We love BP4U products at BANPAS. The fact we use their products ourselves means becoming affiliates for them was a small leap to take. They offer a variety of guides, templates and actions for photographers and have a large library of resources for newborn and baby photographers. You can always find useful freebies and regular huge discounts too! We decided to take a closer look at “A Guide To Natural Light Newborn Sessions“ and let you know what we think.
This guide is written by Wendy of Five Eleven Photography. And includes a short bio and introduction to newborn photography. Wendy begins by going through the essential kit for a newborn photographer and some of the basics that are great purchases for those just starting out.
Wendy goes on to provide a really handy sheet of tips that she gives to clients to help her sessions run smoothly. It includes prep for the parents in terms of what they need to do before the session and a little of what happens during the session. Bear in mind this is an American guide which uses terms like ‘pacifier’ and ‘diapers’ so if you were going to use this as a starting point to prepare your own guide for parent, you would definitely need to rewrite this for your own market.
Wendy then shares details of her set up using natural light – as well as written instruction there are images of her studio set up. This section also covers heating, white noise and organisation.
Wendy then goes step by step through her whole session and flow posing. It’s nice to see that the images that should be composites are described as such – she goes into detail on how to achieve each pose in the flow as well as images showing the pose.
We all know parents love an awake shot (it’s definitely a best seller for me) and there is a section dedicated to getting beautiful images from awake babies.
The next section of the guide is dedicated to achieving beautiful prop poses and again, Wendy covers how to do this safely. My only reservation here is it would be nice to see some ‘Behind the Scenes’ images where a spotter is actually touching baby. She does talk about having a spotter close by but my personal preference is for my spotter to be touching the baby.
Wendy does cover every pose for baby on their own in detail using lovely images to demonstrate them before moving onto setting up parent and sibling poses. I found this part of the guide really useful as it gives lots of hint and tips on overcoming some of the very common issues you find with bringing in parents and siblings. Getting two year olds to co-operate or mums who don’t feel (understandably!) at their very best.
The final posing section covers twins. In four years shooting newborns I’ve only ever had 2 sets of twins but this would have been really handy to have had before those sessions!
Wendy then moves on to editing and shows some nice before and after images. However, her editing workflow is mainly the use of actions and portraiture so if you are looking for tips on hand editing, this section will not be relevant to you.
The next section explains how to edit composite images. 2 or 3 images are shown along with the final image and instruction on how to achieve this in Photoshop. The final section is really useful and is pages of FAQs which reveal some very useful hints and tips.
In summary, I’d say this guide is PERFECT for you if you are fairly new to newborn photography or have not attended a training course yet and need a well rounded guide to set you on your way. It certainly doesn’t replace a hands on training course but has it’s place.
In addition to this guide you also get a brilliant set of Posing cards to download. You can either print these or have them displayed digitally but they serve as brilliant reminders of your flow posing as you move through a session
And finally if all this isn’t enough, you also get a bonus pack which includes three different sessions set out with images from each showing how the session flowed, a questionnaire for parents to complete which helps you to write a blog about the session and finally a blog template where you literally fill in the gaps to create a blog post.
Please note that BANPAS is an affiliate for BP4U.