So here you are! You've just started in newborn photography or you've been doing it for awhile and you're thinking about changing your poser. Have no fear! I have personally used three of the currently popular posers including the bean bag, dog bed, and table and am here to tell you all of the pros and cons to each one in hopes to save you a little bit of MOO-LAH! $$
Here we go!...[and be sure to check out the list of links at the bottom!)
1. The Bean Bag - I personally HATED this one.
- Pros: 1. There are a lot of different sizes and shapes to choose from and, 2. It is formable/shapeable (if you're into that) .......[Sorry, but that is all the pros I can personally come up with for the beanbag)
- Cons: 1. It kills your back!! You aren't able to get your feet/legs under it to sit comfortably while posing. That means, you're either hunched over or leaning down the entire time which sometimes totals 4 hours! Some people don't mind just sitting with the legs spread around the poser, however personally being short myself - this was not comfortable for me. I eventually had my husband and dad build a platform to raise it up a bit thinking it would help my back, but it did not! 2. It is difficult keeping it firm. I constantly found myself turning it on its side and shaking it trying my best to fluff it up. 3. It usually takes up a lot of space unless you have a smaller travel sized version.
2. The Dog Bed [Cot-style] - I didn't hate this one, but I didn't LOVE it either.
- Pros: 1. You can get your legs and feet under it which tremendously helps your back! Some people build a stand that sits low to the ground and some people build a stand to make it taller if they wanted to sit on a stool or chair. That is 100% a preference thing - I personally built the lower stand as I didn't mind sitting on the ground. 2. It takes up a little less space than the bean bag (unless yours was travel sized). Being in a small home studio space, this was important to me! 3. It has a slight bounce to it which was great if you needed to settle baby! just a slight lift of my knee and small shake of the foot and I was rocking baby back into La-La Land! 4. You can attach caster wheels onto the bottom for easy maneuvering! This one could be an optional pro if you're into the idea...I personally had them on mine and loved it!
- Cons: 1. The slight bounce can also be a con if you desire firmness. 2. Because of the 'indent' baby makes in the cot, it can be difficult to pose. I was using more beans on certain poses than I ever did with my beanbag just to get them out of the dip in the cot. I added a piece of foam to the dog bed, then layered all of my blankets hoping it would help with the dip and while it might have helped a little, it wasn't enough for me to love it!
3. The Table - LOVE!
- Pros: 1. FIRM. It's a table, so it is firm and there is NO dip whatsoever. 2. You can get your legs and feet under it! 3. There are a ton of table options to choose from, but since this post is from my experience, i'll refer to the folding, circular commercial table! 4. It folds into a half circle for SUPER easy storage AND portability. (...Boom two pros wrapped up into one!) 5. You can cut the legs to adjust it to your personally preferred height. I bought a rolling stool from Lowe's and measured the height I wanted my table to be based on the stool and cut the legs. 6. I didn't have to build a stand to clip the fabric to! I posed baby towards the front of the table (as I usually always have) and I always shoot from slightly above babe which allows for the table to fill most, if not all, of my negative space in camera!
Cons: ...I don't have any! I LOVE IT!
**TIP: I use a small rug gripper on top of the table and under all of my blanket layers to help keep my beans from sliding on the table. It does NOT need to cover the entire table - only the front portion as that is where you will be posing.
I really hope this post helps a fellow baby photographer out and you can save some money with the trial and error of it all!
Links to the Products I used AND the Tutorials I used:
2. The rolling stool I bought from Lowes:
*It's not the cutest - but I plan on covering it with fabric to jazz it up a little ;) It also has a small tray under it which I used to hold my posing beans and it was AH-MAZING.
4. Tutorial for the stand we built for the dog bed: