Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ten Most Useful Props for Newborn Photography

Any proud parent would love to show off their newborn baby; display the happiness they share about their new gain with other friends and family. And the most prevalent way of doing that is through newborn photography. While candid photos can be shared through any social media, there’s a special touch when done by a professional; one that creates a product with far more value and an at times even stronger emotion.

Of course, there’s a certain standard that comes with such professional newborn photography. The price you pay includes more advanced equipment (most professional cameras start at $5K), up to date technology (processing software can be another $5K+), and importantly quality props which can run as much as $300 each for a true vintage wooden prop. In a field such as this, any photographer knows that without that certain prop for an infant, you may never get the especially unique photo that you and the parents are looking for. Most every client asks "what kind of props can we use". Props give an atmosphere to the photo and can help to convey the emotion that you as a new or upcoming mother are feeling especially when the prop is YOU.

A Prop You Can’t Buy
Though it seems uncanny, the best prop that any photographer could ever hope for in their newborn photography is the parent.
A baby feels most content when in the arms of their mother or father, so it makes sense that with a parent in the picture, the baby would display its most content and relaxed face. Say you’d rather not be included in the photo, something and simple as your hands holding the baby produces a loving and gentle atmosphere and exemplifies the affection within the relationship that you have inherently established with your child.
newborn photographers new family

Other Vitals and Essentials

The next nine props are most common in newborn photography.
• Cocoons can show either the full body or just a part of the child, but the concept of a child having on nothing but cloth really captures the idea of the child just being brought into the world.
newborn photography
• Scales of any kind put the emphasis on a baby's weight, which is always a very talked about topic for any birth in a family.
newborn scale 2010
• Hats can bring about any theme for those creative parents, from cowboy western to enchanted fairy forests.
newborn photography Maryland
• Materials and backdrops of any size, color, texture, or pattern are probably the most used within newborn photography; all one truly needs is the right background to potentially say it all.
newborn photographers_curled2
• Baskets are incredibly adorable. They refer back to the stork concept and capture the idea of a baby just arriving.
newborn photographer in DC
• Pillows are very easy to pose babies on; the look of the child being delicate and fragile is almost effortless.
• Bowls, Pots, and Trunks, are items a child can fit in to that helps put their small size into perspective.
newborn photographers awake2
As with all newborn photography, it can be the props that make the difference. Professional newborn photography has the props to truly make the experience you are having or will have with your new baby even more amazing and memorable.

Rita is a newborn photographer on the East Coast and works out of her tranquil baby studio set amidst 5 acres of woods. She offers photography workshops to parents and photographers. Visit her on her newborn photography facebook page here!

To find out about the greatest baby photography prop vendors including prop and cocoon providers or if you ARE one, join our monthly newsletter where we spotlight the best of the best! Sign up for the newsletter HERE.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big News for Bitsy Baby {Newborn Photographers}

Well it's leaked to a few people already; how can it not with this growing belly & my excited big mouth =) but we are finally making our BIG announcement here to everyone!!

I am pregnant!!!!!
My family and I will be welcoming a brand new baby (our own) into our arms (and of course the studio) in February!!

This is a huge event for our family as we have been trying to conceive this time around for a couple years now. The beginning of the pregnancy had it's issues so we wanted to wait for the big announcement until all was well and going good. The only real concern now is pre-term birth as I went into labor with Marina, my first baby, at 32 weeks. We have decided to take the weekly progesterone shots as that should prevent this from happening again. These shots are typically taken for weeks 16-34 when the baby might have health issues if born. This does mean more Doctor visits but I just don't think I can give myself those shots and my insurance won't cover me doing it myself anyway.

So lots of questions floating around in our home:
  • Where will I give birth? Due to the early complications we are seeing Drs at Annapolis OBGYN at the moment but my Drs know I plan to transfer to Bay Area Midwifery or Special Beginnings at some point....I'm sure hubby will appreciate Bay Area being so close to the hospital, he says he isn't into the "home birth thing" though if I could I certainly would welcome this baby right into our home from the womb =) That's just me! Don't get me wrong I'm not anti-Dr or anything but a healthy routine birth in my opinion doesn't need a Dr's attendance.
  • What will we name HER?? Yes we just found out it is a GIRL at Baby To Be Images Sonogram Center in Annapolis. This was a beautiful experience and I highly recommend anyone wanting to visit their baby in the womb to go see the team at the 3d/4d elective sonogram center, very personal and non-medical =) I know many clients that wait to find out the gender until the birth, that's amazing to me but not for me!
  • Will I take time off work? How much time? I am lucky to be able to have this decision to make. Of course the time off will not be "paid maternity leave" as I am self employed but I'm sure just a short time for a baby moon will be still be in order?
  • What color will the nursery be? Heck, where will the nursery be? Our only other room upstairs is my office. Our basement is being renovated but it will not be realistic to move our 3 year old or our new baby downstairs anytime after she spends the baby moon in my bedroom I'll likely have the office re-done to be her nursery!
  • Will I cloth diaper again? For how long? Even at night? Is it cheaper?
    Sooooo much more to think about so I'll be sharing as the pregnancy goes on =)

    I hope you will celebrate this beautiful season with us! If you have any thoughts or personal experience with any of my questions and comments above please post some thoughts for me on my Bitsy Baby Photography Facebook page HERE, would loooove to hear from you!!!!!

