Two things are certain with babies : 1) They’re delicious and sweet, we want to eat their toes. 2) They are growing insanely fast and before you know it, they’ll become a petulant teenager who does some irreversible damage to your car. (Sorry again about this Odyssey, mom!) To capture those ephemeral, squooshy moments is something you can love forever (especially during those car-totaling moments) and you don’t even have to go to an expensive photography studio to get professional photos. We’ve collected the best of the best newborn photography tips from amateurs and experts alike. By the end of this roundup, you’ll know how to set up your own photo shoot right from the comfort of home.
1. Create the best light for your baby
To get the glow-y, angelic look that baby photos are known for, pick a shooting location that has a lot of natural lights. (No flashes today, thanks.) Choose the room in your house that has the most sunlight and make that your DIY baby photos studio. If you’re thinking of shooting on the floor, experts recommend finding a window or sliding door that lets in light all the way down to the floor.
2. Find a time to shoot that fits with your baby’s routine
Because your subject may be a bit of a diva, keep in mind when your baby is generally happiest during the day (after a meal, perhaps) and shoot around those times. Also keep in mind that some newborns will be easiest to photograph when they’re asleep, so try coordinating the shoot with nap time. To keep newborns unfussy, some experts suggest using a heater to keep them warm and playing soothing music.
3. Pick textured,neutral props so your baby can shine
Pick props and outfits that are a similar tone and neutral color so that they don’t distract from your baby. Picking a light color may help with the lighting of the picture, it will reflect light instead of absorbing it. Add visual effect by using a prop with texture, like a knit blanket. You can also use blankets as a backdrop since they won’t wrinkle like sheets and curtains might.
4. Be baby-ready when you start shooting
Some recommend adjusting your lighting before you put your baby in place for the shot. This will save you time because you don’t have to keep readjusting and the baby will be happier since they can get in and out of this alien situation sooner. It also helps to have backup baby outfits and props ready in case they have an accident or if they are in a good mood and willing to have their outfit swapped for a second string of foreground/background combos.
5. Pick some fancy clothes
Use your imagination, you can find tons of awesome baby outfit for photography. From princess dresses, to superheroes costumes. Check out our baby photo shoot outfit collection here.
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6. Set up the camera to get the best shot
If you have a point shoot, set it to portrait mode. Doing that helps blur the background and soothes the hair and the skin tones, which is flattering for the baby.
If you’re using a DSLR, open your aperture all the way (set it on the smallest number) so you get a soft, blurred background. Pair it with a portrait lens (around 85mm). Zoom and focus on your baby’s eyes. If you are using a smartphone, try using the portrait mode. This mode blurs the background and focuses on the baby face. With the right lighting, you can achieve almost pro like results.
7. Keep the baby supported on set
Shooting your baby on the floor is a good option for getting overhead shots and make sure your baby doesn’t roll off anything. If you want to try shooting a some other poses, Autumn Baldwin presents two great options: Having someone hold the baby while they’re under a big, bulky blanket or placing the baby on a Boppy pillow that’s covered with a blanket. To have someone holding the baby is an especially good trick for newborns since they get cold and love to be held. It’s pretty easy to keep the holder out of the shot, and the baby will be less fussy.
8. Take pics from above
Keep your camera strap on for safety. For sure you don’t want it to slip out of your hand and fall. Angle your shot so that you’re shooting down the baby’s nose instead of up because that doesn’t look flattering on anyone. If you’re shooting your baby from an elevated surface, masters recommend getting eye level with them so you can establish eye contact. Speaking of which…
9. Use toys or songs to catch your baby’s eyes
To get a really exceptional photos, you want to make eye contact with your baby, but it can be hard task for them to see you with a big camera in the way. Use shakers or play a-boo while moving the camera away from and then in front of your face in order to get the perfect shot.
10. Edit the photos on your smartphone or computer
No doubt that most of us don’t have a professional camera or doesn’t have the skills to shoot. Thus, we have our modern smartphones with AI modes and huge amount of editing options. Once you are done with the photos, go and pick the best shots and try to use your built in editor. If you don’t have one, pick one from the App Store, I bet there are thousands of them. First fix the brightness and then the contrast. Experiment with those two until you have the best result. After this make sure to add a pre built filter. Most of the editors have plenty of built in filters. And Vuola 🙂 you have a pro like photos of your baby.
To sum it up:
- Create the best lighting for the baby
- Find a time to shoot that fits with your baby’s routine
- Pick neutral, textured props so your baby will shine
- Be baby-ready before you start shooting
- Pick some fancy clothes
- Set up your camera to get the best shot
- Keep your baby supported on set
- Take pictures from above
- Use toys or songs to catch your baby’s eyes
- Edit the photos on your smartphone or computer
When you’re done with your photo shoot, you can turn them into wall hangings, or get them scrapbook ready. Yo can also use your newly discovered baby photography ideas to create a baby gift for someone in your life. And don’t forget to tag us on facebook and instagram when you do your photo shoot 🙂