Time-Tested Tips for Effective Baby Photography
By James Jones
25 Oct 2012
What's the best way to capture your baby's beauty in a photo setting? Is it having the right light shining in the room? Is it dependent on the focus used by the photographer fashion? Can the background be helpful to opening up your baby's facial expressions?
Getting fantastic photos of one's baby is like a military mission for some moms, who will spare no cost and go to great lengths to capture the infant's glowing smile for all to see. After all, this is the moment of truth with your baby, and you want everything to go smoothly before sending photo Christmas cards out to all your envious gal pals!
You played a big part in the baby's creation and should be happy to display the evidence. In most cases, these gorgeous photos will surely be the best antidote for a working mom, who will no doubt miss her child when back at work after a maternity leave.
Here are time-tested tips to getting the right shots for your baby with a photographer.
Quiet on the Set!
It's super critical that your photographer establish a quiet setting for your baby. Bright harsh lights, irksome noises and an unnatural environment for the baby may provoke an extended crying jag at the worst possible time.
Instead, suggest a quiet outdoor area near your home that you and your photographer can work uninterrupted for 30 minutes or less. You're probably asking for a fussy baby over the 30-minute mark, so make sure to be ready when it's 'Action' time.
Strike the Pose!
Posing babies shouldn't be complicated. Choose 2-3 positions for photographing your baby, and you'll be fine. After all their little bodies only allow for a few moves at best. A baby can be on her tummy looking up, or on her back smiling and giggling. If you want a seated shot, prop up your baby with pillows at the hips and shoulders. Otherwise, you'll likely have the steadying grown-up hand in the picture.
And whatever you do, avoid awkward baby poses: please make the poses look babylike! Attempting to pose a baby in any other way may lead to reactions suffered recently by celebutante Jessica Simpson, who posed her 4-month old daughter lounging in a crocheted, 2-piece bikini. The baby's fine enough, but the outcry was loud and vicious from concerned mom groups in both the US and the UK on the pose and depiction of the baby. A UK Daily Mail columnisteven wrote an entire column asking the question; "What kind of mother parades her baby on TV in a string bikini?", suggesting that it's 'nothing short of inexcusable.'
Cue the Lights!
Most photographers choose to shoot babies in natural lighting in an outdoor setting. Natural light is often more pleasing to a baby's skin tones, and being able to crawl around outdoors is better for your little wonder.
Photos taken using natural light (as opposed to artificial lights or flash) are more realistic and pleasing to the eye. And your baby will be more likely to open his/her eyes and will be squint-free. But note: avoid midday light, which can be harsh on the eyes of your little one, making her squint or casting shadows across her face.
If you're doing a studio shoot with your little wonder, the pros at LearnMyShot.com recommend never using flash or other high strobe lights, as this may have an adverse effect on the sessions and lead to a very cranky baby.
It's time! Have the photographer shoot at eye level to your baby. Try different angles. Oh, and those toys you brought? Use them now. Direct your baby's attention to the toy and let the photographer shoot multiple images. Get that beautiful smile captured in the images!
Most of all, have fun and don't stress out about the baby's photos. With your camera phone alone, you'll likely be snapping thousands of pictures of your child during the course of their childhood, and surely some of these will be as treasured as your first infant pictures.