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"25 Pro Photography Tips To Get Perfect Baby Pictures, DIY For Moms With Or Without A DSLR"
January 2018
Baby and Newborn Photo Tips

I adore clicking photos of my little Meera. I love to catch her angles, snap her expressions and catch her in her candid moments on my camera. Yet, if I were to confess, I’d say that for every 20 clicks that I take of hers, only 2 are Facebook worthy. If you could see her, my beautiful, photogenic little girl; you’d know that the blame lands at my feet.

This is quite the same with the amateur-handling of my DSLR. As it is with my simple ‘point and shoot’ iPhone (where I am more of a selfie-professional).

Yet, when my 2-year old got her first encounter with lion cubs last week, only 3 of all the petting photos I took, made the cut. Only three met my own Instagram and Facebook sensibilities. That was a shame, a real shame. How many 2-year-olds can boast of these adventures? And how many parents can boast of having given their kids this exposure?

So I decided to do something about it and help some other moms like me in the process. Here’s are some tips given by professional photographers.

General Tips for the ‘Point & Shoot’ Phone Wielding Moms

  1. Click and Click Again

Don’t be afraid to shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Staying patient and taking as many pictures as possible is the key to success. Children are unpredictable and don’t keep still for long. Set a fast shutter speed and keep a patient head. chances are, you’ll be snapping the most magical photo, smack bang in the middle of the last 100 shot bout.

Keep Clicking Lots Of Photos (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

 

  1. Mute Your Lighting

Use natural, indirect light when shooting your pictures. Also, shoot into the light if you can. Especially avoid dappled shade. Avoid facing your child into the sun or you are most likely to end up with a scrunched face and lowered eyelids. If shooting at midday or under the direct sun, head for a big tree or the side of a building.

Muted Lighting on Subject (Pic Courtesy - Johan Bos (Pexels)

  1. Let The Child Be Herself

Try to get your baby’s eyes completely in focus and the photos will tell their own story. Stand above your child if you want her eyes to be open for the photograph. Don't obsess over what the child is doing, rather, aim to capture who the child is. Embrace the moods, focus on the details and you’ll have a photo that you’ll be cherishing forever.

Capture The Mood, Not The Activity (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Make It Interesting For The Child

It is no good being a great photographer if you cannot get your subject to sit still long enough to get a half decent click. The trick is to distract the child with a visually-appealing prop. It could be a bright flower or an interesting toy. Use it to distract the child into stillness and add another interesting prop to your photo. Another way is to enlist the help of the father. Hand him the camera while you stand right behind him and call for your child’s attention. Or it could be vice versa. The second pair of helpful hands and eyes can do wonders for your photo.

Distract Him With A Prop Or Toy (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Let Creativity Loose

Try to be creative in your photos and stop asking your kids to pose every time you want a pic. The novelty will wear off and you may have your children develop an aversion to photos. Keep them moving instead. The best photos are the ones that capture a child’s natural happiness and delight. While she’s facing, skipping, running or even watering the garden!

Natural is Creative (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1.  Pay Attention To The Colours

Colours and backgrounds can make or break your photos. A busy print can detract the focus from your child’s natural beauty and expression. Pale or faded colours fail to stand out and create an impression. A background that is dull and boring can take away the photo’s glamour quotient. A bright coloured outfit with a contrasting background can look amazing.

Pay Attention to The Colours (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Zoom In Freely

Long shots are beautiful, whether they are landscapes or portraits. They give you the creative freedom with choice of backgrounds and secondary elements. But close-ups are equally good, if not better. close-ups help you to capture all the little details. Hand movements, facial expressions, and character are better captures in close-ups. Especially with babies and toddlers, zoomed-in close-ups are absolute magic. These are the pics that will forever grace your frames.

Baby Close Ups Look Great (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. ‘Leading Lines’ Work

A leading line is an easy path throughout your photo that makes it easy for the eyes to travel to your focal subject. They act as the link between the background, foreground and your subject. They add symmetry or patterns to an otherwise simple shot too.

Leading Lines Lead The Focus On The Subject (Pic Courtesy: Pixabay, Pexels)

  1. Avoid Common Mistakes

Distractions detract from the real photos. Objects that attach to the subject do the same. For example, tree branches that form antlers over someone’s head! By being aware of your background, you can avoid most of these common mistakes.

Avoid Appendages On The Head Or Elsewhere (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

Pro Tips for the DSLR Swinging Ninja Moms

If you own a DSLR, you are already on your way to the best frame-worthy Instagram photos. A few easy tips and you’ll be shooting like a pro.

  1. Check your Shutter Speeds

Shutter speeds control the amount of time that light hits the camera’s sensor. Faster shutter speeds help to freeze a subject in motion. Slower shutter speeds are best for low light and night photography. You shouldn’t go lower than 1/125 (1 to 125th of a second) without flash. Go no lower than 1/80 (1 to 80th of a second) with flash, because going any lower can cause blurring.

Camera Shutter Speeds Matter (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Consider the Depth of the Field

Depth of field refers to the range of distances that are in focus within your photo. You need large f-stop to keep the little background and foreground objects in focus. A small f-stop value allows more focus on the subject and blurs the background. It is easy to set up your focal length as it is often printed right on the camera lens. The higher the f-stop, the smaller the aperture opening. This means better the focus on all the foreground and background objects.

