Helen Rowan Photography – Newborn Photographer – The week I hired a baby

This is Walt and he’s a Stand-in baby. He might be a slightly disturbing looking fella but he’s such a great tool for newborn photographers.

I work really hard to produce gorgeous creative images for families but never forget the importance of baby safety. I decided to hire a SIB for a week to practice some of the more complex formal poses.

SIB stands for Stand-in Baby and he handles almost exactly like a newborn. Walt is 7lbs and 50cm. It’s the oddest feeling – the weight of the head, and the way that the arms and legs fall is so life-like that when I handed him to a parent in my studio she instinctively cradled him in her arms.

Before I started studio based newborn photography I trained with The Guild Of Photographers newborn trainer, learning every aspect of newborn safety including the exact steps which are essential to ensure baby’s safety when posing and wrapping.

As you know, I have a really natural style and there are some learned poses that I don’t really like the look of, and don’t offer to my customers, but I do love this one. It’s a curled up pose identical to one that baby would have been in a couple of weeks earlier in the womb.

Getting the lighting just right

When I’ve got a newborn baby in the studio I really don’t want to have to think about lighting, I’m much more interested in creating beautiful images through pose, colour and styling.

Managing lighting is like driving a car, the more you practice the more it becomes second nature. Practicing with the SIB gave me the chance to make sure that the studio lighting is exactly as I want it.