For new parents reading this, do you feel as if your baby grew up way too quickly, in fact, so fast, you didn’t even realised it? I feel the same way too.
Half of the space in my hard disks are filled with photos of my baby boy, but somehow, I still feel as if I haven’t taken enough pictures of him.
Time truly flies. My son’s already a year old. Although I still yearn for more time with him when he was a little baby , I feel comforted by the fact that I have many folders of photos to look through, and remember the times by.
Personally, I feel that Infant Photography is the most rewarding. And yet, it is also the field of photography that demands the most amount of patience.
You can’t direct babies in terms of posing, neither can you say to them, “Please do that again, I haven’t gotten my picture yet.” You never know what you’re going to get from each photo session, because each baby is different. My advice to you is to not force poses on them, but to go along with the infant and try to be creative on the spot. More than often, you’ll be surprised by the results achieved. Infant Photography can be amazingly beautiful, artistic and heartwarming.
New parents have only one chance to capture their baby’s “firsts.” Here are some tips for you to capture those fleeting moments.
Get down to their level
Make sure you get down to your baby’s level when taking pictures. By doing this, you can capture the natural moment from their perspective, as if you’ve entered their world. Explore taking pictures from various angles as this will give the photograph different moods.
Always have your camera ready
This tip applies to street or nature photography too. Babies being babies, they’ll have many unexpected, funny moments and you will want to catch them when they occur. Your baby will have plenty of ‘firsts’ - the first time he encounters water, his first smile, first steps and so on. To capture as many of these as you can, try to have your camera on hand as much as possible.
Your baby will be a toddler in a blink of an eye, so take pictures constantly. By doing so, you can track your newborn’s growth – who knows, you can even have the photos made into a “photo documentary”.
Capture their many faces
Babies are essentially a tinier version of us adults – they too have different moods and can lapse from one into another just as easily. To get a certain pose or look, you’ll have to study the resting and feeding schedule of the baby. A well-rested and well-fed baby will be more willing to smile or laugh and interact – these make for good photo opportunities. This doesn’t mean that their cranky photos don’t make for good photos though – you can also take pictures of their teary, frowning faces. Babies have many different expressions, so why not capture them all?
Your next shot can be your perfect shot
As babies are unable to take directions and pose the way you want them to, you’ll realise that the more pictures you take, the higher the chances of you getting your perfect shot. Babies can be unpredictable and you may not get the perfect baby picture in the first couple of shots. Don’t be afraid to fill up your memory card with lots of practice shots. At the same time, be speedy – babies have a short attention span and tend to get bored quickly. As soon as they do, you may find that you just might have missed the moment.
If the background isn’t important to your photograph, blur or crop it out. Don’t be afraid to zoom in to your baby’s face when taking pictures. A close-up can capture your baby’s personality. At the same time, go macro with his cute, tiny body parts (hands, feet, eyes, mouth, head and so on)
Capture the interaction
Include natural, loving moments with the family in your photographs. Capture the delicate moment as the baby is nursed by his mother, the gentle look in a grandparent’s eyes as he holds his grandchild for the first time, and the curious yet caring caresses from the infant’s siblings.
Good Lighting for Great Photos
Although studio lighting can capture sharp, vivid and clear images, you may also want to consider using natural light from a window to light your baby. This can convey the mood or ambience of the surroundings. The outdoor sun can be harsh for your baby so if you want to take pictures outdoors, do it in the shade. Shade can act as a good diffuser.
I hope these tips will prove to be useful to you, just as they are in my experience of shooting babies and kids.
I Love Children thanks Sony (Illuminate) for their valuable input in this article.