Monday, May 21, 2012
How To Photograph A Newborn Baby—05/21/12
Seven simple steps for simply beautiful baby pictures.
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
The closer the better. Those tiny little details—like fingers and toes and button noses—aren't only stunningly beautiful in extreme close-ups, but they still look great under magnification (unlike a grown-up's toes or nose). Strap on a macro lens—say a 60mm or 100mm macro—or use a close-up filter or extension tube for your D-SLR's normal lens, and get as close as you can to that beautiful sleeping baby. You're sure to make detailed photographs that will become priceless family heirlooms.
5. Use natural light.
The softer, the better. I've found that positioning my baby by softly filtered north-facing windows, I'm the beneficiary of beautifully soft illumination that's apropos for a newborn. Strong, direct light from a southerly window can be good, too, but it's not as easy to work with. It gets softer and more forgiving when bounced off a white wall or other reflector for softening. Anything but strobes is my policy for newborns, not only because you'll get softer, cuddlier light but because you won't risk startling the baby with each bright flash of light. A white wall or large white poster board offers the perfect amount of fill light to keep contrast low, and a shallow depth of field from a wide aperture helps to create a soft look out of your home studio.
6. Have a sense of humor.
Funny pictures are priceless, too. In my house, our baby girl was eagerly greeted by three “sisters” of another breed. The dogs created some great photo opportunities, particularly as they investigated the new resident, or occasionally greeted her with mild indifference. The point is that your baby is bound to present some funny juxtapositions that will definitely make for great photos, whether it's doggie kisses or funny faces. Don't be shy when it comes to funny photos that are sure to embarrass her when she's a teenager. They're gold.
7. Be careful.
Above all, keep the baby safe. There's no need to risk bumps and bruises by propping up a newborn or perching her precariously on a chair. Swaddle her comfortably in blankets, surround her with pillows or let her roll around in her crib. Even if everybody stays safe, taking even mild risks is bound to build up stress in all parties involved, and it doesn't lead to the number of great images you'd get from a more traditional photo shoot. So play it safe. And if mom is interested in being in the picture, too, count your blessings: what better pose—and tribute to a mother's love—than to photograph a child in her mother's arms? It's about as safe and happy a place as a baby can be.
Page 2 of 2