Baby Photographer: How to Take Great Shots of Your Newborn
Filed under: Babies
Smeared chunks of pureed banana frame your baby's smiling mouth as tiny fingers paint gooey circles on the high chair tray. Excited giggles punctuate the moment: Your baby has just learned the definition of squish. Now, where's the baby photographer when you need one?
It's natural to want to capture these moments in time and build memories as your baby grows. Unfortunately, there's not always a professional baby photographer handy when these situations strike. Your next best bet? Learn how to take better photographs yourself.
Follow these tips to help overcome some of the special challenges baby photographers face and improve your chances of capturing that perfect picture.
Be prepared. You never know when the moment will strike. Make sure your film is loaded or that your battery is charged and always know where your camera is. When setting up for a planned shot, be ready to shoot as soon as you place your baby in your selected setting. Chances are, your little one isn't ready to take instructions really well at this point. A baby photographer has to be prepared to take advantage of the rare cooperative moments.
Use natural lighting as much as possible. Unless you are a professional baby photographer, working with a flash can be difficult and may lead to some less-than-desirable results. And then there's the dreaded red eye. Photo editing software can be used as a last resort, but typically, your photos will be better when you shoot outdoors or use available light from a nearby window. Natural lighting produces more natural tones.
Shoot in high speed. Use high speed film and shutter settings, or set your camera's automatic settings to sports or action. Being a baby photographer means your subject will typically be in motion to some degree. The higher speed will help reduce the chance for blurred photos due to a sudden movement and increase your chance of freezing that special moment in time.
Use simple backgrounds. Don't pick a background in busy patterns or one that's cluttered. Too many objects or complex designs create visual noise that can distract the viewer from the subject. Soft backgrounds and simple props such as bath towels or fuzzy blankets can help complement the softness of your baby's skin. Baby photographers typically use plain backgrounds and surroundings to help place the emphasis where it belongs: on the baby.
There's strength in numbers. The more pictures you take, the better your chances are of getting good photographs. Today's digital cameras allow baby photographers the luxury of easily discarding bad photos without "wasting film." Your baby is unpredictable and you never know when that "perfect" expression will present itself.
Avoid the pressures of perfection. Don't try to pose your baby in the perfect position or wait for the perfect expression. You'll miss a lot of great shots. Babies can be cooperative -- or not -- but adding stress to a photo shoot by trying to make them hold a pose or a prop just so isn't always going to work.
Baby photography can be frustrating, but always keep in mind that no matter how your photos turn out, your baby is perfect already.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.