Paloma Schell reveals how she came up with the concept for the support accessory that has now become such a staple part of newborn photographers’ studio accessories.

There is a small window of opportunity to photograph a new baby before they move on to the next stage of their life and, as every newborn photographer will know, it’s essential to have a support system on hand that can hold the child securely and safely while adding to the aesthetic of the picture.

However, such an accessory used to be almost impossible to source and, following five-and-a-half years of failing to come across anything that could adequately do the job, Brazilian-based photographer Paloma Schell decided to create her own product: the Big Stand.

Before I came up with this design I would spend hours in Photoshop trying to make everything look great,” she recalls. “I went through picture by picture, smoothing out the creases in blankets until I found a wonderful PVC pipe holder on the Internet.This enabled the blankets to be stretched out in the back and sides, what was almost impossible to do with traditional supports, unless I had an assistant who could stretch out the background for me.

However, by the time I reached my customer’s house to take my pictures the PVC pipe holder had become more of a problem than a solution. It wasn’t that easy to put together and even harder to disassemble. It also looked like a clumsy workaround and I had to be careful around it because it was so unstable that any sudden movements could dismantle everything. “Another problem was that when I needed to place the baby in another position, turning the beanbag was a dilemma. It took two people to move the support as I spun the bag. All of these difficulties started me thinking about what an ideal support should be.

How did I solve the problem? Drawing, thinking, testing… it took several prototypes to get the perfect result. The support I created is fully demountable, it has safety locks to make it stable and it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. It’s also compact, occupying only the beanbag space, while the blankets are fully stretched in all directions, which gives the effect of an infinite background in the image. Meanwhile the beanbag is embedded into the holder, so it’s easy to turn it towards the light or in any direction of your choosing, while the stand is made of an aesthetically beautiful, hygienic and easy to clean material. Every time I thought I had finished another issue would arise until eventually I reached the point where I felt it was ready to bring to market. I’m now very proud to now be able to offer this stand to other newborn photographers around the world.”

Every time I thought I had finished another issue would arise until eventually I reached the point where I felt it was ready to bring to market. I’m now very proud to now be able to offer this stand to other newborn photographers around the world.”

  • A variety of Paloma Schell big stands are offered, ranging in height from 125cm to 90cm and be for studio use only or with an option to take to clients’ homes. Every stand is made on demand with the highest quality stainless steel and eco-friendly synthetic leather for the bean bags. The whole process is done by local businesses, and can take a maximum of thirty days from order to postage. Worldwide free shipping is available. palomaschellshop.com.

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