Propping Babies Up

Newborns are floppy. If they're not sleeping, how to pose them? I recommend involving parental hands. Hands can gently position the head so that she faces forward, and subtle prop up the head like a pillow. To achieve these photos, her father sat on the floor and held her in front of him with two hands, while I leaned over his shoulder for the eagle eye view. This works better than standing in front and photographing the horizontal baby upside down - for one thing, by standing behind, I don't interfere with the light. The other thing: parents tend to tilt babies towards them (head at a slightly higher elevation than feet) - if I'm standing in front of the pair, I will photograph too much forehead.

Floppy-necked-baby photography involves tricks. Tricks to make babies look like their necks aren't floppy, because it looks uncomfortable. Knowing different ways to prop babies up, and being versatile with whatever propping items might be at hand, whether it's a pile of cushions, towels, stuffed animals, parent wearing a backdrop poncho style.

I just wanted to give another plug to Radiolab podcasts. Editing flies by when I listen to Radiolab. The Sleep episode is fascinating. Did you know that most animals except for terrestrial mammals are capable of sleeping half a brain at a time? That if there are 4 ducks sleeping in a row on a log, the two in the middle will have both eyes closed, but the duck on either end will have the eye on the outer (non-duck facing) side open? That sleep is the equivalent of a brain bath? Really interesting stuff.