Here are some tips I can offer based on photographing my own little girl Leila…
1. Wait for the Moons to Align and Then be Ready!
Two phenomenon must align to create the atmosphere for a good baby portrait.
First, your baby needs to be in a good mood. A grumpy baby can be photographed almost any time, getting a shot of a happy, peaceful baby is tougher, but I think, more rewarding. Get to know the time of day when your baby is happiest – after her morning nap or after his afternoon snack for example. Keep them happy and entertained by using your voice and touch as much as possible. Keep toys you don’ t want in the photos hidden away as they can become unwelcome distractions.
Second, you want to have good natural light, preferably from the North. To avoid the typical flashed-out shots you will need to wait for a moment when you have abundant light to compensate. No light is better for this than the sun’s flattering rays. It is bright enough to light your baby without you needing a long exposure and should be well diffused entering from a North-facing window.
2. Play Set Designer or Go on Location
Think about what you want the setting to be ahead of time so it can be ready when baby is. Be creative but as always be safe first! Make sure the location you choose will be comfortable and safe for your little one. If you need a cozy place to set baby down try piling a bunch of pretty or fun pillows and creating a little bed for her. Try to find places near windows to get extra light on shining on his face.
Ideas for outside your home:
- the beach!
- sniffing flowers in a field or garden
- first steps around your favorite building
Ideas for around your home:
- playing on a fun carpet in their nursery
- splashing in the kitchen sink
- sleeping on a window seat
You get the idea! The sky is the limit! It can be really easy too: all I did to set up the scene below is hang a curtain over a table, throw some Easter eggs down, sit my daughter down and shoot.
3. Coordinate the Costume
Choose the right outfit
Again comfort is king. Dress your babe in something cozy: if the hat bothers him too much just skip it, you want to capture your baby being happy! It’s usually best to dress your baby right before the shoot as long as she doesn’t usually get frustrated by getting her clothes changed. This will reduce the likelihood of drool and milk finding their way onto her clothes and ruining all your planning and patience.