Tag: ‘photographing babies’

Window light is Best for Babies!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Here is sweet Sophia again just a few weeks old.  The trick to photographing babies is to be patient. I am not a professional photographer and I have not been to formal photography classes  but I am a mom and I know that babies have to be fed, warm and with mama to be happy. So, I am guessing that works for the photography mom too. We got her up after a little nap and mama fed her. We moved over to some window light and started shooting.

First I grabbed some shots of this cute little bottom and those precious feet! I set my camera to the following settings using my 50mm 1.4 lens I love.  

Shutter Speed  1/125, because she was not moving fast, I usually like to keep the ss at least 1/200 with kids. but this day I needed to lower it to get the light to work.

F-Stop 3.5, because I wanted some blur in the background

ISO 500 because we were inside and the window light was not too bright.

I picked up this cute diaper cover at a specialty children’s shop for my camera bag because diapers are ugly and bright colors/clothes are not always flattering on newborns, we love baby skin to show.



Then we put a black shirt on mom and a pink bow on baby and tried out best to get baby to look at me, she was not too interested at first…


But I kept shooting…


and finally got some eye contact!


Next I wanted to get  some more feet to go with the shot we took before she was born, remember this one?



I had mom sit by the window. Window light is best…love it…

Then it was time to eat again! love the ‘nursing hands’!


The next tip is to try to get babies face close to mama, this is harder than you think but worth the effort.


I love the way the light is coming across her profile in these shots:


She is not old enough to hold her head up so a little help from mama’s hands under the blanket works.


Finally one more shot of that precious face! For these I used some black fabric that I had to drape behind her so there wasn’t a cluttered background. A few yards of black fabric is a perfect addition to your camera bag. Make sure the light from the window is on her face with her eyes catching some of the soft light.



I love the black and white/sepia look especially against the black background. Sometime I use the black and white adjustment on my Memory Manager software but then it is a little blue to me…so I warm it up a bit to get this look….not totally B&W and not totally sepia.

img_1792 sep

Stay tuned for some more baby photos of a brand  new baby boy!

Get your camera out today!


Perhaps the hardest but most fun shoot you will do!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


Everyone knows that it is difficult to photograph babies…that is why most moms are willing to pay big bucks to get big shots of their kiddos…


I am here to tell you that YOU CAN get them yourself! Yes, you the camera mom, can get the shots of your kids that you love – -that the pro will never get because you know your kids better then they do and you know the look you are after.  You also have the benefit of being able to grab your camera during that little unpredictable slice of time when baby’s good mood hits and baby isn’t eating, sleeping, drooling, crying or filling a diaper! The timing is everything with babies but I have some other tips for you as well!

1.  Get anyone over 5 to help you out and stand behind you and make faces, baby will think they are SO funny!


2. Pick your background carefully and stay away from cars and garbage cans. Do put baby outside on the grass on a blanket and have a good spot in the shade picked out ahead of time, with baby facing the light or open sky. I also like to have a clean simple (no patterns or soft patterns)  baby shirt handy to throw on right before you walk out the door to the backyard.


3. Get those baby hands! Start clicking away when you see the hands go up.


or holding toes!



4. Add a hat!


(notice ‘catch lights’ in eyes – you have enough light on their face when you see these.)


5. Look for a nice profile shot.


6. Look for expression. Don’t wait for the perfect smile; that serious look is priceless!


7. Change the background during the shoot. Move to a different place outside, keep the same light but just move around. I love the patterned pillows for the background.


change it to sepia


then get closer with your crop!


then experiment some more and try really close!


8. Put baby on her belly and try a different angel and look up at baby.


9. Get baby to do a ‘baby push ups’ by putting the arms out front.


10. Be quick! Don’t wait too long when you see that good mood …grab it…it will be gone before you know it!

Oh….and don’t forget to take lots of photos of baby…they are not babies for long!

Camera Mom Tech tips:

I used my 50mm 1.4 lens. Most settings were:

ISO 100 because I was outside

F stop: mostly around 3 but I used 7 on some of the closer shots

Shutter Speed: between 1/250 and 1/350 depending on the light. You want to keep your ss fast with kids because they move fast!

Post Editing: very little, warm up the temperature when needed (babies like to be warm) and brighten the mid tones if needed.

How To Photograph A Baby..Just A Few Of Many Tips…

Saturday, May 28th, 2011


They melt your heart.