Try Blurring The Backgrounds (Pic Courtesy - Aleksandr Balandin (Pexels)

  1. Decide on Your Aperture Settings

Aperture is one of your three main camera settings. It controls the amount of light that reaches the sensor. For close-ups or pictures that contain one person, use high aperture. These pictures do not need as much light. For landscape photos or photos with more than one object, use low aperture. This lets the most light into the camera.

Use High Aperture For Close Ups With Single Subject (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Select an Appropriate ISO Setting

ISO settings are for light sensitivity. They determine how sensitive your image sensor is to the amount of light present. Your ISO affects the shutter speed and aperture setting and is very important for a good picture. Generally, the higher the ISO, the more the “noise” that affects your picture. When it is sunny, an ISO setting of 100 works well. A setting of around 400 works when it is overcast and light is poor. ISO 800 or more gives the best pictures when it is dusk and almost dark.

ISO100 Works Best For Sunny Pics (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Follow the Rule Of Thirds

When clicking a photograph, check the split viewfinder. This is the one where the screen is divided into nine little blocks of three rows and three columns. Place all the focal elements of the picture on or near the intersection of these imaginary lines.

Center Your Subject With Split-Viewfinder (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Zooming and Crop!

Move a little closer or zoom in on your object to create interesting crops. Of course you can do this cropping later, when you are editing your picture. But you run a risk of increased pixellation or loss definition when you do so then.

Zoom and Crop For Great Pics (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

Tips for Professional-Like Baby & Newborn Photography For Amateur Moms

There is really no replacing a professional photographer. Especially when it comes to baby or newborn photography. Let’s face it, they have the experience, the right tools and the right props! But yes, they are expensive, as most professionals are. So if you want to add to your professional photographs, you can do so at home at lower costs and higher convenience. Here are some tips for that.

  1. Get Real Close

Baby close-ups are powerful! Close ups capture natural expressions up close and personal. When just your baby’s beautiful face fills up your frame you never have eyes for the props or the background.

Close Up Are Beautiful (Pic Courtesy - Scott Fitch (Pexels)

  1. Play Dress Up

Go creative with dressing up your babies. Whether it is a pumpkin outfit or a crocheted frock, make sure it's cute. Find the littlest wonder woman costume if you must. Play with different colours, styles, themes and fashions to up your pictures game.

Dress Up Your Baby (Pic Courtesy - Bingo (Pexels)

  1. Set Up Your Own Photography Space

Choose a place in your home with ample natural light and get about making it comfortable and cozy for your baby. Fluff it up with furs, add warm linen and plump up a few pillows. Choose blankets with different textures to add that extra ‘zing’ to your close-up pics.

Build Up Your Personal Photography Space (Pic Courtesy - Daria Shevtsova (Pexels)

  1. Get the Background Right

Experiment with a few background if you must, but get the background right. Backgrounds can make or break your photos. Use soft tones in simple, single colour. Avoid chaotic, colourful and patterned backgrounds.

Check Your Backgrounds (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Choose Your Time

Shoot during mornings or evenings. There's better light and the baby is fresh and comfortable. Let soft light hit your baby’s face at a forty five degree angle. Harsh and direct light spoils pictures as well as expressions.

Angled Light Works Best (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Do Not Use Flash

A baby’s eyes are very sensitive to light. A sudden flash of light can startle the baby at the very least and cause real damage to his sight at worst. Work with the shadows. Stay persistent and patient with natural light. Every few clicks you are sure to find the gem you seek.

Work With The Shadows (Pic Courtesy -  Min An (Pexels)

  1. Editing Brings Out The Best

Adobe Photoshop can be quite intimidating, especially for amateur photographers. But tutorial videos are available online on Youtube and learning is not as hard as it seems. Be sure to learn and use these tools. These help brighten photos, enhance the contrasts and colours and generally edit them to perfection. Try your hand at the black and white filters too. These pictures convey emotions better than anything else. Do not go overboard with these tools though. Stick to minimal filters, you baby doesn’t need them to look good!

Edit Your Photos (Pic Courtesy - Caio Resende (Pexels)

  1. Keep Practicing and Keep Clicking

Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing with your baby, after all, you’d never get a better subject. Grab your camera and click away, the most you click, the more your chances of getting a hit. Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of luck and timing.

Keep Clicking (Pic Courtesy - Kaboompics // Karolina (Pexels)

  1. Don’t Miss the Timing

Babies grow up way too fast. If you intend to do a newborn shoot, don’t procrastinate. The best time to get this done is within the first 10 days of your baby’s life. This is the time where you can get the best poses, since your baby will sleep comfortably through most of the shoot. Also, keep the duration of the shoot as short as possible by keeping all your props ready. Begin immediately after a feeding. You will have better luck keeping your child calm and peaceful through the shoot.

Newborn Shoots Should Be Within 10 Days (Pic Courtesy - Pixabay (Pexels)

  1. Keep Safety First

Don’t go overboard on experimenting with poses when shooting at home. Leave the complicated pictures and poses to the professionals. They know how to handle babies and how to get the best features and expressions out of them. When doing a shoot in a home setting always find poses and places where you can ensure the safety of your child.

Safety First With Photos (Pic Courtesy - Bingo Theme (Pexels)

 


Main Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-black-dslr-camera-167832/

All Photos From Pexels.com (Seperate Credits in Alt Text)

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