There is no denying that your baby is adorable - the challenge comes in when you’re trying to capture his/her cuteness for posterity. Read on to discover techniques that will help you take stunning photos of your little one.
- Lighting is key
Lighting can make or break a photo. Your camera may have all the fancy flash settings, but all you need is the most natural source of lighting - the sun. As long as there’s light outside, you can get stunning photos of your baby with natural light, no matter if you’re using a state-of-the-art gadget or a simple disposable camera.
You don’t need to rely on sophisticated studio equipment to get it right. A useful tip for nice highlights and soft shadows is to have your baby angled in a manner that allows the light to flow from the top of your little one’s head on down to their body at a 45 degree angle. If this is done right, you will notice a soft shadow underneath your baby’s nose.
You’ll also want to wait for the right time of day to snap pics when using natural lighting. Photograph your little one in front of an east-facing window in the afternoon or a west-facing window in the morning to minimize shadows as well as to keep him/her from squinting. For even better results, consider timing for what some photographers refer to as the Magic Hour, which is usually the last two hours before the sun sets or the first hour after the sun rises.
2. Keep your baby comfortable
If you want your photoshoot to result in breathtaking photos of your baby, make sure he/she is comfortable at all times. There are a couple of simple things you can do to keep your baby happy. They include:
- Keeping the shooting area at a comfortable temperature. If you plan to capture your little one in his/her bathing suit, turn on a space heater or crank up the thermostat to keep him/her toasty warm.
- Making sure your little one has a full belly so that he/she does not get cranky during the shoot.
- Making sure your baby is well rested and relaxed.
All those tiny details are what make your baby unique. Make sure to zoom in on that whorl of hair at the back of his/her head, those tiny fingers and toes, that crinkly little chin, and cute belly button.
If you have a macro lens, it might be helpful to close down a bit - shooting wide open will result in a very small depth of field. You might also want to consider taking your macro lens out of auto focus and use manual focus instead.
Camera phones aren’t ideal for getting up close and personal, but even if you don’t have a zoom lens, you can still take pictures that highlight your little one’s upturned nose, his/her feet, nose, profile, and so on. Those are the sweet details you’ll want to remember as your child gets older.
4. Find the right outfit
It’s important to keep things simple. Too many outfit changes will stress your little one, so it’s best to choose one outfit and a couple of backups in the event of a mishap. Your priority should be to keep your little one so that the photographer can capture their sweet, relaxed faces.
For a professional photoshoot, you’ll want to steer clear of bold prints. To achieve a timeless look for your child’s portraits, opt for solid neutral colors or delicate classic prints. If you’d like a bit more variety, try out unique textures - a knitted onesie, a dress with lace details.
If you’d like to add some flourish, a few accessories can make your baby’ photo stand out. Baby girls can wear delicate headbands, and boys can wear colorful socks beneath their neutral toned outfits.
5. Keep your baby safe
Your baby’s safety should be one of your top priorities while you’re taking his/her photos. If you want to experiment with a complicated pose or work with props, it’s a good idea to have someone there with you to help out.
6. Use a simple backdrop
Having you ever taken a stunning shot only to notice later that there is an unsightly laundry hamper or some other unwanted element lurking in the background? To avoid this, eliminate background clutter before the photoshoot.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to place your baby in front of a plain backdrop. Drape a plain sheet or canvas over a chair or two, tape a plain piece of wrapping paper to your wall, or simply set your precious angel on top of a neutral-colored comforter on the floor.
If you somehow end up taking photos of your baby with something distracting in view, try cropping those elements out of the frame by getting closer to your little model as you shoot.
7. Experiment with different angles and perspectives
Instead of constantly repositioning your baby or changing your set up, you might want to try walking around your subject to see all what unique angles you can capture. Try all the different angles and perspectives before switching things up to a new pose or setup. This is an effortless way to get more variety out of a single pose.
8. Involve your older kids
Some of the most emotion-filled and memorable photos you can take of your bundle of joy will be the ones you include his/her older siblings. Older kids can hold their new sister or brother, while simply sitting up or laying down poses are more ideal for younger children. This is a great way to make your older kids feel involved, which is always a bonus when there is a new addition in the family getting a lot of attention.
9. Have an outdoor photoshoot
If the weather permits, consider taking photos of your baby in the great outdoors. If you’ve exhausted all your indoor options, photographing in nature can open a whole new realm of possibilities and creative inspiration. Make sure to bring some simple props that you can place your baby in and have fun.
10. Get in the picture
Don’t forget to get a couple of shots of you and your baby. This will allow you to create priceless memories that you can look back on with your little one when they grow up.
Photographing your baby can be challenging but also rewarding. Photos taken from your perspective, a loving parent, are going to have a little extra uniqueness and meaning to them. Take your time and try out these tips to see what works for you.