Sleeping Beauties: Newborns in Dreamland - The new coffee table book Sleeping Beauties: Newborns in Dreamland is a treasure trove of sweetness and light. Twin photographers Tracy Raver and Kelley Ryden provide an up close look at infants in their first days. Some are wrapped in cocoons, curled on blankets, draped from hammocks - all wearing not more than their birthday suits. The photos evoke Anne Geddes (an inspiration for the women) with their lighting and focus on expression, but use fewer props. They gradually narrowed their focus to babies under two weeks old. Why? The challenge they both say. As they get older, they are harder to keep in that sleepy state. Capturing the images means keeping the studio at a toasty 90 degrees, keeping the babies sleepy and full, and spending three to four hours at a time for six or seven set-ups. The two rules in the studio: No crying and no waking up. Some of the images are composites, holding the babies in position and then taking a shot without them. The results look natural. All are carefully posed, but the variety is evident. Some are shots with twins. Some with that half-drowsy smile at some secret dream, and other with lips pursed as if pondering deep, philosophical theories. Both are mothers: Raver has a 10-month-old and Ryden has a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. With their first book released last month (Sellers Publishing, $29.95) and an appearance on the Today show on April 8, they are already working on their second book project. For expecting mothers hoping to get their own newborn shots from Raver and Ryden, they have to act quickly. The studio is already booked through August. There is such a short window for capturing newborns. We love that age, said Raver. And capturing that for parents is truly rewarding. --Austin American-Statesman-By Tara A. Trower, Wednesday, March 31, 2010
About the Author
Tracy Raver and her sister Kelley live in Omaha, Nebraska where they photograph newborns, babies and children. They are best known for the exquisite photographs of newborns sleeping in an array of poses. "The babies have to be very very warm, so we crank the heat up to about 85 degrees, and we ask the moms that they have their bellies nice and full before they leave so that the drive to the studio gets them sleepy and relaxed in the car."
With the international spotlight shining brightly upon them, Tracy Raver and Kelley Ryden are considered, by press and fans alike, to be the foremost photographers of newborns in the world. Their minimalist approach and use of natural elements allows the emphasis to be on the newborns, resulting in a Zen-like simplicity.