Have you ever wondered how to achieve beautifully smooth fabrics on your beanbag?  And do you find that sometimes you just can't get your fabric to look as good as it should?  In this tutorial, I will show you how to prepare your beanbag for a newborn session so that it is easy to keep your fabric wrinkle free - and how to use layering fabrics to create different looks using different colours and textures.  

To start, I use four large blankets.  These are medium-weight fabric blankets, it doesn't matter what colour these 'under-layers' are as their purpose is only to help create a smoother surface for your top fabric layer.

Next, place a heavier weighted blanket on top, - again the colour of the blanket doesn't matter.  This blanket will hold the 'under-layers' in place and will help to create a good base for your top layers.  It should act almost like velcro and ‘hold’ the top layering fabric neatly in place on your beanbag. 

If you are using a non-transparent fabric backdrop, blanket or throw for your session then this would now go directly on top of this heavy 'middle-layer'.  However, if you are using a more sheer knit or lace fabric backdrop then you will now add your coloured layering fabric underneath.  This layering fabric will totally change the look of your top fabric layer depending on the colour you choose.

Once your layering fabric is in place (remember to leave much more fabric behind than in front of the beanbag), clip it onto your backdrop stand making sure the fabric is fairly tight and there are not too many creases. 

Lastly, place your final fabric on top.  If you have texture or lines on this, remember to keep the lines symmetrical.  To perfect certain poses, put posing pillows under all of the 'under-layers' to help keep the smooth look and to assist in moulding the baby in position. You may need your assistant/spotter to hold the fabric taught (both the layering fabric and final fabric) at the side/s if you are still experiencing creases.  It is worth taking the time to perfect your surface fabric when you are taking the picture, a perfectly smooth backdrop will save you the headache of having to clone the background in photoshop.  

For the photograph below I used this pink layering fabric above along with Snowdrop Lace Fabric Backdrop from Baby Prop Shop to create baby Emily's set up.  

As you can see the pink under layer shows through the material giving a beautiful subtle warm pink effect.  I always think before a set up how I can co-ordinate the fabric backdrops with other props and in the photograph above also used the pink flower ribbon tieback headband and the dusk strech wrap to complete the look.

I used a similar set up for Baby Amerah with a green layering fabric being used with the Crème Brûlée fabric on the top layer with the powder blue cheesecloth wrap.  

Of course, you can mix and match and experiment with many different colours creating some wonderful effects.  Using fabric underlayers in this way is not only effective but is a inexpensive way of creating new looks from your fabrics.
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