Gear: Canon 50mm f/1.2 Settings: Shutter speed 1/320; Aperture f/2; ISO 320 Backdrop: None! The wide aperture of f/2 and distance between subject and background helps blur it into insignificance.
Get Down Low
When you’re shooting little ones, get down nice and low. In the images below I was literally lying half in/half out of the doorway. Anything for the shot right?!
Shooting from this position brings me to their eye level, which makes it easier to engage them, and in turn capture those lovely natural expressions.
I also like to add a blanket or a rug, which makes it a little more comfortable for the kids. It also adds colour and texture to the photo, and you’d never know we were lying in the hallway!
Gear: Canon 85mm f/1.8 Settings: Shutter speed 1/320; Aperture f/3.2; ISO 400 Backdrop: Rear white wall with approx 1m/3ft of distance between subject and wall
Looking down is a fabulous way to photograph babies in doorways and ensure an uncluttered backdrop where your options for composition may be limited.
Want More Drama?
All of these photos were taken with my subjects facing the door light front on. For that reason, their faces are beautifully illuminated and the light wraps around them softly and evenly. It’s a very simple, natural light set up, and for that reason it’s great for beginners who are learning how to use natural light.
However, if you want a more dramatic look, you need to create some shadows.
Simply turn your subject 45 degrees away from the light, so it comes at them from an angle. Stay in the same position and ask them to look back at you. This will create gentle shadows on the side furthest from the light source, and bring depth and drama to your photos.
Expose for the lit side of their face, and experiment until you find a contrast between light and shade that is flattering as well as dramatic.