Newborn Photography Lighting – Our Set Up

Newborn Photography Lighting – Our Set Up


hey everyone is Monica here from my big
camera welcome back to her channel this is actually going to be a different type
of video where we show you our lighting setup for a newborn photography we
actually use a similar setup for studio photography as well but I wanted to show
you specifically what we use for photographing newborns and hopefully
this video was helpful to you in deciding what you need for your
photography business okay so let’s get into it okay so here’s a pull back of our setup you can see that we use a backdrop
stamped with a bar at the top and a large rectangular bean bag we do still
use a bean bag I know a lot of photographers have kind of switched away
from using bean bags and use card tables or the extra large dog bed actually we
will be testing out the dog bed in a future video so if you’re interested in
that make sure to subscribe and note it and hit that notification bell so that
you’re notified when we release that video but anyways we do use just a large
square bean bag it kind of has these tabs on the sides that we clip the
blanket to and stretch it it does a pretty good job it works for us
we use several blankets underneath there just fleece large fleece blankets that
we got from Walmart so you should be able to find those anywhere we have a
bunch of different colors so that if we have a blanket that is a little bit
sheer we can just layer the white blanket or the pink blanket or the blue
blanket underneath depending on the color of the top blanket and we usually
layer about three to four blankets sometimes more depending on the fabric
that we have on top just so that we can get rid of any bumps that you might see
in the video when we’re posing newborns and putting little posing beans or blank
or like little towels underneath the baby to position them so that’s
basically that if you’re interested in the backdrop stand I will link that in
the description below we use of Einstein 640 watt second light and it works great
it’s a strobe light I love the strobe lights because they
create a very consistent right up here in Canada we have very
long winters and it’s not always sunny so although we do have a big window that
you can see there I just like to have a strobe light that’s consistent and I can
rely on no matter what the weather is like outside and so that I can also
shoot any time of day sometimes we do photo shoots in the evening and it gets
dark here around 5:00 or 6:00 when it’s winter time so I like to have that
flexibility so the Einstein light is really great I highly recommend it’s
from paul buff i’ll leave the link for it in the in the description below and
the great thing about this light is you can stop it down all the way to 2.5 watt
seconds which means you can shoot wide open so you can shoot at 1.8 or 2.8 and
still have that beautiful blur background and very soft light we used
to use an elinchrom light before with a softbox and the shadows are just so much
harsher and there were hot spots on the baby’s skin and we couldn’t stop it down
enough so we weren’t able to use an umbrella like this could only use it
with the softbox that it came with so this speaking of which this umbrella
is actually a peel M umbrella it’s a parabolic light modifier I think
this one is about 70 inches I’m not sure if they sell the same size anymore but
they do so similar ones on the Paul buff website so you just need to check that
out I love the size because the big umbrella disperses the light really
nicely creating very soft light and soft shadows and I love the fact that the
light reflects into it and it reflects off of a shiny silver surface inside
which I’ll show you so here you can see inside of the
reflector that it’s all silver and the light just reflects back and and then it
reflects through the whites diffusion screen and creates really soft beautiful
lights with very soft shadows and on the lights itself we have we use these
little cactus receivers they come with a transmitter too in a pack so you get a
receiver and a transmitter for your camera I know they’re not the fanciest
thing in the world but they work great for us and they’re inexpensive so we’ve
always liked to use these they’re always nice to have just a couple extras on
hand and again I’ll link that in the description below if you’re interested
in picking those up and you can see that the light is angled towards the beanbag
at approximately 45 degree angle so doing that that’s pretty much the ideal
angle for light for your newborn so what you want to do when positioning your
light and your newborn is to have the baby’s head on this side of the beanbag
so that’s where the baby’s head will be if your light is on the other side then
the baby’s head would be on that side but basically you want the baby’s head
towards the light and then the light should flow at a 45-degree down and over
the baby’s face and down its body and then that will give you those that
really beautiful soft light and that little butterfly shadow underneath the
nose which is what you always want to look for when photographing newborns so
I know on the other side of that we use a very large reflector here it’s a five
in one reflector so has this white reflector which we use in the studio but
if we need more light it does have the silver and gold reflectors and it also
has the fusion screen which if you take it apart
as a diffusion screen you can use the outside for diffusing sunlight this one
I think is about five feet not sure of the exact dimensions but I will link it
in the description if you’re interested I like the sides again because I put on
the other side of the light and it reflects the light back onto the baby
and creates that really beautiful soft light over the baby so it lightens all
of the shadows kind of lifts some of the shadows and makes them less harsh okay
so one thing I forgot to mention about this giant PLM umbrella is that because
of the nice approximately 5 foot size you can use this light for back lighting
setups so just like the thumbnail image that I have we use this sort of setup
for positioning the parents so basically I would just take this and move it a
little bit and then stand the parents in front of that with the baby and have the
lights come from behind them so you get that really dreamy beautiful back
lighting effect if you want you can have another light from the front if you have
a second light to light up their faces more but if you really want that shadowy
sort of dream dreamy type of look all you need is this big softbox
I know that the bar gets in the way there which basically I just Photoshop
out or I try to strategically place the parents in front of it to kind of block
it out and I kind of positioned the parents facing each other with their
heads together or looking down at the baby and have the baby kind of in
between them so I also use this light this big KLM umbrella for maternity
sessions so basically what I do for my Trinity sessions is I use this light in
behind the backdrop stand and I set up a white sheet and hang some sheer curtains
as well in front of the white sheet and then I positioned the maternity
model in front of that for some really dreamy beautiful backlit images as well
as some silhouette images if you just increase your shutter speed a bit so
that’s another great use for this giant PLM umbrella and which is why I love
this size of umbrella if you’d like a more detailed video on how to use the
backlighting for a newborn photos how we position the parents or or a maternity
model in front of this light for a backlighting sort of setup just let us
know down in the comments and maybe we’ll make a video on that in the future okay so that’s pretty much it that’s our
lighting setup if you’re interested in any of the things that I talked about I
will leave links for what I can down in the description and also if you have any
questions regarding the setup or if you have any other ideas of what works best
for you leave it down in the comments and I will try to answer any questions
the best that I can again every person has a different preference for the setup
of the backdrop whatever works best for you I know that the beanbags sometimes
makes kind of hurts some people’s backs for me works okay but I might switch to
a table in the future and again I might we will be testing out that dog bed as
well so if you like this video and you found it helpful be sure to hit that
subscribe button and the like button it really helps our channel out and make
sure to turn on the notification bell as well so you get notified when we release
the next video if you’re interested we have our free Photoshop actions you can
download down in the description so just click that link and you’ll be able to
download them for free bye for now and keep creating

5 Comments

  • Lily's Dollhouse says:

    Wow! I was hoping you would make a video on newborn lighting. Thank you so much!

  • Bloom Mom says:

    Love seeing behind the scenes! Would love to see more videos like this

  • Paul C. Buff, Inc. says:

    So glad to hear our Einstein flash unit is working so well for you newborn photography! Thanks for the kind words!

  • Nakita De freitas says:

    Love the videos.. very helpful.. thank you for sharing.. can you recommend a light that’s not as expensive? Newbie here haha

  • Natalie Bartlett says:

    Im soo glad you made this video! For weeks I have been trying to figure out how to lower the powerfullness of the light from my Elinchrom!! It sucks as i really dont want to spend more money! Do you think a Photogrid would help?? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *