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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Newborn Lineup

You really can successfully photograph a group of infants, even if they can't sit up by themselves.

3-month olds pose for a group photo during a parental Lamaze class reunion (© Michael Maher).

The Photo:
All the families from our Lamaze birthing class got together for a reunion to show off their babies. I knew if I could put all the babies together, it would make a very warm and powerful group photo. Fortunately, this sofa was the perfect width to fit all the kids side-by-side. The biggest challenge was they couldn’t sit up by themselves, so we had to lean them back just a bit to keep them from falling forward. That didn’t necessarily prevent them from falling sideways, so we kept adjusting them after one or two tipped onto another. The first time we had the picture lined up, the kid on the far left, my daughter Colleen, reached out and touched the baby next to her, and they all tipped sequentially like dominoes. During the few brief moments the kids stayed upright, I took several photos, and this was the best.

3 Tips:
1) Group photos of infants are challenging because they cannot hold themselves upright and they don’t interact with one another.
2) Leaning them or bracing them against something enables them to pose facing the camera.
3) Make some noise or call them, and shoot several photos quickly before any of them become sad or fall over.

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