This week’s Wisdom Wednesday will cover our top 12 tips for photographing a baby!
They are quite possibly the cutest things on this earth. Everyone who has a kid wants to capture every second of this new beautiful life, but it isn’t always an easy or pleasant experience! Depending on the exact age of the baby, photographing these little ones can be quite the challenge (After 4 weeks they tend to get a bit squirrely!). But as challenging as the process may be, it will surely be equally as satisfying and memorable.
If you follow these 12 tips, your next baby shoot will go across without a hitch! (or a meltdown!)
Make use of Props
Baby photos can multiply in cuteness (if that’s even possible) with the use of props. Backdrop has a ton of amazing goodies to really add a new level to the photoshoot. Crochet items are always a hit and lighten up the mood a bit. Toys will add a bit of color to the photos as well as keeping the young one preoccupied.
Props are becoming more and more popular with infant photography, for good reason, but just be sure to keep the baby as the focal point. Use your props wisely and do not clutter up your photos with too much stuff!
Take a look at this antique wood posing cart for what you can do with a simple prop to make a spectacular photo!
Whether this is your baby or someone else’s baby, safety should always be your number one priority! These are delicate little fellas and precautions need to be made in order to keep them safe! Always make sure wherever you are photographing the baby is sturdy and your props are sterile. Babies are super susceptible to sickness, so just use common sense and make it a safe experience for everyone
Make the baby comfortable
Be sure to show plenty of attention to the baby and crank up that heat! Studies show that babies are much more likely to maintain eye contact for photos when being handled and caressed often.
Be sure to cuddle up to the cutie and keep calm throughout the whole process to ensure a happy and photogenic baby!
Most likely, your photoshoot will not contain a ton of clothing on the baby so the room should be at least 85 degrees (I know, that is hot!). Your slight discomfort will mean the world to your young model. Babies hate being cold and the warm temperature will also keep him/her sleepy (Which sounds amazing to anyone who has had a kid!).
(Take modesty into account. No one will be disgusted by a naked baby, but not everyone wants to see full frontal! So a simple loin clothe or Lace Bloomer should do the trick!)
Babies do not have the most patience in the world. Be sure to have all props and camera equipment read ahead of time.
A checklist for preparation-
- Camera and backup camera
- Formatted memory cards
- Lenses (Don’t forget the macro)
- A few loud and funny kid toys
- Backdrop stand and clamps
- Space heater
- Step stool
- a pillow (for posing)
- Waterproof Pads (to catch messes)
- a change of clothes for me (in case of a mess)
- Props (baskets, crates etc…)
- Small swaddle blankets
- Loud enough music to hide the startling sound of my shutter
Bonus tip: Take a couple of test shots with a stuffed animal or something to ensure that when it is time to snap the real thing you will not be surprised by the outcome.
Feed the baby Directly before the shoot
Some baby shoots can take a bit more time than you plan for and nothing can ruin a perfect moment faster than a crying infant! Make sure their bellies are full and they are well hydrated before getting into your rhythm.
Backdrop Used – Pastel Bokeh Shimmer Backdrop
Try some sibling photos
If the baby has an older sibling, it can be a perfect opportunity for some amazing shots (these can be some of my favorites of the day). Just let the sibling play and lay with the baby like they normal would and wait for the opportune moment. This can also serve as a fantasti bonding experience for new siblings getting to know each other.
Allow mom to get involved!
On the same note, you definitely want to try some photos with the mom as well! Let her caress and love her baby while capturing the magical moment. This will also have the added benefit of keeping the baby calm for future poses!
Be mindful however that the mother is most likely still recovering from giving birth (depending on how new the infant is) so keep the poses lite and easy.
Backdrop Used – Gray Pro Vinyl
Lighting is everything!
One of the biggest mistakes we encounter with baby photography is the lighting. All over the internet you will see endless baby photos that have way too over-lit or over-exposed.
Natural lighting is your best bet with your baby photos. A good rule of thumb for nice soft shadows and highlights is to have your baby angled so that the light flows from the top of the baby’s head down their body at about a 45 degree angle. Look for a soft shadow underneath the baby’s nose to verify that you have this correct. Naturally lighting is ultimately up to you, and we encourage experimentation with lighting in any photoshoot.
If natural lighting cannot be easily obtained or manipulated, take a look at this picture for a good representation on how to set up studio lighting for a baby shoot. Also, jump over to our Equipment Section to gather all the lighting gear you will need!
Backdrop Used – Architecture Fairy Arches Backdrop
Take out that Macro Lens
Super close up detailed baby photos can be a real treat to your day’s collection of gems. Wait till they are asleep and get those curled up toes, little noses, and ears captured in all their glory!
Don’t go too crazy with colors
For this shoot you are going to want to keep your color palette pretty muted. Baby pictures really shine in soft color schemes, giving the photos a natural feeling while keeping the baby the focal point.
A nice simple Solid Color Backdrop is perfect for baby shots. Natural backgrounds tend to over clutter the scene so a single tone background really brings the image together.
Backdrop Used – Khaki Diamond Cloth Backdrop
Prop Used – Large Wooden Posing Bowl
Easy on the edits
Babies are wonderful and perfect without the use of fancy photo altering software. Refrain from going overboard on saturation and other post effects if you are going that route. Keep the photos simple and let natures beauty shine through!
Backdrop Used – Pastel Vintage Icon Dots Backdrop
Enjoy the moment!
For some people going through this experience of photographing their baby may be a once in a life time experience (literally). This is a big day, for both of you, to make a true memory that will forever be saved with these beautiful shots. Don’t stress too much about the photos because at the end of the day you will come out happy no matter what!
Hopefully these tips help in that next baby shoot! Whether or not it is your baby, or someone else’s, this will always be an important event for everyone involved.
So go out, grab a baby (ask first), and start making those memories!
-Until next time