.
3. Look for scarves to use as wraps. The end of the winter clothing season (now!) is a great time to get scarves on clearance! Again, stretchy wraps are best, but almost all scarves can be used. Avoid infinity scarves (scarves with ends sewn together so that the shape of the scarf is one big circle) since those don’t give you as much flexibility.
4. Invest in props that can be dressed up and used in different ways. Neutral-colored boxes, buckets and baskets are great starters!
5. When buying baby hats, go for timeless designs made of good yarn. Knits photograph better than crocheted items and materials such as mohair, alpaca, and angora will look much better than acrylic yarn. It’s usually only $5-10 more for a much nicer baby hat, and it’s worth it!
6. HomeGoods/TJ Maxx/Marshalls are great places to look for low-budget props like boxes and buckets!
Rebecca Danzenbaker has been photographing families, newborns and expectant mothers since 2008. After being an elementary school music teacher for 5 years, which developed her skills in working with children and parents, and then working 10 years in the corporate world, developing her business sense, Rebecca was fortunate to go full-time in her photography business in 2013. She feels immense gratitude and wonder that she is able to make a living doing what she loves. See her website here.
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