01 November 2010

How to photograph your baby with brilliant results

The world of amateur photography has changed significantly since I was a child. No longer is there the single carefully compiled baby album but rather digital cameras, computer, memory cards and USB sticks filled with countless photos of our precious bundles. Digital photography means we take so many more photos than we used to. There is always the hope, that the all elusive 'perfect' shot is gained the more we snap away.

I was recently listening to an episode of the podcast 'New Moms, New Babies' on how to photograph your baby that featured the acclaimed professional photograper Nick Kelsh. Nick is one of the America's leading experts on baby photography. Nick is the author/photographer of nine books including Naked Babies with Anna Quindlen, How to Photograph Your Baby, How to Photograph Your Life, and The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson. He has appeared on Oprah! and The Today Show multiple times. His photographs have appeared on several of the covers of the prestigious Day in the Life series and in dozens of major magazines.

In the podcast, Nick offers the following tips on how to photograph your baby:
  • Parents have the best access to their babies and as such should make better photographers than professionals. You know when they are at their best, most relaxed and ready to be photographed;
  • Pick a day/time when your baby is well rested and happy to be photographed;
  • Pick a location where there is plenty of natural light. Photos are best taken in the morning or afternoon rather than at midday when facial shadows can be unflattering. Take photos near open windows and doors that let the natural light flood in;
  • Turn your flash off;
  • Pick a plain background. Put up a sheet or use a blank wall so that items in the background don't ruin a great photo;
  • Get in really close, closer than you may usually get so as to fill the frame with your baby's face, body or both;
  • Keep clicking. Take heaps of shots in the hope that one of them will be really special.
Taking Nick's advice, I set up a photo shoot of Layla the other day to mark her 6 month birthday. Here are a sample of the results.

I took over 60 shots with my point & shoot Canon IXUS 110 IS and am so happy with the results. I now plan to replicate the shoot on her monthly birthday so I can capture how she changes from month to month.

The 'New Moms, New Babies' podcast can be downloaded from iTunes or their website http://www.newmomsnewbabies.com/  

Anne Gedes also has some great tips on photographing your baby http://www.babycenter.com.au/advertorials/anne-geddes/tips-for-taking-photos/
The question remains as to what we do with all the great photos we now have of our darlings. Some people use digital photo frames, others keep photos hidden on their computers, some prefer to print and frame their photos while others use them as phone or computer wallpaper. Personally, I'm working on a photo book for Layla of her first year. I plan on using the photos I've taken together with text I've written that captures my memories of the day she was born, coming home from hospital, our first months at home getting to know each other and all the exciting milestones to come such as her first tooth, crawling and walking. There are plenty of online providers that can help you put together photobooks of your child. I've included a few links taken from my google search to get you started.

(Note: I have not used any of these companies and cannot recommend their products.)

Good luck and happy snapping!

1 comment:

  1. Such gorgeous photos Jas, I can't wait for the monthly updates!