Billi the Wildlife Warrior! Newborn Photography

I spoke to Kirsty, one of the wildlife carers/rescuers at Bohollow Wildlife Shelter about photographing her brand new baby while she was pregnant last year. I told her I had an idea and I put it past her and she was super keen to give it a go. Her baby, Billi, who I photographed after his birth in December last year (see his story here) was about 6 weeks old by the time we organised for me to photograph him again.

I have been to Bohollow Wildlife shelter many times and I know that there is limited space in their home due to the amount of animals rehabilitating there so we set up my props on the front veranda. The day was warm but also windy which really hindered my set up but we soldiered on. Kirsty’s 11yo twin boys helped me set up and after eventually getting everything organised it was nearly time for me to leave but we got the shot that I wanted before racing off to collect my children;

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Kirsty was really happy with how it turned out and shared it on her Facebook page. One of her comments was “All we needed was one of the falcons on the edge of the nest and it would be perfect”. She wasn’t being serious I don’t think but I quickly reponded with, “Could we do this? I’m being serious? Not sure if any of yours are tame enough but if we could, we could do it as a composite (so Billy wouldn’t be in the nest when the bird was on it).”

So then we set about another shoot. It was a bit more difficult because we were using birds from the shelter and we could not risk them escaping. I set up in one of Bohollow’s empty flight aviaries and Kirsty bought in the first bird, a brown falcon. Being a juvenile bird it preferred to lay on the side of the nest where Kirsty placed it rather than stand and I stood on a chair in the corner of the aviary and photographed. The bird didn’t move far and I took a variety of shots playing with my aperture to ensure I would get what I needed in focus. After removing the falcon Kirsty brought in another bird that was in care who was a bit more active. This time she brought in a young black kite. We didn’t force her onto the nest but we just let her go about her business while Kirsty watched and I stood on the chair waiting for the perfect moment. The bird jumped on the nest a couple of times but would be in the wrong position but eventually she hopped on were I could get a really good shot! She sat on my woman made nest and looked at the fluff like it might be something good to eat, meanwhile I got a perfect shot to add to my photograph! Then it was Billi’s turn. Although he was coming up to 7 weeks old (I like to shoot newborns before they are two weeks old usually) he was pretty quiet and after a bit of fluffing around I got a shot I was happy with.

Putting the photographs of each individual shot together was relatively easy and I might just add I would NEVER put a baby with an animal such as a bird of prey. Their talons are very strong and sharp! Safety is paramount where working with infants!

Here are the photographs I used for my composite image;

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And here is the final photograph;

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If you are interested in having your new baby photographed contact me on 0412673156 or message me with your details for me to contact you.

Written by Tanya Minotti

Shepparton Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photographer



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