    This is Marina and I in the NICU on her 1st day of life out of the womb. She was the tiniest little jewel at 4.5 pounds =) With most of that being her HAIR lol!
    Rita and Marina

    To read the next Bitsy Baby Photography September e-News article click here.

    Baby Austin's First Birthday {baby photographers in Maryland}

    Happy Birthday Baby Austin!!!
    I've known Austin and his parents for over a year now, seems like it has gone by in just a blink! So thankful our paths have crossed, this has been a great journey through Austin's first year =)

    baby photographer 1 year standing baby

    baby photography with parents2

    baby photographer birthday cake

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Advanced Creative Photography Tips {Controlling the Blur}

    Creative (and somewhat advanced) Photography Tips:

    Have you ever noticed that part of your image is blurry, especially when photographing children? Maybe it's their hands or their feet that are blurry because they were moving? Most babies and children, unless they are asleep, are constantly moving. As a matter of fact, we typically get the greatest portraits when we let them move, shake, and be happy don't we =)

    So another solution to this issue, versus trying to make them "hold still", is to put your camera on Shutter Priority, on a Canon it is usually the letter "T" and on a Nikon it is an "S" and now many hand-held cameras even have this option. Now move your sub-command wheel and watch the numbers changing. You are changing the shutter speed and your camera automatically changes your Aperture setting to expose the image as best the camera can.

    Now what number do you want your shutter to be at? Well if you want to freeze the motion of those moving hands and legs I would say to have the shutter on 250 or higher. If you want to show the motion, say you want to see a bit of that movement as a creative blur effect, then I'd say you want a moderate shutter speed. Start at 1/30s and change the shutter number down until you achieve the desired amount of blur you are looking for. **You may need a tripod for these longer shutter speeds. This blur effect is also how you would achieve that dreamy blur of a waterfall if you find yourself at a beautiful waterfall in Hawaii at some point =)

    So go ahead, put your camera on Shutter Priority and take control of your blur!

    East Coast baby photography

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Baby Photography Tips {Newborn Baby Portraits}

    Babies first milestone: sleeping!

    From my experience spending so much time with many many babies over the years there are 4 major milestones I've found the best to focus your photography efforts on: sleeping, smiling, sitting, standing...oh and then 1st Birthday if that doesn't coincide with the standing phase.

    Today we will focus on the first one: sleeping and getting a great basic first portrait of your baby! So babies usually sleep a lot for their first week of life. Now this is not the time frame most parents want to get out their camera and get creative so we'll keep it basic here. If you just don't have the energy to do a thing during this first week, give me a call and I can do it for you of course =)

    • The first thing to remember when photographing your baby at home is to turn off your lamps and overhead lights in your home to eliminate unwanted color casts (yellowish or random colors you might sometimes notice in your photos). You may have heard me say this before but it's so easy to forget this important detail.
    • Then move your baby to a window so you have a good amount of natural light.
    • One great product to purchase when you have a baby if you plan to do a lot of your own photography is a bean bag! Especially for the younger ages when they can not sit up or control their body. I use and like the "puck" beanbags. **one note please don't ever leave a baby alone in or on a beanbag**
    • I personally love sleeping baby photos, their so serene and angelic. So once baby is asleep place a neutral colored blanket over your beanbag---does not have to be a baby blanket, try finding one with some texture, and place your baby on the blanket. I like neutral colors like cream, brown, white but if you like more bright or colorful looks try something a little more vibrant. I definitely recommend not to use one with a lot of prints or designs so the focus stays on your baby and all those intricate little features.
    • If your baby is not wanting to sleep or has past this stage already (they typically "wake up" after 2 weeks or so) try swaddling them up nice and snug so they are comfortable (I love swaddle blankets from Sarahs Gift Boutique on Etsy) Be assured your baby will likely fuss while you are swaddling but should calm down after their all snug as a bug! Sometimes it takes 2 people to swaddle a baby =) Then when baby is comfortable lay him on the beanbag. Maybe watch this VIDEO if you need swaddling help.
    • Put your camera on the "Portrait" mode (the picture of the face) and place the camera strap around your neck or wrist. Stand above your baby so you are photographing directly from above (might need a little stool, careful not to loose balance and fall on the baby) and snap a couple shots--look at your photos to be sure they are looking good and not blurry or too dark and then go ahead and try a few different angles.
    • Be sure your baby's head is not leaning too far back or too far sideways--you want to be able to see most of both eyes and the tip of the nose versus seeing up his nostrils.
    Here are some samples of the baby portraits I am describing taken with only natural window light: newborn_photographers_smiling
    newborn photographers faces collage

    newborn photographers knit hat2

    newborn photographers_siblings

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Fall Family Portraits {Newborn Photographer offers family sittings}

    Limited Family portrait sessions are being offered by Bitsy Baby Photography in Maryland in October 2011.

