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As a newborn prop designer I am absolutely fascinated with photographers and how they "shoot" babies.  There's just something about the way they are able to calm a baby, dress it in adorable little hand knit goods and get it perfectly positioned to capture that precious first shot.  I like to think of newborn photographers as "baby whisperers", they're amazing at what they do and I admire them greatly.  I'm also fascinated by their studios and all that is involved with having the perfect one.

photo via Melissa J Photos
photo via Flickr
As you can see, there are a TON of things that go into having the perfect newborn studio.  Here are a few things that every newborn photographer should consider having on hand for a well stocked studio:

  1. A variety of backdrops
  2. A sturdy backdrop stand
  3. Posing bean bag
  4. Space heater
  5. Electric blanket
  6. Lots of hats, headbands, fur rugs, definitely a cool bird nest
  7. Some cute baskets, bowls and other props to place the baby SAFELY in (safety first people, and always have someone with you to keep hands on the baby at all times!)
  8. Plenty of towels and washcloths for propping the baby (cloth diapers work great!)
  9. A hamper to store away any "accidents"
  10. Studio lighting for days when you can't get the perfect natural light shot
  11. Plenty of seating for the parents
  12. Water and soda stocked fridge for the parents 
  13. A children's play area for big sisters/brothers to stay occupied
What things do you have in your studio?  Any suggestions for other photogs who are just starting out?  We'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions!



....evoke an emotion.  I giggle with them, I watch them, I let them be, and the story unfolds.  Forever captured in that moment for you to cherish for a lifetime.  - Kim Kropke, owner of Laugh & Grow Press 

I love writing reviews about amazing products and so when Kim Kropke of Laugh & Grow Press contacted me I was delighted!  You see, Kim recently launched a rather large customizable template system called Simply Announcing which is geared toward the newborn photography community.  The design itself is clean, crisp and modern with the philosophy to focus on, and highlight, the photography and of course the clients' beautiful new little one.  And she's offering this amazing set plus anything and everything else on her site at 20% off for our readers!  Simply use code BPP20 on all of your favorites and enjoy the savings!
Simply Announcing was created on the idea that the star of any announcement is the lovely new addition to your client’s family, not the design itself.  What better way to do that than to feature and display your beautiful photography within a tasteful, meticulously thought out, crisp clean design?
Simply Announcing's 14 different template solutions allow for almost every photographer style and pose.  Within each template file you will find several layers of customizations for font treatment and design and border styles.  Mix and match by turning layers on and off creating endless design pairings.  This set includes 5 different brush sets, over 100 brushes in all, to customize the announcement for your client.  Adorable icon brushes to incorporate a possible theme, 3 different sets of alphabet brushes for a monogram look, and a set of banners and seals for decorative layering and so much more!  Carry the designing to the back of the card with a fully layered psd file of back patterns and colors.  Turn layers on and off to pair any of the patterns with one of the provided color layers, or create a color choice of you own.  All design elements are fully customizable from size to color and direction, making the possibilities endless!  Your clients have invested in you to preserve their memories of this beautiful time, there’s no doubt they’ll be Simply Announcing it to friends and family!

I had SO much fun designing some announcements using Simply Announcing (yep, a few of the ones above are mine), it was so incredibly easy to use!  Take a peek at the following video to see Kim explain just how simple this is...even someone just starting out in Photoshop (like me!) will be able to make beautiful announcements!
Kim also designs custom logos and branding, digital papers/backgrounds and brush sets.  You can find her work at the following locations:

Website:  Laugh & Grow Press

Simply Announcing templates, brushes and patterns are compatible with Photoshop CS2 through CS6 and Photoshop Elements 10/11.


Today we're going to talk a little about photography.  As a budding photographer (well, as someone who really just LOVES to take photos of any and everything!) I am always going that little "extra" to learn about the best new (and old) cameras, lenses, camera bags, etc....must-haves for any photographer.

So let's start with the camera....

(photos courtesy of Canon)

I have always been partial to the Canon series.  That was my first camera and so I've become comfortable with it :)  I currently have the Canon EOS Rebel T3i....the hubby surprised me with it for Christmas last year and I absolutely LOVE it.  I love that's it's easy to use and that it has an expanded ISO range so I get great shots in ANY light.  I can shoot video in full HD which I couldn't do with my previous DSLR.  I love that it has a high resolution flip out Vari-Angle 3.0 inch clear view LCD monitor, it really comes in handy when photographing or filming myself.  This is just the perfect camera and one that will be with me for a long time.

Let's talk lens.  My favorite lens for portraits is the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 STM which gives a perfect balance of clarity and background blur.  I also love the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens.  This lens is ultra-lightweight and slim, nice and compact in size and delivers not only great photos but is AMAZING when used to shoot HD video.

(Images courtesy of Canon and Amazon)