Truth be told, it’s not hard to photograph babies. They are always so, so, so cute. But it is hard to take a GOOD picture of babies, what with all their moving, squirming, and drive-by smiles. You’ve got to be on your toes!
Here are few tricks I use when I’m at work – oh, yeah, did I mention my other job is taking photographs of families?
1. The hotter the better. Keep the room/house warm with babies. They like to nuzzle and snuggle so when they are cold, they are unhappy. Not good for the picture taking. Crank up the heat, even if that means you are sweating.
2. Level as she goes. Get the camera on their level. Don’t photograph down on them. If you photograph straight on, or even below their eyes, they tend to look like the majestic angels they are.
3. Quiet on the set. Tone down the background. If you can, make it all one color – a sheet, a big coat, a chair or couch cushion. Anything to make the baby pop right out of the photograph.
4. Strike a pose, juxtapose. Babies look best when they are either near really big things (to emphasize their smallness) or really small things (to make them look larger than life).
5. Moody, moody, moody. Don’t be afraid to snap away when the tears come. Or in the middle of a big yawn. Sometimes, it’s the absence of a smile that makes the memory stand out even more.
Bonus* 6. Back to basics. Even a photo from behind can capture just the right thing.
Now, it’s hard to photograph with a point and shoot or camera phone that has a delay. Really frustrating. My advice – press the button BEFORE you think you have to. You know your baby. You know when a smile is coming. Snap away. And don’t be shy, take thousands. You can always edit later.
One day, I hope that some baby will take it upon herself and photograph/video her parents trying to photograph her. Wouldn’t that be awesome, to see the faces we all make?
photo credit: MHMB