Family and parenting: Baby photography tips and ideas
With the right equipment, practice and experimentation anyone can take professional quality baby photography! We’ll show you how with our tips.
Baby photography is a passion for some, a livelihood for others. The professionals have tips for working with babies and we’ll cover some of those, but you don’t have to be a professional to take great baby photography! Just try some of our tips:
You’re sometimes only as good as your equipment.
Take the time to research good cameras and equipment before you buy or upgrade. Talk to other photographers in studios, advertising agencies or online about the best equipment they’ve used in your price range, and search for consumer reports. No matter how willing the model or how good the pose; substandard equipment will cause a photographic nightmare.
Play around with lighting, color and how you center your child in the viewfinder. You’ll begin to understand how colors and lighting work with skin tone and mood. You’ll have a lot of photos to learn from for the next time with each role, and the more you experiment and practice, the more amazing shots you’ll get! Experiment and practice all of our tips.
Think about the lighting.
Indoor shots can often be perfected without a flash for a more natural glow using the existing light in a room. Remember, if you’re aiming the camera at a window, the model will be a silhouette. If you’re outside altogether, sitting under a shade tree offers a nice mix of light around the entire child, or you can practice using the sun’s natural light. Use your flash outdoors and be sure the flash is at the top of the camera with vertical poses.
Catch the moment and get into the action.
There’s nothing as priceless as a “real” picture. The facial expressions, body posture, emotions, actions, and other attributes that add to a remarkable picture usually are not the posed ones. Let the picture tell the child’s story and show his genuine reaction and emotion to a moving ball or clapping hands.
Is it time?
The baby will lose its patience or attention usually within the first 10 to 15 minutes. It’s fruitless to try and keep them in a photographic sitting longer than they’re able to. If your baby model is tired, cranky or sick, they just won’t give you good pictures from the start, period. Working with babies is hit or miss and very time consuming. To get the shots you really want, you’ve got to be willing to try again later. Flexibility is key.
Obsess over the background.
Stray table legs, papers or any other household paraphernalia can give the picture a disorderly and unprofessional look. Keep the baby in an area where the background is plain and uncluttered in the home. Outside, the background can be more easily managed. Try placing a small child near a tree or in the grass, but be mindful of placement. There are just as many possibilities for distractions and strange background effects outdoors.
Black and white lasts.
You may notice color photos fading over time, so an alternative is the use of black and white which is not only classy but will last longer through time. You can find black and white film where most film is sold.
Use your voice make distracting and attention getting noises to bring your child’s eyes to you. Cluck, tick, trill your tongue or sing to the child. Use your hands to hold colorful puppets, squeaky toys or black and white patterns (for newborns) found from most any store or made on the computer. You can get the attention you want; yet pull your hand out of the view in time for the shot.
Take a few more.
If you’re looking for that perfect picture, you may find only a few in each roll is exactly what you’re looking for. The more rolls you take, the more perfect pictures you have. Digital cameras are becoming a hot item in the photography community, and they eliminate the need for rolls of film. You can have them printed out in picture form later, put on disk and computer, or you can purchase your own picture printer and paper.
Get close and to their level.
Some of the most amazing photos frame the baby’s head or face, and baby photography almost demands that you take pictures that are from their viewpoint. Get down to where the baby is or even below that so your picture is intimate. If you’re worried about how close your camera can get, some of the newer – yet more affordable – cameras have a close-up feature that older models just didn’t carry.
Go the other way.
As classic as close-ups are, if you move an extreme distance from the child you can gain some darling photographs that really show the size difference of the child and its world. They may give you some great candid shots since the room is distracting and you’re no longer in their view.
Just get started!
All the tips in the world won’t do a thing for you until you try to apply them. Practice, practice, practice!