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I jumped at the opportunity to practice newborn photography on a friend’s granddaughter; because I’m new at this genre of photography, I did the shoot for no charge.

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In preparation, I spent a considerable amount of time reading articles and blogs and watching videos. I also scoured local stores for inexpensive props after searching online and finding that those clever and cute baskets, headbands, and backdrops cost a fortune. I took these pictures with a minimum of props: a wicker basket, a gauze wrap, and a few furry blankets.

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On the day of the shoot, I loaded my CRV with my portable studio consisting of backdrop and backdrop stands, light stands, SpeedLites and umbrellas, cameras, tripod, and lenses, and a large suitcase of blankets and pillows. When I arrived at their house, I was delighted to find a large window that provided plenty of light and I was able to use ambient light rather than strobe. I love the effect of soft light and shadows on the baby’s face.

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I’ve studied the 517 images I shot that afternoon, analyzing what I did right and where I need to improve; I am now ready to slowly build inventory and I look forward to my first paying newborn client.

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