8 Tips for Photographing babies
Written by: Tiffany Joyce
Babies are and always will be the cutest subjects a photographer can find. Of course the flip side is that they hardly keep still and are difficult to settle for a picture. Nonetheless, their cute pink faces and big eyes work like magic pills and drain you of all your stress. I’m sure most of you love to see pictures of their childhood, and would love to revisit that time if it were possible. I, for one, would. But since that really isn’t possible, we would want to do our best to capture our babies’ first days in all their glory, so that he/she too can enjoy his/her babyhood even when they grow up. So whether it is your own kid, or somebody else’s, here are some tips that will help you get some wonderful pictures of babies:
1. Go Low: Squat, lie down, go down to their level so that you’re not imposing your size on to that tiny little thing. Besides, you want to make sure that the baby is comfortable and at ease, and this really helps. Being at their level will help you catch their eye, surrounded by some wonderful expressions too
2. Avoid Flash: We all know that flashes (especially non-diffused on camera flashes) can cause harsh shadows a lot of the time. But in case of babies, what is more important is the fact that their eyes are very delicate, like the rest of their body. Bright flashes of light will do them no good.
3. Let them be: Once you’re at their level, and the baby is comfortable in your presence, let them go about their business without interruption. This is the time where you can capture some great candid shots like the baby crawling towards his favourite toy, chewing on one, or simply rolling around on the floor going giggle giggle giggle Of course, in between you would like to have them looking at the camera as well, so snap your finger, or shake a toy to grab their attention.
You can get great candid shots of babies with people as well, especially with mommy and elder siblings and grandparents. Photos like that often capture both the persons looking equally adorable
Photo by David Terrazas
4. Capture firsts: You will obviously be taking plenty of uber cute baby portraits, but also very worth capturing are the babies firsts.. first crawl, first step, first bath, first moment with ma, first smile, first tooth, first nap.. okay, I might be getting carried away now.. what can I say, I love babies.
5. Zoom in: Close crops of the baby’s body parts like hands and feet can make some very compelling images. These are enhances even further if there is an elder’s hand/foot along with the baby’s, or anything else that shows the bond between the two. You may want to use a macro lens here to emphasize the texture of the skin and the tiny little fingers and toes.
Photo by apdk
6. Shoot them in the buff: Minimal clothing enhances your baby’s baby-like qualities and makes them look even more delicate. In fact, babies look extremely fragile when they’re sleeping nakey nakey. If you do decide to shoot them only in their diapers, make sure that the room they’re in is warm/cool enough, and let them be without their clothes for some time so that there are no unpleasant looking clothing lines on their soft skin.
If you decide not to do this and prefer to have them fully clothed, try and keep the clutter around them to a minimum.
Photo by efleming
7. Cover the head: A beanie or other similar head cover adds colour and balance to the picture. It also serves to cover the head which might still be taking proper shape
8. Shoot B&W or Selective Colour: Baby photos with selective colouring have their own charm. Black and white does something similar. You may use the Selective colour feature in your camera, or you can shoot in colour and make changes later during PP. I would prefer the latter since that gives me more flexibility.
In the end, just remember that the baby should be comfortable. If the baby starts feeling uncomfortable, take a break, and let the tiny tot calm down. Take a lot of pictures, but don’t take so many that they lose their charm. Keep a selected few, and delete the rest. You’ll enjoy and value them more that ways
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