One of my favorite props to use with newborns and other small children is mirrors. I haven’t met a little one yet, who doesn’t love to smile at themselves in the mirror. It gives them an opportunity to play, and you are still getting the fabulous pictures you want.
Shooting with mirrors can be tricky, since the only reflection you want in the picture is the subjects. I tend to shoot these pictures on a slight angle, so I don’t show up behind them.
For babies, I use a flat mirror. It is actually a candle mirror that I picked up at a craft store. I scrunch up a sleeping baby and place them right on top. I usually set the mirror on top of a heating pad for a minute or two to make sure it isn’t ice cold for the sleeping baby, you can also use a hair dryer to warm it up slightly. Make sure to test the temperature before laying a baby on it, so you don’t put them on anything too warm or cold.
For adults, I use less mirrors and more reflective surfaces. In these photos, I position the subject facing me and at an angle to the reflection. Often times when shooting weddings, I use mirrors to capture the bride putting the final touches on her hair or makeup.
For small children, I either prop the mirror up and sit them right in front of it, or I lay the mirror flat on the ground and have them lay on their stomach, their elbows resting on the edge of the mirror.
Any sort of reflective surface can add a fun element to your shoot, just be aware of what is being reflected so you don’t catch glimpses of random people or things in your photographs.