Learning how to take baby photos is a great way to capture your little one’s first year and preserve it for years to come. It also gives you a great way to share your baby’s boy or girl milestones with friends and family.
As portrait subjects go, babies are super handy in that they can’t run away from your camera — especially if you’ve ever tried to photograph a toddler! But they do present some challenges in terms of limited posing options and lighting a baby laying down, just to name a couple.
So this week’s highlights reel is a collection of delicious babies from some of our Grads, with some tips, inspo and ideas to help you learn how to take beautiful photos of your own gorgeous baby!
Natural light is the easiest, and it’s free! This shot is a great example of how to use soft, natural window light, and it’s one of the easiest, most fool-proof lighting setups you can try.
Baby is positioned headfirst at a 45-degree angle to the light source. The headfirst position enables the light to gently flow down from the head, illuminating the features you want to highlight, such as the eyes, the tip of the nose, cheekbones and lips. If you positioned the baby with feet closest to the light source, you’d be lighting up their nose, which is not a feature you want to highlight!
The 45-degree position creates gentle shadows on the opposite side, which help add depth and interest to the shot.
Note the side light in this shot? Check out those gorgeous, gentle shadows on the left!
We love this simple metal tub setup. It’s fabulously portable, making it very easy to create simple, clutter-free shots that are really eye catching as a result.
Check out this post for an in depth guide on how this entire session was shot.
Related: Indoor Cake Smash Session
A classic these days but easy and fun!
You know how we fall in love with our baby’s tiny feet, toes, fingers, whisps of hair, button nose, and rosebud lips?
Capture them individually. You can do this with any lens, but if you have a macro…all the better!
Related: Macro for Newborns
Want to learn how to take baby photos that are simple, classic and clutter-free? Try a plain wall or an easy homemade backdrop.
However, a mistake I see people making a lot when creating their own backdrops is using bed sheets. The fabric of even the most expensive bed sheets shows every tiny crease, which is really distracting in pictures.
If you want to use sheets or a quilt cover, iron it first and put as much distance as possible between your subject and the backdrop to blur it really well.
Related: DIY Photography Backdrops
And no one said it had to be a white wall! We LOVE this shot taken by Morvern. So.much.awesome. That pop of orange totally makes it — not to mention her expression! I’m dying!
One of the most versatile lenses you can own is a 50mm prime lens. It’s perfect for portraits no matter what camera you’re using, and you can use it for a variety of other genres. It’s exactly the right focal length to capture your subject perfectly, without distortion. Meaning your subject looks exactly how they look in real life, without distorted features.
But that doesn’t mean distortion is a bad thing!
We love this shot Cassie took with a wide-angle lens and then moved in close with her feet. The distortion created by the wide focal length adds a sense of fun and interest and makes for a really striking portrait.
You can create this same look with a focal length of around 18-24mm on a cropped sensor camera — that’s most entry-level to mid-range DSLRs — and around 24-35mm on a full-frame camera. If you’re not sure what you’ve got, simply google “is [insert camera model here] a crop sensor or full-frame camera”.
Here’s a fun, outside the box idea on how to take baby photos: tape some fairy lights to the end of your lens barrel to frame your shot. Make sure they’re not too close, or the highlights will blow out.
And here’s a way to keep them from sitting too close to the glass.
This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give when photographing your small people: get down to their eye level. It makes it easier to engage them and for the viewer to really connect with your subject.
Don’t forget your baby’s big brother or sister!
It can be hard enough to learn how to take baby or toddler photos, let alone both together.
Want a REALLY comprehensive guide on capturing babies and toddlers together…including a downloadable posing and prompts cheat sheet!? You’re in luck! Here’s one we made earlier…
Related: Toddler & Newborn Photography Guide
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