    It is always so awesome to see all the families we have welcomed into the studio over the previous years return for our fall family portrait opportunity! This is also a great opportunity to have your baby photographed for one of the first year milestones such as when they are sitting up or standing up.

    These fall photography sessions are also ideal for capturing that perfect moment for your 2011 holiday cards =)

    Date: October 22, 2011 -- rain-date is Oct 29th.
    Time: Random times--we are close to being booked so inquire asap if interested!
    Place: Bitsy Baby Photography Edgewater Studio, sessions are outdoors in beautiful fall foliage
    Package Includes:
    • 10 high resolution digital images in an online gallery to download
    • Print release to print your digital images to any size
    • Box of 25 greeting cards with your favorite image.
    Cost is $350

    Ready to schedule? Additional questions?
    Send an email to

    The fine print:
    --3 individuals are included in the cost, each additional person is $25
    --babies must be 1 month or older
    --images for the greeting card must be submitted within 1 week of receiving your online gallery for delivery of cards to be in time for December, if we do not receive your image we will choose one for the card and place the order
    --greeting card is a 5x7 card with your image covering the entire front of the card, there are no designs or colors to choose from, no cash value can be redeemed for the cards
    --sessions are petite sessions, 30 minutes in length, please arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your scheduled time
    --if you can not make it on time, your $350 will be applied towards our regular petite session of $500 and scheduled based on availability
    --you will be provided with high quality vendor information to order your prints and products as you wish

    Fun in the Fall

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Baby Brady {Newborn Photography}

    Hello again today =)
    Now let me introduce little Brady and yes we have had quite a few boys in the studio recently!

    I always deliver all my client's galleries with both color and black & white images because you never know what someone will like better. However, I find myself loving the classic b&w look lately=) The wood bowl set up here did look so great in color though. Enjoy!

    newborn photographers prop Brady

    newborn photographers swaddle

    newborn photography Brady black white

    Ciao for today!

    Baby David {Newborn Photographers}

    Wow, there has been a baby boom here lately =) Lots and lots of babies! Let's start with a simple beautiful black & white set of Baby David and his family =)
    Gallery coming very soon Mom & Dad!

    newborn photographers david blog

    newborn photographers david2 blog

    newborn photographers DC_siblings

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Photography Workshops in Maryland

    Who Should Attend?
    Parents, Grandparents, and anyone who wants to celebrate their children and family's legacy through the lens of their camera.

    What Should I Bring?
    Your DSLR camera and lens or your point and shoot camera. If you are still in the market for a camera you can come without and learn more about exactly what you need!

    Saturday, September 17th!

    Bitsy Baby Photography Studio

    The cost of the Sept workshop is $99 and includes workshop materials, beverages & snacks, and a wealth of information and instruction.

    How Do I Register?
    Send an email to with "WORKSHOP" as the subject. I will send you a registration form and invoice to reserve your space. There are a limited number of spaces available per class; spots will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

    Any More details?
    This workshop includes the following and is the stepping stone to future workshops:

    * 10 Key elements to creating impressing images
    * Instructions on Elements of Exposure including ISO, shutter speed, & aperture
    * Instructions on your basic camera modes and when to use what
    * Resources for printing and sharing
    * Introduction to lenses and their capabilities

    A workbook will be provided to you to take home and reference all topics covered.

    Though the workshop atmosphere is relaxed and fun, most every moment is utilized to provide sufficient depth to your learning experience.

    Additional workshops such as One-on-One and Small Group Classes are available for a more in depth learning experience and hands-on instruction with Rita.

    Lets learn how to
    capture the moment, create a lifetime of memories and celebrate your family today!

    ***If you are a photographer please inquire for The Photographer's Workshop details, Rita now helps photographers get a jump start on their photography business in the right direction!

    kid photography studio annapolis

    kid photography hill sliding, this is life!

    kid photography hill sliding2


    About This Blog

    We specialize in maternity photographs, newborn and baby photography, family photography with babies. Bitsy Baby Photography offers professional photography services in Edgewater, Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia and all the surrounding areas. Please browse through the Blog Archive to the right for photography tips and samples of portrait work. Please also take a look at the website portfolio here:

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