Photography for babies
6 tips for photographing your baby like a professional!
When thinking about photography for babies at home you might think you need a super-expensive camera and a pile of posh lenses. But with a little practice it is possible to take your own great pictures of your baby whatever kind of camera you happen to own.
1. Turn off your flash!
There is nothing like flash for killing the atmosphere of just about any shot. The flash is really best kept for situations where light is otherwise too dark for photography. When considering photography for babies it is best to save your battery and leave the flash off. If you do just this one thing you are already well on the way to getting better pictures than the 95% of people who never turn it off!
With the flash off you need an alternative light source. February in the UK does not really lend itself well to outdoor shots where babies are concerned so for the purposes of this article we are shooting indoors in the warm. So what we are looking for is soft, indirect natural light from a window or perhaps French doors.
So you found a nice well lit spot where you can make baby comfortable? Next ?
2. Get closer!
Aim to fill the frame with your baby. This has the benefit of throwing the background out of focus and removes unwanted clutter from the frame. Now your beautiful bundle of dimples is the subject – not the lampshade behind her. If you find you are losing focus move back just a touch.
3. Press the shutter often.
This will make it more likely that you will get lucky and capture one of those elusive lovely smiles or cute yawn. Try different angles and consider everything in the frame –can I move slightly to improve the composition or remove that distracting object behind him?
4. Photograph baby in the buff!
Try to think ahead and remove the nappy a little ahead of time to avoid unflattering marks and creases that it might leave behind. Shoot away but keep her warm & comfortable. If you sense she is getting cold or uncomfortable (particularly with very young babies) have a cosy blanket standing by.
Once clothing has been removed tiny hands can’t disappear up sleeves and it makes it easier to see those cute toes and other hidden features which brings me to my next tip.
5. Shoot details!
Even basic point & shoot cameras often have a close-up setting enabling you to focus in on all those tiny little features – fingers, toes, eyes, ears and dimples! Camera phones also allow you to shoot closer than you might think so it’s your chance to get creative.
6. Plan ahead.
Set aside half an hour at a time when you know baby is fed and at her most contented. Maybe you already know when the light in a particular room is at its nicest so take that in to account too. If it is a really gloomy day don’t be tempted to use room lights as a light source – they will cast a nasty orange colour cast in your photographs.
Stick to natural light wherever possible.
You don’t have to get 25 great shots from each session – you may just get one or two. Even a professional is happy with just a handful of beautiful shots because those are the priceless ones.
People often ask me when the best time is to photograph a baby. Newborns are at their most “bendy” in the first 2 weeks for posing purposes but my favourite time is 6 – 7 months when baby can sit up on his own but is not mobile enough to escape the photographer!
Some bonus tips to finish – be patient.
Keep your camera’s batteries well charged.
Above all have fun and soon you too will be photographing your baby like a professional!
Author: Nick Kelly
Nick Kelly is a professional baby portrait photographer in Northampton creating relaxed lifestyle portraits of babies, children and families. You can see more of Nick’s baby photography in the baby gallery.
Nick is based in Northamptonshire. Click here to find out more about booking a baby portrait session.