I was reminded how difficult it is to photograph babies when I went to visit my friends and their newborn son last week. Capturing his sweet little face and tiny little body wrapped up in a blanket was really, really hard. I shot him from above, and well, it didn’t do him justice.
So, I did some research around how to photograph babies in a way that truly captures their adorableness. Here’s what I found:
1. Lay down next to them
This is one thing we definitely didn’t do enough with our own kids: Lay on the floor or bed next to the baby. You’ll end up with shots taken on his level rather than looking down at him.
2. Opt for simple backgrounds
When you’re taking portrait-style shots, clear out the clutter and opt for a neutral, basic background. You can place the baby on a soft white or cream sheet or blanket draped over his boppy pillow or laid out on a bed.
3. Switch angles
Just as you would any subject you’re shooting, try several different angles. In terms of a baby, that means positions – over the shoulder, curled in the crook of an arm, laying on his tummy.
4. Take photos with family and friends
The best way to capture the tininess of a baby is by contrasting his size with that of an adult. One of my favorite photos of my daughter (now 11 ½ years old) was taken when she was 3 days old. My mom was standing and holding this tiny baby against her chest – you can clearly see that my mom’s hand easily wrapped around my daughter’s back.
5. Focus on hands, feet, etc.
When you are taking close-up shots of a baby, don’t forget to zoom in on their specific features – tiny little feet, hands balled into fists, and so on.
6. Switch to black and white
Aside from the fact that black and white photos are timeless, they can also erase odd coloring and marks on a baby’s face and instead highlight his features. Experiment with black and white filters to see what you capture.
7. Set your camera to continuous shooting mode
Newborn babies make a lot of subtle movements; infants tend to move more dramatically. To make sure you capture the perfect moment, set your camera to continuous shooting mode (and edit as you go – or you’ll end up with hundreds of just-OK photos!).
As you shoot and edit your photos, don’t forget to back them up! Have non-digital photos of your grown children that need backing up? Send them to us, and we’ll digitize them for you!