There is a lot of talk about newborn photography props! There are also a lot of props out there to choose from. However, you don’t hear as much talk about the props that you don’t necessarily see. That is what I’m going to talk to you about today. There are three important unseen newborn props that I bring to every session – backdrop stand, beanbag, and heater. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing one of these important props.
Backdrop Stand – You have LOTS of options when it comes to backdrop stands. You can also spend anywhere from $10 to $200. My personal opinion is you don’t need to spend a ton of money here, just get something that works for you. Here are a few ideas for backdrop stands.
- Tri-fold Poster Board – Yes, a backdrop stand can be this simple and inexpensive. When I first started newborn photography, this is what I used for my first few sessions. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money and this worked perfectly!
- PVC Pipe Box Stand – You can make these yourself or purchase one from Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/90067490/newborn-photography-backdrop-stand-works (Shameless plug – I sell them on Etsy). This is my favorite thing to use as you can use it with a beanbag and have the backdrop fabric pulled nice and tight or you can remove the beanbag and have a basket set-up (see image).
- Medal Stand – If a PVC made stand is not professional looking enough for you, then the other option is a medal stand. These come in lots of varieties and just about any of them will work. The one drawback to using a regular photography stand is that you have nowhere to pin the sides of your fabric to. This leads to wrinkled fabric and a little more post processing.
Newborn Photography Beanbag – You also have lots of choices when it comes to beanbags. They come in a varied number of shapes, sizes, colors and fabrics. Here are a few things that I look for in a beanbag.
- Color – You want a solid neutral color bag – white or tan. This way if you are using a semi-opaque or lightly colored backdrop your beanbag color/pattern won’t show through.
- Size – This is a personal preference, but I recommend getting the largest size bag that you can afford and fit in your car (if you are an on-location photographer). This will allow you to have lots of room to pose the baby safely and allow you to shoot multiples.
- Shape – Think flat and full. Traditional beanbags (the ones that you buy for the kids’ playroom) are designed to sink into. You don’t want a baby sinking into anything. You want a bag specifically designed for newborns.
- Fabric – Make sure your fabric is waterproof and washable. You will have accidents no matter how hard you try to avoid them!
- Shop – If you are looking for a bag I recommend starting your search on Etsy. There are lots of options there!
Space Heater – When I shoot a session I bring along two space heaters. One of the heaters is ‘The Big Guy’ that can heat a small room quickly. The Other heater is a small one that I can place on a stool near the beanbag so that it blows on the baby while I’m shooting. Here is what I would recommend for space heaters.
- Make sure the heater doesn’t get too hot to the touch. The heater should never touch the baby, but just in case it does make sure that your heater doesn’t get too hot!
- Make sure your heater has a stable base. The larger the base the better.
- There are heaters that radiate heat and ones that have a fan in them and blow the heat. I recommend the ones with a fan. This allows for more control of what is being heated.
I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful! Now it is time to go shopping. :)
Recommendations from IMB editors:
- SP2000 Backdrop Background Support Stand
- Photography Backdrop Stand from Kristeen Marie
- Exclusive XL Vinyl Bean Bag
- Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
This blog post is brought to you by KristeenMarie Photography. Be sure to check her out on Facebook. Kristeen is an Indianapolis, IN Photographer who loves iced tea, the color purple, technology, and small children. Kristeen loves many things in life – though there are not many things that she loves more than photography. She loves life and wants to capture every bit of it using her camera.