Inspiration of the Week: Expression by Kim Robbins

The thing that stands out the most from this photograph by Kim Robbins is the look on both the mom and 3 month old baby’s face. You can’t help but to smile from looking at this photograph. It should remind us that it’s not ALL about styling and location – but a great photograph also comes from a great expression.

Be sure to read the fantastic tips Kim offers for photographing a three month old below.

From Kim Robbins: These are photos of cute baby Alyssa that I took at Red Hill Park in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  Alyssa’s mom purchased the One Year Photo Package from me when she was born which include: newborn, three month, six month, nine month and one year sessions.  We decided to meet at the park because the weather has been nice and Alyssa’s newborn session was a studio session and we were looking for something different.

Three month sessions are the hardest session in the One Year Package in my opinion.  The newborn session is very stylized with the baby asleep and in various poses, newborn props and backgrounds.  At six and nine months, the baby is sitting up and laughing and moving around a lot so there is a lot to capture.  By the time the one year session comes, the baby knows me and is ready to pose for the camera and have fun.  At the three-month session, the baby cannot sit up or sometimes even hold his/her head up. Tummy shots can sometimes be impossible if the baby hates that position.  Clothing is also an issue since things don’t fit around the neck area very well until the baby is older.

At Alyssa’s session, I decided to focus on the things she can do at three months such as make eye contact and smile.  She also loved kicking her legs around and putting her fingers in her mouth.

I decided to go with a vintage look to match the suitcases with head bands made by me and The Darlin’ Daisy (http://www.thedarlindaisy.bigcartel.com/).  I added some pearls and some leg warmers as well as some Easter and Saint Patrick’s Day props Mom brought to create a Vintage Spring Session.  Actions from Florabella and Red Leaf added the vintage feel to my processing.

Some tips for photographing a three month session are:

1. Make sure the baby is happy and fed.  Alyssa’s mom fed her about a half an hour before our session which was later in the day due to lighting.  Three month olds are not eating solid foods yet so they get hungry every three or four hours and a hungry baby is not a happy baby.

2. Bring props to prop baby in.  Wheather it’s a basket, suitcase or bucket and make sure you bring fabrics so that the props are soft and secure.  Make sure you keep a parent within grabbing distance just in case something starts to tilt.  Safety is always first.

3. Shoot fast.  Have your props out and ready for the baby to change into as soon as you’re done shooting with each one.  Three-month-olds have a very short “shooting” window.

4. Focus on what the baby can do.  Is he/she a smiler or laugh-er? Do whatever you need to to capture that.  Does he/she like to kick or roll over? Make sure you get that, too.  Don’t forget those chubby legs and little fingers.  Don’t force the baby into a pose he/she feels uncomfortable in.  Once the wailing starts it rarely stops before all the lighting is gone.

Happy Shooting!

// By Kim Robbins // Follow on Facebook //

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