Using a dog bed in newborn photography

Posed newborn baby by Cheshire newborn photographer in Sandbach

When I first started my journey into newborn photography, I was photographing in my front room with the best equipment I could afford. I’m a true believer in ‘buy cheap buy twice’ and it definitely is true in the photography industry (or so I thought) as I quickly found out when my £20 lights set I bought off amazon was a total flop.  In the beginning I had a big, expensive beanbag with an elaborate beanbag frame and hundreds of blankets, clips and bowls, to try to achieve the beautiful poses I’d seen online and in training sessions.

I was never happy with my beanbag, I tried 3 different bags – one of which cost over £400! It still wasn’t working for me. They were big and bulky and hard to move around; hard to lean over and pose baby and they took up so much space I had to move them in and out of my store cupboard during sessions which was unsafe and so frustrating. My images looked good but I was sure the beanbag wasn’t for me.

Then I was introduced to the dog bed by Maddy Rogers which is just absolutely GENIUS! It’s cheap – which goes against all my morals – and it fits in my studio perfectly. When it’s not in use it just flips up against the wall out of the way and when it’s down I can comfortably pop my legs under it and bounce it to shush baby.

The one that I use is just the Coolaroo large size from Amazon

I also added a small curtain rail from Ikea to the wall which I clip my backdrop fabric to.

The best thing about using the dog bed is that you can clip your base blankets to it permenently so they never ever move. You can then just lift the front to slide your posing beans in and out and adjust baby without disturbing them at all.  I use large heavy duty backdrop clips and clip my blankets to the legs then my temporary backdrops I just clip on the top!

You can layer up your backdrops too and then pop a flokati on the top so your whole session is pre planned and ready to go without too many adjustments and when it’s not in use just flip it against the wall! None of the fabrics move because they are clipped on so tight.

I made an important addition to my dog bed – legs! I popped to B&Q and bought a 3m silver bar, 4 rubber feet and some electrical tape. I simply sawed the bar into 4 equal lengths, popped the rubber feet on and sunk the original legs (wrapped in electrical tape) into the new legs. I taped around the top multiple times to ensure it was safe and sturdy – it’s always covered with blankets so appearance at the top wasn’t important.

One of the great things about the dog bed is how light it is, it can be easily moved around the room and repositioned to get the best light and position. I use it for all my posed images of newborns, my potato sack poses, easy sibling shots and tucked in poses! Tucked in is super simple because you can clip the fabric to the edges to keep it tight.

Or finally, just wrap baby and pop them on the dog bed on a nice backdrop – light it perfectly and shoot from above and youve got a stunning, simple and effective shot they parents adore and a great oppertunity to grab some macro shots too to add variety to the gallery.

If you’d like any more information about using the dog bed or would like to come and train with me in person to learn more – please get in touch.

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