What is a Composite? | Newborn Safety

What is a composite?

When shooting a newborn session and doing the pose below and clients don’t fully understand how this pose is safely done. To put parent’s minds at ease I tell them that I won’t take my hands off of the baby. Which of course can be confusing since they obviously don’t want my hands in the shot. Or after moving on to the next pose and the parents assume I didn’t get the shot, since I did have my hands on the baby the whole time. This is when a composite comes into play. A composite is two different images merged together, and knowing how to do one is a very important part of newborn safety. Let me show you.

To get this shot…


It is actually these two images put on top of each other.

How to do a composite…

To do this, you copy the top of this image where my hands are supporting the wrists, to the image where my hands are supporting the head and simply erase my hands from the wrists. Now, it definitely sounds easier than it actually is. When posing the baby there can be very little movement between the two images or it is hard to lay the image perfectly on top. Here is a little video to show exactly what I’m talking about.

Other types of composites…

Composites are used all of the time actually. A LOT of face swaps are done during family sessions. It never fails the one shot the 3 year old is looking and smiling, mom is adjusting hair or Dad is making a funny face to get the 5 year old to smile. So I will take the smiling face of the 3 year old and plop it on the image of where everyone else is looking perfect and no one would ever know! Other examples when a composite may be used is if you see a baby hanging in a wrap. To do that safely, they aren’t actually hanging there. They are usually almost resting on the posing bag with hands all around them. Digital backdrops are another instance. Photographers will copy the image of the baby and make it look like it is out of a fairy tale.

For more information about a Newborn Session, click HERE.

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