With almost everyone having access to a camera whether it’s a camera phone or a DSLR those spontaneous snaps of your little ones are even easier to capture, but, I often hear from my clients that their little one won’t sit still, hates the camera or it’s impossible for them to get a natural smile.
As a professional photographer with over 10 years experience coupled with capturing my own reluctant girls back in the days of film, i’ve gained enough experience to know what to expect.
This will be the first in a series of tips to help you take better images of your own rascals covering the various ages and stages of childhood, from trying to recreate those pinterest images to the toddler that would rather watch peppa pig, to moving away from the fake “cheese” smile and how to bring out the self conscious tween.
What these tips won’t do is turn you into a professional over night but will guide you on what to realistically expect from your family images.
Let’s start with those teeny tiny newborns, whilst I am not going to suggest you try the posed “babies in baskets, curled shots”, please leave those for the professionals, baby safety comes first, I will give you tips on how to create some amazing simple newborn images you will treasure.
1 – Let there be light – Turn off your flash and use natural light, everyone looks better in natural light and defused natural light is perfect for your newborn to create soft images. If you have windows you have light (I often have clients worry that they don’t have huge light filled homes). The best time to shoot is morning or late afternoon when the light is softer, avoid midday sun when the sun is at it’s highest and will create hash shadows.
2 – Timing – The ideal time to capture your newborn is under 14 days old, this is when they are still in that lovely sleepy stage, this will make the process so much easier for you. Although that said It’s not always possible so if your after a more lifestyle look which is much easier to recreate anything up to 8 weeks is doable.
3 – Preparation – for newborn photography preparation is key, if you are including simple props or outfits make sure you have everything at hand so you don’t need to move from you spot or leave the baby unattended at any point.
4 – Warmth – Newborns love to be warm, especially if you are attempting nude shots. I ask my clients to turn the heat up (we will be boiling) baby will be lovely and toasty and ensure they sleep a little longer.
5 – A full tummy – a full baby is a happy baby – I work around babies feed times and allow plenty of time for top ups at sessions and ask my clients to make sure that babe has had a good feed prior to my arrival and is in a loose nappy and wrapped in a blanket, this minimises the disturbance to your little one for those nude shots.
6 – Keep is simple – use your bed as the backdrop , incorporate blankets , be mindful of where the light is coming from, shoot from various angles. Get down to there level for a different perspective.
7- The Details – whats more adorable than those tiny hands, feet, those pouty lips, zoom in and make those your focus for the image, if you have one use the macro setting on your camera.
Keep it relaxed – I will say this time and time again, when ever your are shooting your own kids the stress levels can go through the roof, frustration being the main thing, don’t focus too much on a specific idea, if it’s not working keep shooting as there will always be some precious unexpected images and candid moments you may well miss.
And lastly but so important, do take some time to be present in the images, whether your hire a professional or ask your other half to snap away, your little one will be so grateful, as will you, that you have those memories to look back on in future years.
I’d love to see what you create, come and share on my Facebook page and be in with the chance of winning a milestone session & all the edited images worth over £500.00