Setups and Stylized Newborn Sessions: Capturing Images that Truly Speak to You

Ever wonder how we can place props, accessories, fabric and colours together that look like they flow and transition perfectly?  Stylization of course!  Let’s read on to find out more about the process we use to create images that speak to you at McLelland Photography.

What is Stylization?

Stylization awakens a photo.  It creates a certain personality and brings it to life.  We always start with a vision…your vision.  And stylization helps us enhance this vision.  How does this process work?  Let’s review further.

Your Involvement in the Process

We need you!  Yes, we do.  As soon as you book your newborn session with us, you will receive a proposal/questionnaire.  I know, it does not sound all that exciting, but wait! This is your chance to really sit down and decide what you would like to achieve in your session with us.

This questionnaire contains a variety of questions around colour schemes and tones including things you like and do not like.  Are darker tones more appealing to you than lighter tones?  Are you having a girl but do not want to incorporate any pink tones in your appointment? And of course, if you prefer to leave the whole process up to us, we love that too! 

We want to explore with you colour schemes you have in mind for your session.  Look around your home.  What colours do you display the most or decorate with?  We love colour in our studio, but we like to balance it off with neutral tones too.  When you explore what speaks to you, then it provides us with the first step in the process to create a colour palette for your session. 

At the end of this whole journey together, we want you to display these photos in your home for years to come and not have them sit on your computer.  So, look around and see what speaks to you in your environment.  Send us photos of the nursery, or your living room.  Tell us what you like to do as a family, your hobbies, your profession etc.  Send us photos that inspire you online from our website or social media pages.  The more info, the better.  It helps us create a truly customized session for you and your little one too.

We know there is a lot of thought that goes into the prep process for your session with us.  And sometimes it can be overwhelming to gather and share all this info when you are having a baby very soon.  We welcome you to continue to send us items that speak to you up to a few weeks prior your session and then you leave the rest up to us.

Next Steps

So, the next step in this process is for us to create a colour palette that will be used to tie or mesh all the items we will use in your session.  This is the start of what we call creating a setup.  And it is your vision that starts the whole process for us.  You inspire us!

What is a Stylized Setup?

When I hear the word set, the first thing that comes to mind for me is a movie set.  In a movie, a set is an area where a director films a scene which includes props and other items that bring the location to life.

In our studio, a set is an actual scene that we photograph your newborn in.  It could be for example a prop such as a bowl, bucket, bed, wreath, carriage etc. that is positioned on a wooden floor with fabric cascading over the side of the prop and your little one lying on their back looking up in a sleepy state.  Sometimes simple setups can mean so much more so that the eye does not detract from the main subject at hand, your baby.

Once we have your setup ready to go, we photograph your newborn using a variety of camera angles such as shooting into the light, or away from the light.  We photograph above your baby and to the side as well.  We love to get in close to capture those little details such as the eye lashes, nose, and mouth.  So just one set will produce multiple images from your session to choose as your final product in your proofing gallery.

And each of our newborn sessions offer one of a kind setups based on the vision you provide for us.  If you have booked a Silver Newborn Session for example, you can expect 2 to 3 different setups and for our Gold or Platinum Newborn Sessions, we aim for 3 to 6 setups.  In the end, it is up to your baby to decide how many sets they will allow us to photograph them in, but with our guiding hands we put you and your baby at ease to ensure enough variety is provided during your session for you to choose the final product from your proofing gallery.

And we should also mention our Silver Newborn Sessions are fully wrapped sessions from head to toe, but with our Gold and Platinum Newborn Sessions our goal is to obtain a handful of unwrapped setups if possible.  Every baby is different, so unwrapped setups may not be possible for certain babies. 

What is the Difference Between a Setup and a Composite?

So, now that we have a better understanding of what a setup is, then what the heck is a composite? 

You were probably first drawn to our website or social media page with a composite image we created.   Well, a newborn composite is one image that has been skillfully assembled from two or more images.  To learn more about our composites and the magic we love to create, click HERE

A composite provides you with one image whereas a setup provides you with multiple images taken at various camera angles.

Each of our newborn sessions include ONE composite image with the option of course to purchase into more.  But your final product whether that means you purchased into a package with 10 or 15 or 20 images, are images that have been taken from the setups we create for you photographed at various camera angles.

What You Can Expect on the Day of Your Newborn Session

We cannot wait for you to arrive at the studio on the day of your session.  First, we look forward to meeting you and your new little one! Next, we are anxious to show you all the setups we have worked so hard to create for you.  We will set out for you a variety of props, textures, fabrics, headbands, hats, outfits, wraps etc. that we feel tie in perfectly together for your vision and are appropriate for your session.  And of course, if you want to make changes to any of these setups, we welcome that upon your arrival. 

McLelland Photography is certified in newborn photography and newborn safety by the (APNPI) Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International.

© 2024 McLelland Photography |  Oakville and Mississauga Newborn and Baby Photography

Twelve Financial Inc. Operating as McLelland Photography

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Tel: (289) 681-5822

Tricia McLelland is an award winning professional portrait photographer specializing in newborns from the Toronto, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga and surrounding areas including the GTA.  Her studio in SE Oakville also offers maternity, older baby, children, toddler, & family sessions too.

Email: tricia@mclellandphotography.ca