Is there anything more fun to photograph than a baby? Babies are so soft, sweet, and new almost every baby portrait turns out well, even when they’re cranky (well, at least most of the time!). Candid infant photography preserves those special moments in the first months of life, whether the baby is sleeping or awake. Posed, or at least staged, baby portraits can also be done with a little extra patience. Here are nine things you need to know to make sure that your baby photos are the best they can be.
1. Mom Might Be Camera Shy
Photos of baby and mom’s first moments together are a must for many families, but after what she’s been through don’t be surprised if mom is not feeling at her most photogenic and is leery of the camera. To get around this, you can take pictures of her new baby in her arms, or just let her know you won’t share the photos without her approval (or a little digital photography editing).
2. Keep Things Comfortable
Whether your infant photography is happening while the baby is asleep or awake, it’s important to remember that he likes to be warm to be truly comfortable. Especially if he’s being photographed without clothes or blankets, turn up the heat in the room to shoot him at his best.
3. You Have to Be Patient for Both of You
Though they are rarely awake for more than an hour at a time, newborns don’t tend to be calm for longer than a few minutes when their eyes are open. Since mom and dad aren’t sleeping much, this can add stress to a photography session. Be patient, and use the burst mode on your camera to get the most out of these short periods of calm.
4. Natural Light Is Best
Babies are easily startled, and the last thing you want is to end your baby portrait session prematurely because he received a big scare from the flash on your camera, for example. Use natural light from a window whenever possible, or adjust your settings for a low light situation if necessary.
5. Her Skills are Limited
This almost goes without saying, but in the excitement of planning an infant photography session, it’s easy to forget how this impacts photos. Since newborns have very little muscle control, it may be possible to pose them on their back or cross their feet while they are sleeping, but don’t expect to be able to do this while they’re awake.
6. His Awareness is Limited, Too
Related to limited skills, newborns have limited awareness of the world around them. Although it can be cute to pose sleeping babies on thick tree branches or other unexpected places, this really shouldn’t be done. It is dangerous for the baby, and even if someone is standing just out of the frame ready to support the child there’s no reason to put a baby (or anyone else) in danger for a photo.
7. Mom and Dad Are Part of Him
A newborn baby is always the focus, but his parents should be included in at least some of the baby portraits. Taking pictures of a newborn on his parents’ laps, in their arms, and during other interactions is a classic digital photography technique.
8. You’ll Need Baby’s Interest
A newborn spends her time awake being basically amazed at everything happening around her. If you want baby to look at the camera, get her attention by shaking her favorite toy or a set of keys just above the camera lens. Remember that a newborn's eyes are not fully developed so they can not see full shapes so rattles, beeps and honks work great
9. She Won’t Be This Small Ever Again so get the details
Although it’s important to enjoy moments with a newborn without a camera involved, there are only a few short months of infancy. Make sure that you take the opportunity to capture these moments, since she’s getting bigger every week. Do this by capturing all the small parts. Fingers, toes, feet, ears, nose and mouth. All the small features of a newborn baby can have huge story telling impact. Plus it adds an artistic touch to your infant photographs.