Tips for Taking Frame-Worthy Photos of Baby

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Tips for Taking Frame-Worthy Photos of Baby

Babies are so cute, you can’t help but take boatloads of pictures of them.  I absolutely love having amazing photos of Paxton, but I can’t afford to get professional photos done every season.  Therefore, my husband and I have drastically improved our photography game since Paxton was born.  Here are our top tips for taking photos of baby.

Warning: Once you learn these tips, you will take so many pictures you won’t know what to do with them all! Check out this post about why you should digitiz them.

Get At or Below Baby’s Level

If you are standing up and your subject is sitting down, you end up with a really unflattering angle.  Crouch down to the height of your subject to instantly improve the angle.  That said, you can still try different angles.  I find that directly above can work in some cases.  Here you can see you get a better view of my son in the image on the bottom where I was at his level versus the image on the top which I took standing up.

baby in pumpkin patch standing next to big pumpkin
Baby in pumpkin patch standing next to big pumpkin. pumpkin is orange and the rest of the photo is black and white.

Play Around With Angles to See What Works Best

Often you can get softer photos from a slight sideways angle compared to straight on.  You may also get better photos of tiny humans by being lower than their level and shooting up a little.  Play around with the angle at which you take the photo to find what works best for your baby and background.


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Have an Assistant

It’s really hard to jump around and clap and wave to get baby smiling and looking at the camera while trying to take the photo at the perfect time.  Having an assistant means they can jump around like crazy while you get the perfect shot.

Zoom In

If your subject fills the frame, the background automatically become more background and less of a focus. You can see in the pictures below, the zoomed in version gets the important part of the image front and center while hiding my cluttered house.

Zoomed out photo of a girl in workout cloths lifting baby to the side.
Zoomed in photo of a girl in workout cloths lifting baby to the side.

Make Your Subject Off-Center

If you want to get a particular part of the background in, off center your subject a bit.  This adds a slightly more ‘artsy’ feel to your photos.


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Design a Fun Background

Set up a background that matches the season.  We had great fun taking pictures with pumpkins for fall (check out this post for other fun fall ideas), and during the summer we took pictures by/in the pool.  However, landscaping can make a nice background as well.  The below images were taken with the same kid, same football, same pumpkin, same camera and only minutes apart.  Simply moving the setup to my landscaping instead of the front porch drastically changed the photo quality.

baby sitting in a pumpkin with a football next to it on a front porch
baby sitting in a pumpkin with a football next to it in the landscaping.

Enlist a Friend to Take Family Photos

If you just want photos of your babe with one parent, you can do without the friend.  However, if you are already doing a photo shoot, why not get some great family photos.  Have a friend come help you out, so you can all get in the photo.  You could even set up a fun photo shoot for both families and take turns taking the pictures. We had a friend take this photo which gave us much better quality and fun, spontaneous shots that we couldn’t achieve with a tripod and a timer

A mom and dad standing on a front porch while dad lifts a baby into the air.

Invest in a Good Camera

Cell phone cameras are getting pretty impressive, but there is still something to be said for using a digital camera. The cell phone works great in a pinch, but when doing a mini photoshoot, the quality of pictures from our lower end digital camera far exceed cell phone pictures. More info on basic camera equipment is available here and here.

Find a Good Photo Editor

You can find something pretty good for free.  For cell phone editing I really like this app.  For editing on my desktop, I love this app which has versions for Mac and Windows.  Whichever editing program you choose, practice using it to learn everything it can do.

Work a Toy (or Toy-Like Item) Into Your Shoot

Older babies get bored quickly and will decide they would rather play with the nice background or leave the scene all together.  Keep baby happy with something cute to play with.  For our fall photos, a tiny pumpkin that Paxton could hold worked great and made a cute addition to the photos.

A kid sitting on a front porch holding a small pumpkin with pumpkins behind him.

