Expecting, or are already lucky enough to have your new bundle of joy at home? Grab your camera, and follow these tips to help improve your baby photography:
If you are expecting, now is the time to start preparing. Collect a box of “photography props” for when baby comes: blankets, a basket, fun hats, hair accessories, props, etc., and store it somewhere close by so you can pull it out as soon as you are home and settled.
A wide aperture (f/5.6 to f/1.8 or larger) lets you capture crisp shots of your baby, but also blurs the background to put more emphasis on your little one. A 50mm f/1.8 retails for around $100 and is a great beginner portrait lens to consider.
There are a range of micro-expressions and funny faces to be found in between a smile and a laugh, or a pout and a cry. By placing your camera in continuous mode and shooting in “bursts” you can catch all of those little looks.
You want your baby to fill the frame, so get up close. While you are there you may want to get in even closer to capture face shots, or some images of those perfectly tiny fingers, hands, toes and feet.
Use Natural Light
Babies aren’t terribly fond of flash, so use natural light whenever you can. If you can’t be outside, try to place baby by a large window. Otherwise, turn on some lamps, use a reflector, and boost your ISO sensitivity to avoid flash.
You can’t expect your darling to do all the work, so get down on their level and engage. Play peek-a-boo, tickle, shake some toys, or get other family members involved to bring out the cute.
Keep it Simple
Try to avoid going overboard with costume and set design, this isn’t Downton Abbey! Solid, pastel-colored outfits paired with simple backgrounds are the best way to go, perhaps with a toy or two thrown in there to capture baby’s attention. Try adding a dash of color with a headband or hat if you feel the scene is a bit drab.
When babies are engaged this is the best time to capture candid faces. In the bath, eating, making a mess or just hanging with his or her toes – grab your camera whenever you feel a fun moment coming on.
Try Black and White
Black and white photos are excellent for babies – they remove the distraction of color so you can get to know the “real” person. Check if your camera has a black and white setting, or you can change the photos in an editing program. For beginner baby photographers, choosing the camera setting will help you see the differences in black and white baby photography, and help you set the scene.
Don’t Forget Mom and Dad (and Siblings!)
It can be easy to lose yourself in the wonder of discovering your baby through photography, but remember that the rest of your family wants to be involved too! Capture the kids holding and playing with their newest sibling, dad having a nap with baby, or hand over the camera and let someone else have a turn creating memorable photos of you and your newest addition.
Do you have any tips for creating great baby photography? Please share!