TOP 10 TIPS ON HOW TO SHOOT BABIES | PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographing babies can be difficult. They cry, scream, sleep, poop and look everywhere but the camera. But between all the crying, screaming, sleeping, pooping and distractions, you can get some really good shots! ...If you know how.
I don't have a ton of experience in newborn photography, but from what i've done so far i have learnt a lot and have some pretty good tips!
This can mean a few things-
- Be prepared for everything to go disastrously wrong.
When photographing babies, they might not cooperate in the way you want and you might not be able to capture the desired image. Getting them to look at the camera is extremely challenging and most of the images you come away with they will be looking the wrong way. To prepare for this, you have to inform the client that getting the perfect image is all about luck and timing.
- BE PREPARED TO ALWAYS BRING BACKUPS!
Never do a shoot with out having a backup battery & card!
Imagine having everything set up, ready to go and your battery dies... the devastation.
It can be very unprofessional to have a full card and have to go through and delete photos to make room in front of your client-which also wastes both the clients time and yours.
- Be prepared to reschedule or reshoot.
Because babies are so unpredictable you have to be prepared to reschedule with the client if the baby isn't cooperating or arrange a reshoot if the client isn't happy with the images produced.
Babies will change their moods and expressions in a spit second so make sure you don't miss any shots.
Make sure to have some sort of lighting to illuminate your subject as well as creating a certain look for your images. Although natural light works fine it's better to use artificial lighting so you can control the angle and harshness.
Don't use flash
It's always the best idea to use flash as it can scare babies and completely throws off the lighting you already set up.
If your finding it difficult to get the baby to look at the camera (which is extremely likely) then ask the mum or dad to stand behind you, preferably just above the camera, and attract the baby's attention by saying their name, pulling silly faces, singing, dancing... whatever it takes.
You need to be patient and understanding as babies get bored and might need feeding or changing.
It is your number 1 priority to keep the baby safe, especially working with props & lighting. With props you need to be conscience of whether the props your using are baby friendly and if they have any small parts the baby could possibly choke on. With lighting you need to be aware that it gets HOT and is a possible safety hazard for the baby, the parents and yourself. As well as being very bright, the lighting could possibly be irritating to the baby if it is shining directly in his or hers eyes.
Never place the baby on an unsteady, unlevel or high surface and always have mum or dad move/touch/fix the baby.
It's important to try out different angles and get a variety of different images to pick from. Just by walking around the baby you might find a different perspective that creates the perfect image, that you otherwise wouldn't of found.
Get the basic poses first
Make sure to get all the basic/normal poses out the way first and then let yourself experiment and just go with what the baby is doing or ask the parents for their input on what they'd like.
Keep the baby comfortable
Before the shoot make sure to have some (about 2) cushions and a white (or whatever colour of your choice) blanket for the baby to lay on and be propped up.
Place the cushions in a way that will prop the baby up, then cover the cushions with the blanket. Lay the baby on top and make sure he/she is propped up correctly and is comfortable.
The best advice I ever received was don't worry. Whatever happens, happens. If it all goes wrong and you end up with terrible pictures, you can always reshoot if the client wants.
Even if it's not perfect or you don't get exactly what you want, don't worry. The client isn't bothered about the image being a work of art. All they want is a few good quality, special pictures of their baby that they can show to their friends & family and will look amazing sitting in their living room or as their lock screen.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if this was of any help as photographing babies is hard and getting it right is such a struggle.
Don't forget to check back for my next blog post!