Ana Brandt has been photographing newborns for almost 16 years, and needless to say she's learned a thing or two along the way about how to pose and transition a tiny body to get the most out of a portrait shoot. (And if you were at WPPI, you may have even seen her running her hands-on newborn and pregnancy photography workshops). "Working your angles and transitions while keeping the baby calm and settled is key to a successful session," the California-based photographer says.
In this week's featured video, Brandt demonstrates how she handles newborns on a portrait set, showing how she works with limited props, two to three setups and minor transitions to generate variety in the overall shoot. "You can get [many different looks] with just little movements," she says.
For example, Brandt will often start the session with a newborn wrapped in a bundle. After shooting the wrapped baby, Brandt will adjust the outer bundle and reposition the newborn slightly, exposing just the arms and upper body for a new look. She'll then make several more adjustments to the baby's pose and bundle before fully removing the bundle entirely to photograph the naked baby, which often occurs towards the end of the shoot. According to Brandt, each change takes "less than a minute" to execute.
To see even more simple and subtle transitions that Brandt executes during her newborn shoots, check out the three-minute video below in which Brandt demonstrates easy and efficient little movements to the baby and bundle that add variety for her clients at minimal to no extra cost.