Grab Newborn & Toddler posing & Prompts Cheatsheet
Download our handy cheatsheet for a summary of tips you can print out and use when photographing newborns and toddlers together
Hello! If you’re here reading this tutorial which is aimed at beginners, then our Enthusiast Photography Course might be just what you’re looking for. This course has taught thousands of women to shoot confidently in manual mode to take photos they love (in just 8 weeks!). If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, click here to find out more!
3 month old baby pictures 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 images for ages. But 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 pictures…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 headshots! Capture all those little details that will change and grow in the blink of an eye. You can take all of the following pictures without even changing your angle or orientation.
Stay consistent in your light and editing, and you can create a gorgeous storyboard of your 3 month baby pictures 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 a pocket of 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 the 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 the picture below.
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 it 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
For your baby photoshoot I suggest a fast shutter speed of at least 1/200, a high speed burst mode, and continuous focus to give you the best chance of a nice sharp shot.
That said… don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work. It takes practice to be super quick as you might need to be in this situation. Your 3 month baby pictures will be beautiful with or without this specific shot. And you can always try again in a month (4 month old baby photo tutorial anyone?!).
Bassinets are fantastic because they add interest to the baby’s back pose. As a bonus, a bassinet enables you to easily photograph in any location around your house that has good light.
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 pictures…see if you can borrow one, or check your local BSS Facebook 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. For the 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 as 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 up images of the baby’s tiny details such as ears, wisps of hair, wrinkly fingers.
Related: Macro Newborn Photography
Now turn your 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 picture, baby Aston is in the middle of the bed for the purposes of safety, but the centred composition works due to the symmetry of the bed and other elements.
Related: When to Break the Rule of Thirds
For a baby photoshoot, this pose is one of the easiest…it’s safe, 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 to take the pictures, make sure your 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 pictures need to be posed. Always have your camera within reach, and keep your eye out for sib photo opportunities. If you want to get sneaky, put the baby in the good light, clear the area, and ask big sister to check on him.
Alternatively, give her a little (toy) camera or your phone, and ask her to snap her own 3 month old baby images!
Big love to Merissa for gifting us this beautiful baby photoshoot to help us write this tutorial. Go check her out on Insta!
If you have any questions or would like to know more about our workshops and courses, just get in touch with us. We’d love to connect and assist you on your photography journey!
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