There are few sights as peaceful and serene as a sleeping baby, but when that youngster wakes up, completely refreshed and recharged, it might be hard to match the ensuing chaos. This is something that many photographers understand, and they have developed a few good tricks for photographing babies under all conditions.
When babies are the photographer’s primary subject, they will usually have to deal with them in a variety of moods and conditions. They might get a weepy or cranky child, they could be lucky enough to encounter a jovial and curious baby, or they could get one that is entirely bored by the proceedings and unwilling to smile, sit still or even look towards a camera. This means that anyone taking pictures of babies is going to have to have some “bait”.
Bait should never be food or anything that could alter the appearance of the baby, but should be a noisy, shiny or otherwise fascinating toy. This is something that will calm a crying baby and capture the eye of even the most disinterested one. If this fails to yield results, one or both parents are going to have to be willing to enter the scene. They can be just off-camera or become a subject, but their presence can take the pressure off of the baby until they are more comfortable with the whole situation.
Where should babies be photographed? That all really depends upon the photographer, the baby and the parents. If the pictures are for personal reasons, the setting should be the one in which the most favorable photographic conditions exist. If, however, they are professional images, the photographer is often challenged to meet the demands of the parents. This means that a photographer should ensure that they scope out the setting before the actual day of the photographic session, and make some decisions in advance. This might include the most favorable areas of a room, yard or park for their photographs to occur.
During the shoot, it is a good idea to consider interesting and unusual perspectives that introduce a strong element to the pictures. For example, rather than setting the child up on an elevated area, why not drop down to their level? This might encourage a toddler to creep up to the lens or allow for some great images of a playing child’s face.
You can see some of the other articles on this site related to baby and maternity photography below –
If the photography is not of the “active” kind, such as pictures of a sleeping newborn, it is important to use the softest lighting and the closest location possible. Additionally, taking pictures of a baby’s hands and feet is something not many parents think of doing, but with your powerful lenses and sensitive camera you could record a highly detailed image of these beautiful features. Here’s a downloadable guide to help you further with baby and maternity photography.
Article contributed by Amy Renfrey