First of all, here is how our living room looks normally:
Actually, those side tables have been moved (a project that I'll eventually finish and blog about) and the coffee table has been moved into the garage for a change (and to make room for sessions). But other than that the living room generally looks the same.
When I have a session I swing the two-seater couch around to face the three-seater and put the "leather" trunk next to it, between the couch and the TV. This leaves room to set up my backdrop stand. For newborn sessions I don't have to make it very high - I have it about neck height.
The first backdrop I put up is my white one. I clamp it to the stand with my slave strobes.
These are the slaves I have - they are triggered by my main strobe light. They are Portaflash brand and have a ball-and-socket joint so you can angle them any which way, which is handy.
I sometimes get a bit of light spill so today I taped some cardstock to them as a makeshift shield.
Having the three slaves pointed at the white backdrop ensures a blown-out background of pure white. Here are some examples:
Here's the same setup but with the slaves turned off - the background then shows as grey:
Once the white backdrop is set up ...
... I turn the slaves off and remove the top slave and clamp it to the bookcase for later use:
Then I put the black backdrop over the white one and right over the slaves. It's just a long length of black cotton fabric:
I clamp it to the stand with these little plastic clamps from the DIY store:
On top of the black, fairly close to the backdrop, I place the beanbag:
I top that with some laminated cotton fabric that is waterproof:
Here's a close-up of the fabric - you can see the edge of the plastic layer that has been bonded to the cotton material:
On top of that goes a towel:
And then I fold a corner of the backdrop over the beanbag:
Why just a corner? Because
If the backdrop remains clean then I can get mom to sit on the baby's beanbag, drape a corner of the backdrop over her and get some shots like this:
Okay, so then I add some items to the setup:
By the way, the white backdrop sticks out so much because with the slaves on I have to move the baby much further away from the backdrop to prevent light spill. I don't have the same issues with the black backdrop which is why the beanbag is so much closer to it than it would be if the white one was in use.
Sometimes the mom sits on the sofa and sometimes she wants to be near the action, hence the beanbag for her to sit on.
My hair dryer is magic. I turn it on and 99% of the time the baby immediately goes all still. It's so funny to watch, it's as if they melt. I just have the hair dryer on a low setting and on cool, and aim it away from the baby as I just need it for the noise. Actually, it also comes in handy on a hot setting to warm up the beanbag or anything else that the baby is about to be placed on.
I will place the baby on his / her back, side or tummy on the beanbag. Here's an example of the black background:
I sometimes use the beanbag with other background than just the black. It works great with any throw or blanket over it on a black or white background:
I have some throws, blankets and baskets ready for use:
The small basket has a towel and a bath mat in it, ready to add a blanket to the top. The big basket is fairly tall ...
... so I weigh the bottom down a bit with food cans so that the basket doesn't tip over when the baby's in it near the top.
I then add a blanket ...
... and a towel.
It will be topped with a throw or blanket before baby is placed on it.
Here are some examples of babies in this basket - I don't have many as it's new (I wasn't allowed to bring my baskets into the country from the UK):
So, that's how I do it. I'll show you how I store everything in another post. Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.