I often get asked about taking great photo’s of your own babies/children at home. Many people make some common mistakes, so I’m writing this postto perhaps give a few pointers and hopefully you can improve your family snaps.
Put your phone camera away.
Firstly, can I please beg and plead for you to put your phone camera’s away. Please! These gadgets are great for snaps of your kids doing something cute, or just a nice picture to have on your phone. I totally understand that phones have good quality lenses on them and can get some good pics, but these pictures end up sitting on your phone and nothing happens to them. Get a camera, point and shoot, DSLR…doesn’t matter, please use one. The amount of grainy, bad lit photo’s I see doing the rounds on Facebook just make my stomach turn. Your kids grow up so quickly (too quickly), you need some decent images.
Don’t get too close.
Then a lot of parents want to get in close and get those fine details, yes, beautiful idea. Just don’t get too close (unless you’re using a macro lens). This tends to produce out of focus images, you can always use some of these online photo order places and zoom into the image a bit to get ‘closer’ to the details. Rather have an image that is properly focused (as a rule of thumb, focus on the eyes of your subject) and then you can zoom in when you’re getting it printed.
Use what you have.
You really don’t need a fancy studio with expensive props. A fantastic place to take photo’s of your baby is on your bed. It’s a soft, but stable area. You know if your bedroom is lighter in the morning or the afternoon, so keep that in mind for best natural lighting. If your duvet is white (or even cream or beige), that is perfect for good lighting as the light will reflect off it beautifully. If it’s not, you might have a white sheet you could use.
Bear in mind the age of your baby or child. There are some amazing images on the web and you have a look at those and think you want to try that for your own baby, but you need to keep in mind what your baby is able to do. Can they roll over, can they lie on their stomach and push themselves up, are they able to sit without help yet? I always find the age from 2-3 months more challenging to photograph. The baby is not really able to do much by themselves, so a good thing to do is lay them on your bed and get some nice pics of their faces, focusing again on the eyes. Sit over them and shoot down and then get to their level and shoot there, you should get some nice engaging images with them looking right into the camera.
For older children (say around 18-24months), play with them. This is where digital photography is a blessing as you can take as many pics as you need to, you can sit in the same place and roll a ball and make them fetch it. When they’re running back to you, because it’s fun, they usually smile or laugh and that’s the perfect time to take some snaps. You can do it over and over until you get a shot that you want, remembering to stay in the same place, so you don’t have to change camera settings and let you kiddies do most of the hard work 🙂
So hopefully that gives you a few pointers and helps. I’ve added an image of my baby girl, who is around 3 months and these pics were taken on my bed using the above pointers. Very simple, yet effective images. Isn’t she a cutie?
Below are images of my son, when I was playing with him, again it was at home so I knew where the best light was and I got some great shots and he had lots of fun. Win win.That’s it for now, have a great week.