Great baby photo tips #1

Home / Journal / Great baby photo tips #1

So there’s a new infant in your life, and you’re thinking about trying to capture a few newborn portraits. Photography sessions with an infant varies wildly from portrait photography sessions with older children or adults. You’ve got to follow a couple of rules, you’ve got to remember that babies are generally not going to care that they might be messing up the vision you have for the shoot, and you’ve got to remember that above all, you’re not in charge of the shoot nearly as much as you think you are. This article will spotlight ten tips to help you take some great newborn portraits, even with the fussiest of subjects.

Image Credit: Recent Infant Session by aaronsteel on Flickr
10. A Stocked Diaper Bag is Your New Best Friend

Babies are needy. Not just a little needy, but extremely needy. You’re going to need a stocked baby bag close by, so you’re not rummaging around your house, trying to find that pacifier when your little angel gets fussy. This is doubly important if you’re not photographing your baby in your own home. If it isn’t your kid, just make sure mom (or dad!) stocks a diaper bag and brings it along! Things to put into the diaper bag: bottles, formula or milk, a few pacifiers, some favorite toys or stuffed animals, extra diapers, blankets, washcloths and spit-up rags, and extra outfits.
9. Happy Babies are Warm Babies

Warm and CozyOne of peoples’ favorite ways to photograph newborns generally seems to be with the baby either completely naked (al la bear skin rug shots) or in their diapers. This generally allows you to see the soft, cuddliness of newborns. Even if you’re photographing them with clothes on, chances are that what you find warm and cozy, the baby might find a little cool. Turn up the heat or bring out space heaters to warm the area where you’re going to be taking pictures. Naturally, if you’re using space heaters, keep them at a safe distance from the infant.

Image Credit: ho, hum … another newborn by jen_maiser on Flickr
8. Blinding a Baby is Generally a Bad Idea

Okay, imagine that you’re a few days old. Your favorite things are generally eating, sleeping, and being cuddled. Also, you’re not generally a fan of bright lights, which means that you’re probably not a big fan of the flash on the camera. When possible, shoot without the flash to avoid bothering the baby’s sensitive eyes. Not to mention, the flash generally does strange things to the appearance of infants in photographs. No one wants their kid to look washed out or overly blotchy!
7. Stoop to Their Level

Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time on your stomach next to a newborn while photographing them. This will be one of the only ways you can comfortably get a close-up without someone holding the infant. Get comfortable with a few pillows and blankets and get up close and personal with Junior! In fact, he probably prefers you to be closer to him anyway, where he can watch what you’re doing and enjoy the presence of another person.
6. Diffuse the Light When Possible

Diffused LightAs stated, the flash on a camera can be much too bright for anyone, let alone a newborn. Flash will wash out a baby and make them appear to be pale and almost unhealthy, or it’ll bring a lot of attention to the natural red in a newborns skin, making them appear more blotchy. If you can angle your flash, bouncing it off a ceiling will lead to a much softer image. If not, you can always try moving lights around the room when possible. Remember, you aren’t trying to blind the kid, after all, so make sure that lamp shades or well-placed white sheets are there to make the light soft and diffused and keep the light bulb from shining directly in the baby’s face.

Read more: