Baby Photography Without Loosing Your Mind.
This can be rather tricky as all babies seem to be on their own schedule, especially cute photogenic new-borns. However sweet they may be, they are not the easiest of photographic subjects! Here are some tips to nailing your next new-born session with flying colours.
To be able to do so plan ahead of time. Coordinate with the mother beforehand and plan photo-shoot for the sleepiest time of the day. The sleepier the better and no one would have a better idea of when that is than mom. So talk to baby’s parents about the little one’s schedule. They may or may not have one but 9 times out of 10 moms and dads will be able to tell you which time of day their baby tends to be at their best, most calm state. You’ll also want to know how they feel about wardrobe or lack of it for the baby. Some love naked, pink, wrinkly baby booty, however, not all parents share this affinity. Be sure to discuss this with Mommy and Daddy before you get to a shoot. If the parents are comfortable with shooting baby in the buff, be sure to request that they dress him or her in something easy to take off without disturbing the baby. Clothing that doesn’t have to go over the head. You need to be able to undress the baby without losing the deep slumber. Don’t be afraid to have mom help you move and mold the baby. Even tell your clients to fasten the baby’s diaper loosely during this time as well so baby won’t have any funky clothing lines on their skin.
Obviously those lines can be fixed in Photoshop, but isn’t it rather better to be out shooting than spending hours post producing on computer?
Next, if you’re shooting the baby at home, be sure to get specifics as far as where Mom and Dad would like to shoot. Make sure you know which way the windows are facing at the time of day you’re shooting to be sure you’ll have adequate light. If you’re using studio lighting you should be set up before you’re scheduled to start. That will give you time to run a few test shots before the baby is brought into the room.
Heat up the room. More than likely, the shots you will be attempting to get will include cute baby buns, baby feet and baby bellies. All this clothe-less shooting can quickly add up to a cold, cranky baby. You might want to invest in a small space heater to get a little extra heat in the baby’s direction. If you are shooting in a client’s home this will require prior planning but I would suggest bringing your space heater as well because baby is usually not used to hanging around in just a diaper.
Make sure that you have everything you need well organized and easily accessible. Babies are fussy and impatient, and you’ve got to take the initiative to plan accordingly.
Don’t overload with ideas. If you are a fan of Anne Geddes it’s easy to set your expectations too high and overload your photo-session with so many “concept” shots that you end up with a big headache and little to show for it. Choose two or three poses. If you nail those, take a break and try a couple more later.
A quick image search for baby photographs is much recommended to stir the creative juices. For baby photography it seems like the simpler the better. The baby is so new and perfect they can easily stand alone as the centre of your photograph. Have fun with them and make sure the mom and dad know they have the cutest baby on earth!
As mentioned above, the baby usually provides enough aesthetic appeal for most shots. Prop’s though, when tastefully used, are wonderful. They help convey perspective, size, and fragility or add a hint of colour to show whether it’s a boy or girl.
Get the details! Don’t be afraid to get in close and focus on the details. As a whole babies are cute but they also are made up of many little cute body parts that present a photographer with an array of wonderful subject matter – especially if you zoom in on them. Shoot images with very low apertures (wide open) to encourage very shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field creates a mood of tenderness and intimacy which are so very appropriate for a shoot of this nature.
Get a good night’s sleep before shoot! Remember, you’re likely walking into a home where no one has gotten more than few hours of consecutive sleep for days. The last thing everyone needs is another exhausted, grumpy adult, whose patience has run dry to add to the mix. Remember – you set the tone! Come with a full tummy and a good night’s rest. Be patient, not to mention creative.