COMPOSITES AND NEWBORN SAFETY

My name is Carol Frost and a professional photographer based in Aberdeen, Scotland.  I specialise in photographing newborn babies. You may ask why? And the reason is that I am a mummy myself. Although my two girls are still pre-school age, I think its impossible to remember those precious first few weeks of a babies life.   As a parent, you are so busy and tired from the worry, the new change and the wonder of it all that you almost forget to take time to reflect on the beautifully perfect miracle you have created.  As soon as after the first few weeks, your baby has lost the ‘newborn’ look and so, to me, the importance of capturing this stage is something that is going to be precious to the family forever.  

 Whether you are new to photographing teeny little babies or have many more years experience than I do, I believe we all need to promote and educate the importance of photographing a baby safely.  If you are inexperienced to the ‘newborn’ area of photography, I would recommend to invest on formal training or at the very least to research into posing as much as you can.  

Many of the newborn photographs and poses you see, such as this example below, are composites (putting two photographs together and editing to make the final image) and this is what I am hoping you will learn from this short tutorial.  Its really important to know that a newborn baby cannot support its weight on its own hands and also even though a newborn is in a deep sleep, they can startle without warning.  So in short a baby must not be left alone without a spotter right by their side with their 100% attention on them.

So these are my two original shots below:




And this is how you make a composite image in photoshop.  

 1) Open both files, then 'duplicate layer' so that both photographs are now in one file as different layers.
 







2) Both your images should be fairly similar. When you reduce the opacity of the top layer to 50% you can see both the images in your window.  Take your time and align both the images manually.

 



3) Create a layer mask on the top layer.

4) Choosing the opposite coloured brush to the mask window, paint away carefully the area you want taken out.  If the two layers are alligned correctly, and your two images don't have the spotter over the same area, this will work well with a little care.





5) Once you are happy with your mask flatten the image.





6) And finally, make your final crop and edit your image to acheive your desired personal finish.





Once you have mastered this technique you can use it with a wide variety of poses. Remember, baby safety comes first.





 
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