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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
What are some tips you’ve discovered while taking pictures of baby? Let me know in the comments.
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Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess