Bonnets. A how-to.
They accentuate those fat little cheeks and are just so damn cute, but they can be a pain in the ass to work with sometimes! Here are a few tips for placing the bonnet just right, keeping it from looking like a hot mess, how to plan ahead to get variety without disturbing the baby too much and how to ensure your bonnet strings aren't giving off sperm vibes.
1. Bonnet placement.
We're looking for some Goldilocks action when it comes to bonnet placement; we want everything to look nice and balanced on the baby's head.
Below it looks like the baby is emerging from the birth canal all over again. It's too far forward, so let's pull it back some!
Now we've pulled it too far back. If this baby was bald, we would struggle to see anything other than one big, giant forehead. This little guy could pull it off like this because of his hair, but it's still just not right in our eyes.
This placement is balanced and just right. There's a little tuft of hair showing, he doesn't look like he has an oversized forehead and he isn't experience birth all over again. Winning!
2. A snug fit.
Putting a bonnet on a baby and not securing a snug fit can lead to a lot of frustration later on. We usually tie a bow on the shadow side (we can always hide the bow if needed) and tie it so that it won't be able to move much, but also isn't too tight on the baby. Let's not put pressure on a baby's airway just to keep a bonnet in place, mmkay? But let's also not do a loosey-goosey tie and expect it to look snug and well-placed in the image.
3. Crooked bonnets be gone.
If your bonnet is on crooked, it's going to be tricky to fix in photoshop and can serve as a distraction in your otherwise perfect image. Take the time to get that shit on straight! It's okay to mess with all the little details until they're just right. You'll be glad you did.
4. Bonnet strings, not bonnet sperm.
When we're taking product images of our bonnets, we joke that we have a "sperm handler," someone who makes the bonnet strings look just right (and preferably as non-spermy as possible). In a session, we prefer to put them in the shadows and not draw a ton of attention to them. That said, sometimes the art of "not drawing attention to them" can actually take a little bit of time. We usually take the shot, look at the strings, adjust if needed, and try again! If they are too squiggly and right in the light, they may or may not give off sperm vibes. Now you can suffer with sperm-stress in sessions right along with us. 😅
Fun fact: You have no idea how many times the word "sperm" is uttered during our product photography process. Will you ever unsee it? Did we just kill our bonnet business?
Nah, still cute.
5. Plan ahead.
Planning ahead is your friend. If you want to get variety in a set up by using both a bonnet and the baby's uncovered head, do the bonnet set up first. You're significantly less likely to disturb the baby by taking the bonnet off, rather than putting it on after you have them posed how you want them. Bonnets first. Always.
Here is the final image from our behind the scenes shots above!