Photographing a newborn baby is a challenging task because it is not as same as any other subjects for photography. Newborns have unpredictable mood which often gets in the way of your work. Moreover, infants and toddlers can’t really be told what to do which makes it difficult to photograph them.
Although if you know some professional photography tricks and dealing with babies, you’ll be able to ace newborn photography. Here we have listed 7 tips for you to take the perfect portrait of your cute little bunch of happiness.
1. Keep clicking
You can’t expect a ‘right’ moment to click because babies are unpredictable. Be ready for their tantrums and tears that can happen at any time. So, to capture every angle, emotion, and gesture of the baby keep your DSLR camera ready. An ISO of 100-400 and a wide aperture (f/2.8-f/8) for a shallow DOF works well in natural light. Since you have to keep clicking, make sure to use a continuous shooting mode to capture at least 3 to 5 photos in just a few seconds.
2. Shoot in the natural light
Natural light is best for baby shoots. The perfect time to photograph newborns is the daytime when there is plenty of natural daylight. The natural light seeping in through the windows over the baby’s face at a 45-degree angle gives an amazing shot. Make use of a standard lens of 50mm and turn the mode dial to AV (Aperture Priority) mode with a high ISO and a wide aperture. Make sure to avoid the harsh afternoon sun to prevent shadow casts and baby from harmful rays. Never use flash on the babies because the blinding light may scare them and calming them down gets difficult.
3. Click candid shots
Click as many candid pictures as you can, especially by involving siblings. A baby photo shoot is all about capturing unplanned moments by making the shoot playful and full of life. Since you will be capturing moments where a baby is rolling around, gurgling or laughing, a fast shutter speed of 1/500s or more with a wide aperture (f/1.8-f/4) is recommended. To elicit a reaction, make funny faces and play with the baby.
4. Use macro mode
Macro shots are best for shooting small babies or newborns, while for toddlers and babies who can sit up and move around, wide-angle shots work well. Also, when siblings and parents are joining in the frame, go for wide angle shots.
5. Feed and change baby before the shoot
Often babies’ mood changes when either they are hungry or needs to get their diapers changed. The best shots are taken when the baby is in good mood; therefore make sure to change your baby right before the shoot and feed them well.
6. Play with the background
A photo that you will definitely want to frame and hang in your living room is a classic black and white shot of baby isolated against a black background. To get this black and white effect, use a large piece of black fabric or blanket and drape it over your beanbag or fix to the wall.
Moreover, you can always experiment with the settings because unexpected settings often give the best shots. Think about nestling baby inside of a box, or atop a decorative rug.
7. Shoot at their level
Try to avoid photographs taken from above because newborn photography is all about the perspective and giving a feel as if you have entered the baby’s world. Take the camera down at baby’s level and take macro shots.
You and your baby are going to cherish these pictures for the whole life, so make sure to get emotive and soulful portraits of your newborn. Photographing babies is an incredible, as well as, memorable experience. However, clicking these treasured photographs is a challenging job. You not only need to know all the technical aspects of photography but also need to be creative and playful.