Pretty little faces, sweet smiles, and rolls. This is the real heaven for every parent. There is nothing more precious than the newborn. And it’s natural that as new parents you want to capture every moment, every movement and every little smile of your precious one. But what if you are not a photographer but you still want to snap your own photos? In that case, this guide is for you to help nail your baby photography experience as a complete beginner. Below we have come up with the best tips and ideas for a newborn photo shoot. Get ready for cuteness overload!
Baby photography tips and tricks
Say bye to your flash and use natural light instead
When you start experimenting with natural light, you will see that it makes objects look prettier and softer. What’s more, turning off the flash will make your camera less frightening for the child. This will help you create a really candid environment.
The indirect natural light that comes from a shade of a tree or is diffused by the window will be good to help some color pop up. If you want to enhance colors, you can make the light come from behind the baby. And if you want a soft and shadow-less photo, you can place the baby in front of the source of natural light. Make sure you avoid too much shadow because in baby photography we all expect to see positivity, smiles, and brightness. Also, extra shadows might make the baby look older than he actually is.
Explore your camera or phone
Getting to know your camera or the phone with which you are shooting will enable to get more creative with your photos. There are a few things you should learn while shooting with a DSLR:
- Learn how to turn off the flash of your camera.
- Know how wide the aperture can go. You will be able to get that nice blur effect in the background if you experiment well with aperture.
- Learn how you can change the shutter speed of your camera. At a faster speed, you will be able to freeze even the fastest moving objects. While if you slow it down, you can create a nice motion blur effect. Do play around to see what your camera is capable of.
- Learn how to play with the ISO. This is the sensitivity of the camera to light. If you raise the ISO of your camera, you can compensate for low-light situations and even avoid using a flash.
If you are shooting with a phone, make sure you experiment and learn what you can do with it. And remember, it’s not always about how many megapixels your phone camera has. It’s mainly about shooting from the right angle, catching the right light and putting some wit into the whole composition.
Decide which is better: posed photos or not
Posed photos have their charm, but candid shots might often be better. In baby photography, you can shoot a child even when sleeping or when playing around. These unselfconscious moments usually appear super-sweet on camera. Even when the child is looking directly into the camera, skip asking him/her to say “cheese.” Believe me, that won’t make your photo better. What WILL make it better is again choosing the right lighting and the right angle to shoot.
Thus, be patient enough and wait for genuine smiles, or moments when the child is unaware of you shooting him. Try to talk and play with the baby without the camera and take it into your hand only when you are 100% sure the child is engaged and playing. Only at these moments, you will be fully able to capture precious pictures that reflect the spirit of your baby and your family.
Add a little bit of yourself into the photos
Do not get so much carried away by shooting your baby as to forget yourself. Of course, you might prefer being behind the camera; however, it’s a good idea to have some images with you in them. And while it is possible to hire a photographer to shoot your family photos, you cannot do it every day. For this reason, make sure your husband or family members know a bit about the camera and can capture a few photos of you and your child. Using self-timer or taking photos in mirrors can serve good alternatives.
Carry your camera with you
All these baby photography tips will not work if you do not take your camera with you. So make sure you carry it with you as often as you can to not miss a chance of capturing gorgeous pictures. Whether it is in the park or when visiting grandparents or when having breakfast in the kitchen, a few snaps could help to create a whole portfolio of baby photos. Having your camera with you all the time will enable to document your child’s every moment and to preserve those moments in the form of adorable pictures.
The background should be perfect
Besides, paying attention to the lighting, you need to make sure the background is perfect too. Have you ever shot something brilliantly only to notice later that the background is not the best it could be? In the case of baby photography, you should be extremely careful not to ruin the shot. Of course, if the background is terrible while at the same time, the photo itself is not bad, you can change the background with an awesome iPhone photo editing app Pixomatic.
However, make sure you take care about the composition before you start shooting. The colors and the objects should go well with one another to create the perfect composition. If you cannot change the background colors, try shooting with the monochrome effect. It will help create outstanding black and white photographs.
Do not be afraid of getting closer
In the case of baby photography, the object is your child. Do not be afraid of getting close to the object. Sometimes, the closer you get, the better the results will be. Most amateur shots are taken from so far away that it is nearly impossible to see the details. But think how cute it would be if you could capture such details as eyes, lashes, freckles etc. So, do not be afraid to come in close on some shots. All those little details will make a nice album later on.
When taking such photos, make sure you go down to the child’s eye level. This way you will be able to capture their surroundings. And the photo will reflect your child’s precious little world.
Don’t stop, keep clicking
Are you afraid of overshooting? Why? With a DSLR, you are free to shoot an unlimited number of photos. Even with a phone camera, you can shoot as many as you like. Try to imagine your baby is a fashion icon and you are doing a magazine photoshoot. One or two shots are never enough especially if you want to have incredible results.
Note that children like to move fast and you might have a tough time catching their smiles or the tiniest detail on their face. Besides, a number of factors will affect how the baby looks including but not limited to the shadows, the position of their hand or foot, whether their face is well-lit or not. At the end of the day, you will be happy to see how many choices you have when it comes to editing your shots.
Play the framing game
When shooting, we instinctively try to frame the subject in the center of the lens. This is normal. However, framing the subject in the center of the shot every time is boring. Instead, try to play the framing game. Experiment with the composition. Move things around even if that means putting your child off-center. Also, decide whether your shot is best composed in a portrait or landscape mode.
The best time for baby photography
They say that a goal without a plan is just a wish. And it’s normally true. If your goal is to create a nice album of your child photos by documenting the different stages of their life, then you need proper planning. Of course, you might have enough time to shoot your child every single day. But there might be days when you are too busy to do that. So make sure you have at least an approximate schedule as to when snapping the child. For example, you might want to snap a few pics of your child when he has just been born, or when he has made their first steps or uttered their first word. There are hundreds of moments to document through baby photography. Let’s drill them down into several phases that you should be careful to not miss. Here we go!
This is the phase where your child will never be so small again. And this period passes so quickly. You will be able to photograph them when they are the sleepiest and also the easiest to be curled into gorgeous poses. Hence, it will be wonderful to capture them like this forever.
6 to 10 months
This is the phase when the child can sit up, smile a lot and just play around. You will no longer have to prepare them for the camera. They will already be curious and movable enough.
1 to 2 years
This is the perfect time to capture new walkers and talkers. This is the phase of new discovery. It offers a great chance for fun shots of your child in movement.
3 to 4 years
Usually, when your first child is 3 or 4 years old, there is a new baby in the house, too. If so, you can capture really awesome sibling photos of your children. It is super cute how they talk or play with each other. So, make sure you take your chance of photographing them together.
It’s super-cool to have a baby and it’s cooler to photograph them on your own. Make sure you choose the right time of the day and the right light and use any device you can. People sometimes take better photos with an iPhone than with a professional DSLR. Try to keep in mind all the tips and tricks you have learned about in this article and start shooting. Happy snapping!