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How to capture the perfect baby portrait?

How to capture the perfect baby portrait?

Photographing babies is an extremely fun and challenging endeavor. It is quite possible that baby photographs are the most treasured memento in any families’ possession. There is an immense joy to capturing this age of innocence. Bright eyes and broad gummy toothed smiles warms the heart and can fill the viewer with joyous tears. During the first years of life, babies change rapidly. On average big milestones occur about every three months. Newborns go from squirmy little balls, to holding their heads up, to sitting up and finally standing. It’s simply amazing to watch and very important to capture.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a special connection with children and babies in particular. Babies have an almost sixth sense and are able to read people instantly. In-turn you too have to read the baby’s eyes, expression and respond accordingly in order to make them feel at ease with you and the photography session. Photography sessions will end immediately without hope of salvation if the baby is not comfortable.

Photographing babies never felt like work–although it is an extreme amount of work. There is a great deal of mental and physical preparation that must be done prior to any baby photo session.

The Basics:

Every child is different but there are some universal truths that will help you capture that perfect shot.Baby photography tips

  1. Ensure all of your camera equipment is set up and ready to go well before you begin. Check that the batteries are full and blank memory cards are at hand.
  2. Make sure the time of day is right for the baby. Naps and full bellies are golden–So so important! Keep in mind that if your baby falls asleep don’t fret; some of the cutest pictures are of sleeping babies–angels I tell you!
  3. Be loose, have fun and act silly. Babies love funny faces, peekaboo, and silly sounds. An extra pair of hands is also great to help with entertaining the baby so that you can focus on catching the moment.
  4. Lighting is very important.The best lighting is in the morning and early evening. Pull open the shades and let the sun shine in. If possible turn off your flash–they tend to wash out skin color, destroy details and fatten the image.
  5. Have a couple of outfit changes and wipes ready in case of accidents. Clothing should be plain without distracting detail such as stripes and wild patterns. Wild clothing is fun, but the focal point is the baby and her expression.
  6. Use a simple backdrop such as pillows and blankets without any distracting elements printed on them.
  7. Take lots of photos! Babies are FAST and expressions can come and go in a blink of an eye. Your reflexes have to be sharp.
  8. Be creative and shoot everything . Take shots of toes, fingers, feet, hands, ears, round bellies, baby rolls etc. Vary your shots from full lengths to close ups. Try different angles such as standing above and shooting down or get down low and shoot up. Most of the time you’ll want to have the camera down on their level but a little variety will make things more interesting.

Again just have fun and don’t stress. If things do not work out the way you had planned take a deep breath, wait awhile, change the set up and give it another go!

Do you have any stories to share about a great photo session? How about any nightmares? Leave your comments below!

Stay tuned! In the next article we’ll discuss different ideas and age appropriate poses.

6 Responses to “How to capture the perfect baby portrait?”

  1. Jason Marti says:

    Thanks for the feedback Judy! I will be updating the site very soon.

    Take care!

  2. Burton Haynes says:

    Great Article! Thanks!

  3. brandy says:

    I am a photographer for one of the Picture Me Portrait Studios inside walmarts. And I have to say I love photographing babies they are so simple and cant move or try and get off the table like toddlers do. And your so right about how fast you have to be. And some of the photos you think arent going to turn out very well but after uploading them to the computer to show the customers, you relise how great they came out and how when you photograph a sleeping baby, they look so peaceful like nothing in the world can hurt them, and photographing a babies feet so how much they grow through the years.

  4. Ivette Fleming says:

    Your site is very unique. Thanks for the article.

  5. Glatz says:

    Hello there, I just felt the urge to express how cool this blog is!


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