God made them so so cute because He knew that moms would need to have extra doses of patience and grace when dealing with them! It is true that mom has a maternal ‘eye’ that dad doesn’t  – – which is why we are drawn to baby pictures.  That instinct makes us  ooh and awe over that cute little face with those big eyes and those chubby little cheeks and arms and legs. ..even if it isn’t our baby!  If it is our baby, we ooh and awe but we also usually get a tear in our eye when we see shots that capture ‘the look’ we know and love!

So how do you photograph the most spectacular of all of God’s creations?  And why can it be so difficult?

Here are some tips for capturing babies. Remember that I am not a professional photographer….just a mom who has a passion for capturing the unique personalities of the people I know and the wonderful bits of life that the pros generally aren’t around for.  You can do this too!


Tip 1: Plan for the unplanned. Most  of my very best photo shoots of babies have taken place when there was no prior plans or ‘appointment’. It is nuts, but it seems that the best time to get good shots of baby is when the baby, not you, plans it.  We had some friends over and I noticed that the light was good and the baby was happy so I had to grab my camera.


Tip 2: Keep your camera by your car keys. Because most of your best shots are going to be unplanned you have to be ready on a moment’s notice. Keep your camera handy. Oh, and babies love to ‘eat’ car keys so they come in handy too when you are in the middle of your ‘unplanned’ photo shoot!


Tip 3. Switch to the M button. The best portrait type shots are when the subject is in focus and the background is blurry. In order to achieve this and have the most control over your outcome you will want to choose your settings. You also want to control the focus and you want to focus on their eyes.  A lower F stop number will give you a blurry background but if you get too low you may have one sharp eye but not the other (because of the shallow depth of field.)

img_0840 img_0847

Tip 4.  A little dirt never hurt anyone! Babies crack me up the way they pick up the tiniest pieces of ‘stuff’ and focus on trying to get it from their hands to their mouth.  I love their expressions as they work so hard then finally reach their goal; the pine straw made it to the mouth! Thank goodness that this mom didn’t interfere! A little pine straw never hurt anyone!


Tip 5. Get in their world. Don’t quit shooting when they start doing ‘baby’ stuff. Even crying shots are OK.

img_0950 img_0940

Tip 6: Be patient and keep shooting. Follow them and don’t dictate their next move. Don’t have too many preconceived ideas of what you want; babies will give you the best shots if you wait for them. You will have to work for it but the camera mom who has the most patience will win! Don’t give up when the crying starts…it will stop quickly and if you pack up you will miss your next favorite shot.


Tip 7:  You don’t always need a smile. Keep shooting through the more simple poses even if they are not looking at you.


Tip 8:  Get really close …


…then get closer in post editing if needed (and get rid of the drool if you want!) It is not a bad idea to keep a hanky handy to wipe up the constant drool.

Memory Manager software does all of this and is very mom friendly! No need for  Photoshop; this is much easier and quicker to use! Link below.



Tip 9: A tripod usually won’t work with babies….  because they move too fast. Be prepared to do some major moving around to get the baby to look at you. This is not easy! You may have to stand on your head, so do some stretches before you start! You have to follow them because, guess what? … they don’t do what you tell them to do! Make your body a tripod. Brace 3 parts of your body if possible to prevent camera shake and blurry photos: both feet or knees on the ground and an elbow against something like a chair, tree or your knee if it is bent, or your elbows tight against  your body. Sometimes I sit down with one knee up with my camera propped up on my knee so I can get on their level.


Tip 10: Early morning or early evening is the best time to photograph people.  

Photography is all about the light.  When the sun is not quite overhead or when it is behind a cloud or has ‘set’ you will get the best exposures. Remember to look for the catch lights in their eyes (the little white reflections) that way you know you have enough light on their face. You may have to have them face another direction to get this.

You can never have too many photos of your baby!   Take lots of them and take them often. You will blink and your baby will be grown and you can never go back to capture those magic little moments along the way.   Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have pictures of your baby; just go get your camera and take a photo of your child today…then go put your camera by your car keys…..so you won’t miss another unplanned shot!!

Finally, if your baby is all grown up, find a friend’s baby to practice your photography! Photographing babies is so much fun and rewarding!

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Most of these shots were taken with the following settings:

early evening light, ISO 500, F Stop 3.0 SS 1/125  50mm very little post editing. As the sun goes down your ISO will need to go up.

What I will do different next time:  I usually set my shutter speed faster with kids, at least 1/200. I will pay more attention next time and up the ISO sooner to get a faster shutter speed (very important to keep the image sharp). I also will take his shirt off for  a few shots next time.  I like baby skin.


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