People often ask me what are the hardest images to get during a baby photo session. The answer without doubt is SIBLING PHOTOS! This is especially true where the older brother or sister is under three. As most people know – kids under three are super unpredictable, very independent, and always on the go! Getting them to keep still and cooperate for a newborn photo shoot isn’t always easy!
If you follow my blog posts you might remember an earlier post of mine: Tips for Photographing Siblings. If you haven’t already checked that out be sure to have a read.
But what can photographers do when a sibling really doesn’t want to participate in a photo with their new baby brother or sister? We have another tool up our sleeve. Photoshop.
Using Photoshop to Get the Best Baby Images for Your Clients
Sometimes parents are really concerned if their child is acting up during a photo session. The pressure is on you to get a great sibling photo. How can it be done? Head swaps in Photoshop are your friend. To make this work I try to encourage the child to sit or lay with a favourite toy, or even play their favourite song or show on an iPhone and sit it right next to your lens so they look at the camera. Snap away and hopefully you’ll get a shot you can use to stitch together with another image of the baby.
To do this, simply use the lasso tool in PS to select the head (or perhaps even the whole body of the baby/child) and copy and paste them into another image. Use a layer mask with a soft brush to brush around the edges of the layer to make it blend in realistically.
Here is a recent example. These images are SOOC (Straight out of camera) so please excuse my ugly feet in the shot 😉
Learning how to use head-swaps in Photoshop is a win win for everyone. The parents get a beautiful image of their children, and you as the photographer get more variety and images for your clients.