Children grow up quickly, so cherish every day with them, and take photos to capture those precious moments. Below are six lessons I learned by trial and error with my own babies to help you take beautiful photos of your newborn.
Choose a setting that is comfortable and convenient. An infant will likely be most at ease in a quiet setting, free from loud noises and heavy activity. Newborns do three main things frequently – eat, sleep and dirty their diapers – so plan to take photos in a location that makes it easiest to provide for these needs. Keeping your baby content will reduce the amount of cranky baby photos you end up with. Many parents opt to take photos of newborns in the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
Utilize natural daylight and lose the flash whenever possible. Take advantage of natural lighting to cut down on unwanted shadows and red eye in the pictures. It will also make your photos of your newborn look more natural, instead of posed.
Pay attention to the background. Nothing is more frustrating than finally capturing a beautiful image of your newborn, only to later discover the pile of unfolded laundry lingering nearby or the glare from the window behind him has messed up an otherwise perfect shot. Remove clutter from the area beforehand and avoid backgrounds that are distracting or overly bright or shiny. Try to use basic backgrounds that keep the primary focus on the subject, your adorable newborn.
Get down to the baby’s level. Taking photos from your vantage point will not produce the same effect as lowering yourself to the level of your newborn. Sit down. Get on your knees. Lay on your side. Bring your body to eye level with the infant and try multiple angles to find what works best for you. You will find your photos are less distorted and more in-tune with your newborn.
Zoom in to capture expressions and tiny baby parts. Be sure to capture photographic memories of those little feet, hands and angelic expressions. There’s no rule that photos must include your baby’s entire body in them. Snap of photo of your baby’s hand enveloped in his or her daddy’s much bigger one, pan in for a picture of your little one’s bare feet, or zoom in for close-ups of your infant’s face to fully capture the innocence in those baby eyes.
Be patient, flexible and always prepared with the camera. Your newborn is not going to pose for you. He or she probably won’t even realize you’re taking pictures! To get the best portraits, you need to be patient and ready to shoot when the moment is right. Set up the area as much as possible and then wait for the opportunity, like when your newborn is fed, changed and not tired. Also, don’t hesitate to snap a few photos of your angel sleeping peacefully or even of him crying.
The most important thing to remember about taking beautiful photos of your newborn is to actually take them! Children, especially babies, grow and change quickly. Take advantage of any opportunity to capture memories of your newborn’s early days and weeks of life.
Author’s personal parenting experience.
“Create Memorable Baby Pictures Using Professional Photography Tips,” Best Family Photography Tips.
Darren Rowse, “10 Tips for Photographing Babies,” Digital Photography School.
Peter Kolonia, “How To: Photograph Your Friends and Family,” PopPhoto.com.