There’s no doubt about it, a flawless photo of a cherubic baby is enough to make most of us broody. However, parents will know how hard it is to capture the perfect picture of their bundle of joy, no matter how angelic they look.
For tips on how to get the best photos of babies, read on.
Time it right
It doesn’t matter if you have the ideal light and the most beautiful outfit, if the baby is unhappy, it will show in photos. The trick to getting the perfect pictures, therefore, is to make sure you time it right so that they aren’t too tired, hungry or uncomfortable.
The witching hours from 1700 onwards tend to be the hardest time to get a beaming smile from little ones, as they get crankier, more tired and more restless as the day goes on.
Aim to take pictures just after they’ve had a feed and are settled. It could be easiest, especially for newborns, to grab some snaps while they are sleeping, as they are more pliable, their features soften, and they don’t wriggle as much.
If you want to get some outdoor shots, What To Expect suggests setting up the shoot during the first hour after sunrise or the last two before sunset, as “the light is softer and warmer, shadows are longer and everyone looks beautiful”.
Keep backdrops simple
With clear complexions, soft skin and loveable faces, it is wise to let the portrait shine without too much distraction from the backdrop. Therefore, it is a good idea to use simple photo backdrop boards that let the subject, in this case the baby, speak for itself.
Pic Monkey suggests using light colours as these will “reflect light instead of absorbing it”. What’s more, the blog stated neutral shades don’t distract from the baby, which is all everyone wants to look at anyway.
If possible, choose a location that allows for as much natural light as possible. For instance, pick a spot near a large window or patio door that lets light flood in.
While flash is fine to use, particularly during darker months, shooting in daytime is best as “natural light gives a soft focus look to the baby’s skin”, according to Exposure Guide. Photographs outside add a lovely natural element; however, direct sunlight “tends to cast shadows”.
Perhaps the hardest part of photographing babies is that they don’t understand instruction, such as “smile” or “turn your head”. Therefore, it is a case of take as many photos as possible to capture those few amazing natural shots.
“Don’t be afraid to keep the camera shooting rather than waiting for that perfect pose or moment because somewhere in the 30 consecutive shots will be one winner,” Exposure Guide advised.
With older children, you can make faces or noises, shake toys around or position someone behind you to make them smile or look up. However, newborns are best left cuddled up sleeping or cradled in their parents’ arms.