This image is of a 5 month old baby boy. Although I usually shy away from using props, the mom really wanted a simple shot with the santa hat, and that seemed harmless enough to me. 🙂
Lately I am choosing to show the client’s home environment in the backgrounds, rather than making sure I have a highly uniform background to the scene. So in this case, I let the home’s foyer (with sunlight streaming inward) show up as a blurred kind of abstract. This blurred background doesn’t really mean much, but it does (hopefully) subtly remind the client that it was taken within their home in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s one of the ways I’m trying to keep indoor shots from looking like studio shots, which I am not that much a fan of these days.
Tech info: Handheld Nikon D3 with 85mm f1.4 lens, set at f2.2, 1/800th sec., ISO800. The lighting consisted of indirect light (sky light) coming in from the home’s large back door. By using a relatively large aperture, the foyer scene was blurred enough not to cause it to be a distraction, at least to my eye. 🙂