**Disclaimer: Just a reminder that I am completely self-taught and not a professional. I also don’t always follow my own advice because a. it’s not practical in the moment or b. I’m learning everyday too! Knowing and doing don’t always line up perfectly in life…am I right?
That said :)…
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up to help you take pictures of the cutest human beings ever…babies!
1. Less is more. Keep clothes and surroundings simple. You want the focal point to be your baby’s cute face, or her adorably squishy rolls.
Minimizing distractions will make a huge difference in the quality of your photos.
2. More is also more. More pictures that is. Keep snapping away. Don’t spend too much time reviewing the pictures on your LCD screen (I am sometimes so guilty of this), you might miss a great shot or a funny moment.
Hang onto those pictures until you transfer them to your computer as well.
I almost deleted Natalie’s funny face pictures because most of them weren’t that crisp or focused quite right, until I realized that I could run some clever commentary a long with it. :) I’m glad I didn’t delete them on my camera, because it would have been permanent!
3. Focus on the details.
Capture what it means to be a baby. They will never have that triple chin again, or those dimply knuckles. Their baby-ness is fleeting.
Snag photos of those little details that are unique to each stage before they’re gone.
You’ll notice that in some close ups of Natalie’s hands, that she’s holding a strand of my hair. She likes to death grip my hair…and now I have pictures to remind me of this cute/annoying little stage she’s in. :)
4. Get down on their level.
Get down on your belly and your elbows and get in close.
When you shoot them at eye-level, it’s easier to capture attractive catch lights in their eyes and see the adorable details in their face.
Plus, it’s fun to see what life looks like from where they are. Chances are, they’ll like you for it and reward you with a great smile.
5. Try different angles as well. You want the majority of your pictures at their level, but you also want to round out your photo shoot with varying vantage points.
When you capture them zoomed out and directly from above,
you can show just how small they are.
6. Be aware of your light. I prefer to shoot with natural light. When I’m indoors, I try to make sure that my baby is facing a bright window and my back is to the bright window (but not blocking the light that should be shining on my subject) OR, that we are both to the side of the light.
If I am facing the window and the baby’s back is to the window, I might not get catch lights in her eyes and she might end up looking a bit flat and dark.
Of course there are exceptions, like when I want to bathe my subject in over-exposed light, you can read more about that here.
You know…I don’t always follow this rule right? I just usually like the resulting image a bit better when I do. :)
After I posted Natalie’s 5 month pictures, I had a reader ask how I got the shots I did.
I’m hoping that answering here will help anyone else who was wondering as well.
This was her question:
“Fantastic photos! Your girl is a cutie. I have just spent a few hours reading your photography series…I’m really curious what settings your camera was at when taking these photos & if you used a reflector? AND how much editing you did? So many questions! I have a T2i and I’m so darn curious;) Thanks for the photo series – I’ve learned so much!:)”
I placed her among some white couches, which acted as reflectors. I opened a big bright window and let in some afternoon light. I actually prefer morning light, but a morning shoot wasn’t jiving with this girl on this day.
I put on my fixed f/1.8 lens (the smallest one on the right). See my essentials post for more information on that. This allowed me to stop down my aperture, so I could let in more light, and not have to crank my ISO so high or slow down my shutter speed too much. It also created nice background blur.
Then I set my settings like so:
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Now…not every picture from that photo shoot was kept at those settings. I adjusted them when I switched lenses (to my favorite standard 18-55 mm lens) and when I moved in closer.
When you move in closer you generally lose light. When you move out you usually gain light. So the settings you used when getting in really close will often over-expose (in a bad way) your image when you move out to capture more of your subject. Just be mindful of this, and adjust your shutter speed, ISO, and f/stop number…or a combination of those, as you move about.
As for editing. I did my normal little tweaks here and there in Lightroom. I find that increasing the blacks and exposure just a little bit, help the image pop a little better. You can read more about that here.
I hope this was helpful to you. Please comment and let me know if you have any other questions or tips!
Hope you’re day is joyful!