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3 month old baby photos are tricky… they’re more wakeful than newborns, but not yet sitting. Often won’t stay on their side, and they can’t hold their head up (or at least not for very long!).
This pretty much leaves you with one pose… baby on their back.
For that reason we’ve been wanting to write a blog post about getting variety in your 3 month old baby photos for aaaages… we just couldn’t find a 3 month old! So when our fabulous instructor Merissa Wakefield went on maternity leave earlier this year… we waited.
Meet baby Aston, he just turned 3 months and he’s our model for this tutorial on how to get variety in your 3 month old baby photos… enjoy!
Scope out the little pockets of good soft light in your home then use those locations for variation. Try these:
Look to your windows and doors for nice soft light.
Related: Doorway Light
As cute as your baby is, don’t get distracted and just take head shots! Capture all those little details that will change in grow in the blink of an eye. You can take all of the following shots without even changing your angle or perspective.
Stay consistent in your light and editing, and you can create a gorgeous storyboard of your 3 month baby photos to frame and hang!
If you’ve got a clever cookie and he’s able to hold his head up for short periods, make the most of it!
But here’s a tip so you don’t wear him out before you’ve even got your shots…
Find the good light, get your settings ready to go, take some test shots, and make sure you’re happy with the light, location and framing. Then bring baby in. Pop him on his tummy and wait. Be ready, and you will probably need to be quick.
Choose a wide aperture such as f/2 for a beautiful shallow depth of field like this shot.
The second he looks up, aim your focus point over the eye closest to you and snap. If you’re not confident in being able to do that quickly, choose an aperture that will ensure you get acceptable focus even if your focus falls on another part of his face. This close, try around f/4.5 to give you plenty of wiggle room.
Related: Master your Focus
I suggest a fast shutter speed of at least 1/200, and high speed burst mode and continuous focus to give you the best chance of a nice sharp shot.
All that said… don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work. It takes practice to be as super quick as you might need to be in this situation. Your 3 month baby photos will be beautiful with or without this specific shot. And you can always try again in a month (4 month baby photo tutorial anyone?!).
A bassinet is fantastic because it adds interest to the baby on back pose, and as a bonus it enables you to easily photograph in any location in the house with good light no matter where it is.
When shooting from this height, use a wide aperture such as f/1.8 for a beautiful shallow depth of field.
Related: Getting out of Auto Mode
If you don’t already have a bassinet, don’t go out and buy one just for your 3 month baby photos… see if you can borrow one, or check your local BSS FB page. Or just pop a quilt on the floor and take shots from the same perspective.
Shoot directly down from your own standing height. If you’re height challenged, grab a chair. But for baby’s safety, always do this with your camera strap around your neck.
Get down low and if you place yourself at his head end but slightly to the side, he will look for your voice if you talk to him. Then snap him when you’ve got his attention.
In this same low down position, don’t forget those little feet and hands!
If you have a macro lens or filter, capture super close ups of his tiny details such as ears, wisps of hair, wrinkly fingers.
Related: Macro Newborn Photography
Turn baby around parallel with your camera, step back and get shots from the side, both wide and close ups. Whilst in this position, try to grab his attention again so he turns his face toward you.
In this shot Aston is in the middle of the bed for the purposes of safety, but the centered composition works due to the symmetry of the bed and other elements.
Related: When to Break the Rule of Thirds
This pose is one of the easiest… it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and they’ll either look at you or one another. Either way, it works!
Get yourself up high and remember if you need to use a chair, make sure you camera is secure around your neck.
Alternatively, put a quilt on the floor and then you’ll easily be able to take this shot from your standing position.
Give big sister some prompts, for example:
Turn them around as in the shot below, ask big sister to talk or sing to him and he will naturally look for her. This is a super cute shot and is an easy way to capture their connection.
Not all your sibling shots need to be posed. Always have your camera within handy reach, and keep your eye out for sib photo opportunities. If you want to get sneaky, put baby in the good light, clear the area, and ask big sister to check on him.
Or give her a little (toy) camera and ask her to snap her own 3 month baby photos!
Big love to Merissa for gifting us these beautiful photos to help us write this tutorial. Go check her out on Insta!