Most baby photos are taken by the one person in the family who serves as the in-house photographer. This is the person who actually thinks about grabbing the camera along with the 873 other crucial baby-related items before leaving the house for a play date, a holiday, or an outdoor excursion. More often than not, the person isn’t a professional. And every day of that magical first year, our beautiful babies are doing something that is snapshot-worthy. We’ve all seen fabulous photos that capture this beauty, and we’ve all see ones that, well, don’t. How can nonprofessionals with basic cameras like phones or point-and-shoots capture the quality images we all want of our babies and children?
I’ve compiled a list of tips from a variety of professionals that will help you take beautiful pictures of your little one, who won’t be little for long.
Nadia Dayo (http://www.zlunaphotography.com/):
- Great baby photos are best taken early in the morning when babies tend to be sleepier and calmer.
- Pick a time to shoot when the diaper is dry and the tummy is full.
- You can use a white noise machine to keep the baby calm while you take pictures.
- Try setting the baby on a boppy pillow or a beanbag for easy positioning.
Anne Geddes http://www.annegeddes.com/
A few of my favorites from this article:
- Don’t use a flash when taking baby photos; natural lighting creates warmer and richer photos.
- Try different perspectives; get down to baby’s level, try from up high, go close and go far. Your baby photos will be more varied and interesting.
- Think about your background. Simpler is better so the baby is the focal point.
- Organize your baby photos by year and month and back up those files.
Digital Photography School: http://digital-photography-school.com/photographing-babies/)
- Try to take baby photos at least several times per week. Babies grow and change so much during that first year that if you skip a week or two, you might miss a particular moment that’s unique.
- Experiment with shooting in black and white. Actually, most digital cameras nowadays have software that allows you to take color pictures and take the color out afterwards, or change the tones to sepia, an effect I’ve come to love.
- Keep your camera handy; you’ll have more luck catching those beautiful moments if you’re prepared.
Finally, as our family’s photographer, I want to say that it’s as important to simply be in the moment with your baby as it is to capture every single second of that first year on camera. None of us are ONLY photographers; no matter what your relationship is to baby, the relationship needs to be cultivated, so make sure you occasionally put down the camera and just play. And when you do that, who knows? Maybe somebody else will pick that camera up and snap a few lovely images of you and baby that you both will enjoy looking at in years to come!