I don’t know a mom out there that doesn’t love taking pictures of their babies! I love capturing sweet moments of my little girl whether it’s through the lens on my DSLR or through Instagram on my phone. I’m certainly not an expert on any level, just a mama with a camera that love taking pictures of my babe. Even though I’m not an expert I thought it would be fun to share some of my photo tips and tricks on how I photograph my girl.
The idea for this post came to me when I was trying to snap the perfect picture for P’s Valentine’s Day photo (You didn’t think I made those baby leg warmers for nothing now did you?). I started thinking about how many times I’ve gotten her ready for a little photo shoot.
When I was still pregnant with her, I begged my husband for a “nice” camera so that I could have a lot “professional” looking photos of her without spending a fortune. He reluctantly agreed. I am sure he expected me to use the camera for a few weeks and then put it down because I couldn’t figure it out. Once it arrived I read the manual cover to cover and I practiced taking pictures all the time. I would take pictures of my husband outside washing the car (no lie), or try to perfect depth of field by shooting my cup on the coffee table (true story). Then P arrived and I really went crazy. From day one of her precious little life I’ve been snapping shots like there’s no tomorrow.
At eight months old now, I’ve taken over 15000 photos of just her. Can you believe that?
I thought it might be kinda fun to walk you through our photo shoot and share some of my tips and tricks.
First things first. Use natural light. Any photographer hobby or professional will tell you to always use natural light when you can. I take almost all my photos of P in our guest bedroom. There are two huge windows that allow for great natural light.
Photograph right after a nap not right before one! This is as important as number one. You’ll want your baby to be in a good mood so they will cooperate with you. When they are tired and cranky, you aren’t going to get the picture you want.
Clear out the clutter. Try to find a place in your home or outside without a lot of stuff.
Use a background or backdrop. I use a make shift backdrop to get a soft look. I use a large matte from Michaels. It’s thick and stands up nicely. They come in all sorts of colors if your interested but I always just use a white one. Recently, I bought a sheet of bead board from Lowes and that serves nicely for photos as well.
Use props if you want. I don’t typically use any props because basically P just wants to eat everything. Ha. For this one though, I wanted a little Valentine’s Day look so I did a little chalkboard and hung my mini tissue pom garland.
Grab an assistant. Having someone to help is AWESOME! They can keep baby in position. Get her attention, keep her interested while you snap away. This is especially helpful when you photograph a mobile baby on an elevated surface like a chair or bed.
Use a timer and/or remote. Don’t have an assistant? Me neither (not regularly anyway). Grab a remote and use the timer! I didn’t need this until recently. I’ve been setting up mini photo shoots for P since she’s was born and I didn’t need to the use timer or remote until she became mobile. Then all of a sudden I’d get her in position grab the camera and she would be crawling towards me. Fail. The timer saved my sanity. I love using the 10 second timer because I can position her the way I want, hit the remote, then entertain her and keep her attention until right before the shot when I hop out.
Grab a favorite toy and act silly. My baby loves when I dance around to get her attention. I get the best smiles when I do a little dance and shake her favorite monkey in the air. I am sure if anyone actually saw me doing this they would think I had lost my mind but it’s totally worth it to get a smile like this.
Go simple on the outfit. I know this comes down to taste but I like going simple on the outfit. Don’t get me wrong. I love to accessorize my princess to the nines when we go out (she even has glittery mary jane baby Toms, no lie). But in pictures, I always want my baby to be the thing that pops not what’s she’s wearing.
Just roll with it and be patient. Babies have minds of their owns, just go with it! I made this little chalkboard art to sit next to P for this photos hoot and all she wanted to do was wipe off the chalk. Oh well.
And sometimes she just wanted to grab my camera.
Edit your pictures. Everyone will tell you not to rely on editing to get the perfect picture. And that’s true but knowing how to edit your photos when you need it will save you. Photographing babies isn’t easy. Sometimes you are so focused on getting their attention that you don’t realize the little toy that is just barely peeking in your shot. With editing you can take care of that easily!
Like I said, I’m no professional (in photography or editing). Just a mom with a camera. I promise you, with a little patience and the right tools, anyone can take great pictures of their babies!
Do you ever have mini photo shoots at home? Or do you have any other good photo tips for moms? I’d love to hear them!