Look to Pinterest for Ideas

You can see what others have done for backgrounds and fun photos for different seasons or holidays.  We got the baby in a pumpkin idea from Pinterest.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Little ones have short attention spans and tolerance levels.  Plan to work quickly to get your shots.  This means setting up the background ahead of time and making sure you have all your props ready.  Also, start with a baby that is well rested and fed.  Taking photos at the time of day when baby is usually happiest helps too.  If that time of day is when it’s really sunny, then opt for putting your photoshoot in the shade or choose an overcast day.

Know Where the Sun Is

If you really want the perfect photo, take it during the morning or evening when the sun isn’t brightest.  If you take it midday try to do the photos in the shade or when it’s overcast.  If that’s not possible, position the sun to the side of your picture.  For indoor photos, you can never have too much light, but natural light is best if possible.

There you have my tips for taking great photos!  Remember to get out from behind the lens and into some of the photos with baby.  You may want the cute baby pictures, but someday that baby will be grown and will want the pictures with mom and dad in them too.

What are some tips you’ve discovered while taking pictures of baby?  Let me know in the comments.

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Tips for Taking Frame-Worthy Photos of Baby

43 thoughts on “Tips for Taking Frame-Worthy Photos of Baby

  • October 18, 2018 at 7:32 pm
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    Great tips! Honestly, I wish I had an assistant following me around for candid shots during regular life. My kiddo hasn’t slept on me in months, but fell asleep in fetal position in my arms this morning. 😍😥 So hard to capture with one free hand!

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    • January 27, 2019 at 3:51 am
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      I would definitely want a really good photographer because I’m picky about photos of me LOL.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 5:30 pm
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    We’ve had many baby photoshoots, my wife and I, and all of the things you’ve said are spot on. Also, be patient. Babies and children are not always going to be interested in looking into the camera, sitting or lying still, and you may need to just sorta let them do their own thing until you can position them how you’d like. A tender touch works best when moving baby’s arm or hand how you want it. I always really enjoy these photoshoots. There’s something just sort of magical about babies and how they show up in pictures.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:23 pm
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      Yes being patient is so important! If you wait long enough the baby will likely end up close to where you want eventually.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 6:35 pm
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    I love that you showed good and not good angles. It visually shows what works and how well it works. Great article.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:22 pm
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      Thanks! I never realized how bad some of my angles were until I started figuring out the good ones.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    Our first Christmas pictures of my daughter were taken by my sister in law and we must have blown through 10 rolls of film (yes film it was 19 years ago). I wish I had these tips back then for sure. Great article and visuals.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:22 pm
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      Photography has gotten much easier now that you get instant photo review on your phone/camera and can delete anything that isn’t perfect.

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  • February 8, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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    We are really lucky because my sister’s boyfriend is a professional photographer, and my sister has been learning from him. We get professional quality photos for free whenever we manage to get together with them! They live on the other side of the country, so in between I try and draw on some of their techniques to get some good shots. Great ideas here, I definitely will try out working a toy into our next photo shoot!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:21 pm
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      That’s awesome to have someone in the family that is a professional photographer! However, an entire country between you can make it a little difficult.

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      • February 12, 2019 at 8:47 am
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        Yes! Plus it’s not great to abuse family members’ professions. It’s fantastic when they take photos, but I wouldn’t expect them to, they just do it because they want to. (plus they have gifted us photo shoots, which has been amazing).

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        • February 15, 2019 at 8:23 pm
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          Yes you definitely don’t want to demand too much work from your family that wants a work break!

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  • February 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    These are great tips and fantastic pics. And Paxton is such a little cutie!
    I’ve never had children, but we’ve taken plenty of photos of our dogs over the years. And I can tell you that my dogs have not been camera shy in the least and would sit perfectly for the perfect shot (as long as we had some dog treats at the ready!!)

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:20 pm
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      Those are some well-trained dogs to sit perfectly still for the camera. I never seemed to be able to get good photos of my dogs because they were always too wiggly. Now that I’ve practiced with a baby/toddler though, I might be better at it.

      Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 12:27 am
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    Wonderful tips! More hands on deck make all the difference with those busy babies. I also love the Pic-collages to show off some of those bloopers.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:19 pm
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      Thanks! I was looking at my son’s monthly pictures from the first year, and I can see a huge difference in my photo skills over the first year of being a mom.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 4:53 am
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    These are really great tips about photography. I remember how obsessed I was about taking photos of my kids – not necessary of professional quality but just ensure I don’t miss any moment ! And now that they both are teenagers, we all just savor their all photos. Those are absolute assets. It would have been surely better had I also focused on the quality of the photos!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:18 pm
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      I have so many photos on my phone of my son! I never took that many pictures until I became a mom.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 5:54 am
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    I had never thought about it, but these tips are spot on! I especially agree with the one about getting down to their level. It’s true for adults too. My husband tries to take my picture, and he’s almost a foot taller than me. So it turns out bad unless he’s crouching down.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:18 pm
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      Taking pictures looking down definitely makes for some weird-looking photos!

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  • February 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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    As a photographer, I think these are really great tips! I’d like to add that once you invest in a quality camera, you should really learn it well so you can capture images of wiggly babies as quickly as possible.

    Also, remember to keep things safe. Many photographers who photography babies create their images using compositing. If a pose idea looks a bit dangerous, it was probably a composite.

    GIMP is a great free alternative to Photoshop, by the way, but there is definitely a learning curve.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:17 pm
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      These are great tips – thanks for sharing! I still do all my photography on my phone, but my husband has a desire to get a nice camera and learn how to use it. I’m not sure if I have the patience for that or not. That’s also great to know about the compositing.

      Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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    Great post! I was just saying to my husband that we need to take some better photos of our family to update our wall pictures!

    My kiddos aren’t babies anymore but these tips you’ve provided will still work great. I especially think that having a nice background in the shot is important. It’s always the worst when you get a great shot but there is an ugly view in the background. This happens to me all of the time when taking pictures! Ha!

    I will be sure to keep these tips in mind!!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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      I love having photos all over the walls, but I definitely don’t have the budget to get professional photos taken whenever I want them updated. I’ve seen a big improvement in photography skills since becoming a mom!

      Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 3:21 pm
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    Good to learn the techniques.And love the kids.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:15 pm
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      Thanks! I find that these techniques have improved my photos in general.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 3:53 pm
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    Great photos and tips! That little boy is so adorable, the photos turned out great.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm
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      Thank you! The pumpkin photos were a lot easier than I anticipated.

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  • February 9, 2019 at 6:20 pm
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    Yes! Changing your angle is SO important. Little people are in a different frame of reference, so getting on their level makes a much better shot.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:14 pm
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      I feel like a spend a ton of time laying on the ground to get at my son’s level LOL

      Reply
  • February 9, 2019 at 7:20 pm
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    I once try the professional photoshoot of my son, and it was a great one except that it took almost 4 hours!. It was a great experience but the time spent was just too much

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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      That is a really long time to get a picture of a kid!

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  • February 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm
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    Awesome tips! Zooming in and being at the little one’s level really make a difference. Which apps do you recommend for editing on a phone?

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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      I use a basic one called Photo Editor which is one that the free version does everything I need. I have also recently started using Lightroom.

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  • February 10, 2019 at 3:34 am
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    great tips !!! i´m a photographer and i agree you said it all

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:11 pm
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      Thanks! I’m glad to hear a professional agrees with my amateur photography tips.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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    I really need an assistant! But I love taking pics of squishy babies for my friends and family!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:09 pm
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      An extra set of hands is definitely helpful for photos!

      Reply
  • February 11, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    These are all around great tips– I always need the camera at or above face level too! Ha!

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:08 pm
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      Thanks! The angle of the photo makes a world of difference!

      Reply
  • February 11, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    Your model is so cute. I love these tips. I absolutely love going to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. Thank you for the tips.

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    • February 11, 2019 at 11:07 pm
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      Thanks! Pinterest is a great place to get photo ideas.

      Reply

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