Baby photography is the most entertaining of all, imagine crawling with them, getting to their level, trying to make them laugh – all is just pure fun! Besides, baby photography needs a lot of patience; you can never predict them and cannot either direct them. You have to come to their terms to capture the best of them. Baby photography is the most rewarding on the other hand in terms of pure satisfaction – the joy of clicking them is surreal and moreover, recording their young life to gift them at a later point of time is in itself a great contentment above all.
The rules and protocols of baby photography are naturally a little different from the other forms of photography. In baby photography our objective would be to snap them at the best of their moments without disturbing them or intruding their privacy; also using natural light is very important in baby photography – this not only enhances the effect of the photo but also protects the baby from the harsh flash lights.
Now let me elaborate those 10 brilliant tips which will help you master baby photography and get the best out of your sessions,
Get comfy – getting comfortable with the baby you are going to shoot is necessary – isn’t it? When they are not used to photography sessions in the past it’s natural that they feel intimidated with you and your box and you will not get anything except cries and exasperations in return. So play with them a little and try to get goodie goodie before you jump into the task.
Backgrounds – it is not necessary to try for fancy backgrounds while shooting kids, moreover their natural habitat – their bed and playing space is good enough. If you feel the necessity of a background any light colored background will just look good; something like pink, white and beige backgrounds look plain, simple and pleasing to the eyes without dominating the baby.
Light – this is a very important consideration while baby photography, never flash your strong lights on them as usual. As we know they are very sensitive to strong lights. A powerful flashlight will blind an adult for a moment, and imagine kids – so be low on your flash power and not using any flash is preferable. Use natural light that surrounds the kid, if you feel the light is insufficient try to get close to windows or allow natural light into the room. Natural light on the babies will make them look tender and more natural in the photos, besides making them comfortable and protecting their eyes from the flash glare.
ISO – as mentioned using natural light is the best thing to do in baby photography, but to not compromise on the lighting quality of the photo, you will have to increase your ISO settings in the range of 100-500, ISO (International Standards Organization) is the measure of the sensitivity of the image sensor in your digital camera. So increasing your ISO will make sure that the photograph doesn’t look dim as your image sensors are tweaked to be more sensitive to the available light.
Apertures – wider apertures are preferable in baby photography as they result in shallow depth of field, bringing the baby into focus and blurring the background. It is to be remembered that wider the aperture shallower the depth of field and vice versa. Wider apertures are preferred in baby and portrait photography as our subject is the prime focus and narrow apertures are used when you need the whole photograph to be sharp without blurring out the background. Wider apertures in the range of f/2.8 to f/8 are preferred in baby photography.
Shutter speeds – shutter speeds should be stepped-up in baby photography, this is for the unpredictable nature of their movements. You never know when they get irritated and move away or give a quick jerk and you will have a blurry and funny photo as a result. So to minimize the effects of their movements you should increase your shutter speeds. Shutter speeds of 1/500s or more coupled with wider apertures will do the job.
Consecutive shots – we know kids are very agile, you can never guess when they deliver a funny pose all of a sudden; so it’s wise to keep shooting a couple of consecutive photos when they are in good mood. This ensures you don’t lose any of their funny moments which come and go very swiftly.
Snap them at activity – kids get into funny activities when they find someone they love particularly when somebody roughly of the same age is around. So shooting them along with their buddies or siblings will be a good idea; with this you will surely get funny shots when they are deeply involved in their own world and transactions.
Get to their level – don’t take all your shots with your regular standing or sitting positions just exert yourselves all the time to come to their level – even if it’s crawling! This gives the photos a special feel as if they are right from the baby’s own world.
Weird expressions – now this might sound silly I know, but you will have to make silly expressions and sounds at times to grab the baby’s attention. Kids are very prompt in responding to weird expressions and sounds and you will be rewarded with their sweetest of smiles and expressions. So turn yourself into a “Clown” at times (No Pun Intended).
Hope you liked these brilliant tips on baby photography. What were your experiences while shooting kids? Do you wish to add any more to the list above?