How to Take Better Baby Portraits

Of all the many different situations a photographer may encounter, shooting baby portraits may be the most difficult. Even if you are not a professional photographer, but are just trying to shoot some cute portraits of your own child, getting the tot to cooperate can be a difficult task. Here are a few tips for getting perfect baby photos:

black and white baby portrait

“Untitled” captured by Jared Polin

  • Accept that the child is in charge of the shoot. Your shoot should be built around the mood of the baby, which may change in a matter of seconds. You need a few tricks to assure that you can get the child in the smiling, playful mood that will lead to those shots of a lifetime.
  • Consider doing the shoot at the child’s home. Babies react well to comfortable, familiar surroundings. With a shoot in the home, the baby can be well-rested and fed, without the chance of getting in a foul mood coming to the studio.
  • Another advantage of scheduling the shoot at the home is that the parents can advise you of the usual times when the baby is in the best spirits. The photographer can actually arrive during nap time and get set up and ready for when the little one awakens.
  • Remember that children respond better to people they know. Spend some time playing with the child and building trust. This makes it easier to elicit a smile when shooting. Also be aware of how you introduce the camera to the scene. The camera can become an object of fear, or it could be looked upon as a toy.
  • Smaller is better. Think of portability for this kind of shoot. You need a light package that moves easily and doesn’t frighten the baby.
  • Try to get backdrops or the background set up when you arrive. This way the child will have time to get familiar with any new things in the surroundings. Let the child begin to play in the area. Comfort is key. Pretty soon the flashes and clicking from the camera will not even be noticeable to the child.
  • The best shots capture the child laughing. Try to encourage play and fun so the baby will have the opportunity to laugh.
  • Get down at the same level with the child so the photo has the same perspective. You don’t want to be standing over the child shooting down on him.
baby portrait

“Baby” captured by Chait Mackintosh (Click image to see more from Mackintosh.)

Photographing children can be challenging. However, with a little patience and planning, you can get shots that parents will cherish for a lifetime. Isn’t that why you got into this business in the first place?

About the Author:
This articles was written by Gary Davis of jensebooks dot com.

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