The plus of taking baby photos is also the downfall. Babies don’t pose for the camera. To your advantage, you won’t have to sort through hundreds of phony, cheesy smiles and awkward poses like you may have to do with older subjects. But because babies are natural models, it can be harder to get them to do what you want for the camera. Read through these baby photo tips to get an idea of how to get the best out of your next photography session with a cute baby.
Baby Photography Tips
TIP 1: Non-smiling photos are also endearing.
As a photographer, you have the opportunity (and responsibility) to capture a baby’s feelings and expressions. You and the baby’s parents will love the result when you snap a photo of a genuine baby smile or giggle. Keep in mind that you are documenting the baby’s true feelings. Life is not always bliss and it’s ok, and often a golden opportunity, to illustrate this in your photos. A picture of a baby fussing or yawning can be just as precious as a happy one.
TIP 2: Practice up on your silly voice.
If you want to capture a certain expression from the baby, you may need to step in and help elicit emotions. (For the record, I’m definitely not suggesting that you make the baby sad on purpose.) You may need to goo and gah and make funny faces to get a giggle out of the baby you are taking photos of. Bring an interesting or unique toy for the baby to play with to get some curious-looking-baby photos. A fun way to get some cute, squinty faces is to give the baby something sour to eat. A quirky, sour-face is an interesting twist on traditional baby pictures. This is especially cute with babies who have darling dimples or chubby faces.
TIP 3: Take Advantage of your Time
Photo shoots tend to be long. As you’ve learned in the tutorials on our website, it’s best to snap several photos of each position or angle so you can be sure you will find a good one out of the bunch. Attention spans of infants vary, but most probably won’t be excited about sitting through a long afternoon with a camera in their faces. In order to keep the baby happy and get better results, you may need to help entertain the baby. Have the parents bring snacks or start a quick game of Peek-a-Boo. Having siblings or other children nearby can also help keep the baby happy. Take advantage of these little breaks to snap some additional photos!
TIP 4: Be Prepared.
Along with your lenses and tripod, don’t forget to bring baby wipes to take care of any snot, dirt or food messes.
It probably comes as no surprise that babies are messy. That may be just the look you’re going for. But if it’s not, a few wipes will do the trick. Another idea is to have the parents bring an extra outfit in case of an emergency diaper blow-out.
TIP 5: Embrace the Clouds
Many amateurs think that sunny days equal the best outdoor conditions for a photo session.
Make the most of the light you’re given! Unless you want to spend hours editing shadows on your photos, choose a partly cloudy day. Ideally, you should go before or after the middle of the day when the sun shining the brightest. The baby will be happier if he or she doesn’t have to squint to look at you.
Remember to be creative with your angles and positions. Good luck with your photos!