The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is something I find so true. Although it can be a lot of work to get a good photo of Scarlett, I know I’ll never regret taking a lot of photos. I love to look back at all of her different stages and see how much she’s grown. Over the past 14 and a half months I feel like I have learned a ton about photographing a baby/small child and wanted to share some tips and tricks that have helped me catch a sweet smile. I am very much an amateur photographer, so I am sure real photographers might cringe at some of my tips.
10 Tips To Photograph A Baby:
- Take photos in the running setting on your camera or burst on an iPhone: When you use the running setting, it doesn’t give you the ability to set your ISO. It basically puts your camera on automatic mode, but it’s able to capture movement without making the photo blurry. When I take my own photos, I use manual mode and set my ISO to as low as possible (usually 100). After Scarlett grew out of the “sleepy newborn stage,” I was having trouble getting the shutter speed at the correct setting to get any non-blurry photos. I decided it was worth it to use the running setting even though the ISO might be a little higher than I prefer. I shoot all of my camera photos in raw, so I am able to correct if the photos are too dark from a high ISO. I will note that if the lighting is too dark, the photos can get really grainy. I focus on finding natural light so the ISO will be low, or for indoor photos, I use a ring light. When I am using my iPhone, I shoot my photos in burst because this batches them and I can usually get a good photo where Scarlett’s hands aren’t completely blurry. To shoot in burst, you just hold down the photo button and it will take multiple photos at a time.
- Timing around sleep: I’ve found that sometimes Scarlett is in the best picture mood before bed, so if we’re doing indoor photos I’ll do those an hour or so before we start her bedtime routine. I also never do photos with an hour before nap time.
- Pictures after feedings: It’s best to take photos after they’ve eaten to make sure they’re in a good mood.
- Recruit help if possible: Especially when Scarlett was tiny and just learning to sit up, I would also have Jake help me to make sure she was safe. Now that she is almost walking I have to really watch her too. I keep my camera on preview mode so I don’t have to look through the lens so I can focus on her.
- Use toys to distract them: When taking photos of a little one, it can be hard to get their attention. Especially when I set up props on her crib, as she will try to grab those. I have found that using toys, especially with rattles or squeaky noises can be good to get her to look at the camera and smile. Scarlett loves stuffed animals now, so if I hold one it can also usually get a smile.
- Toy on tripod: We only take tripod photos at our house and when we’re sitting down for safety reasons. A friend shared to put a stuffed animal on the tripod and this does help get her attention and a smile a lot of times too.
- Turn on Music: Scarlett loves music and this can help get her smiley for photos.
- Stop once you get a cute photo/set a timer: I am often guilty of trying to get the “perfect photo” of Scarlett and not stopping until I get it. Once I get some cute ones with a smile I stop.
- Be Silly: I have noticed when I tickle Scarlett, blow in her face or act silly, she will act silly too. This helps me catch some cute moments. Peek-a-boo is also something I will frequently do and it helps me get a smile fast.
- If it doesn’t go well, try again later: When they’re not having it, chances are that they aren’t going to cooperate. It seems like Scarlett is either completely on board with photos and will ham it up the second we start or is not having it no matter how hard we try. I try again later when she’s had to time to calm down.
About Our Outfits:
Of course we had to wear matching outfits for this photoshoot. I am not typically into purple, but I’m loving lavender lately. My dress is from Chicwish and I love that it can be worn pretty casually or you can add wedges/heels for dinner. It does seem to run a little big, but it has ties on the side making it pretty adjustable. I am wearing my regular size.
Do you have any tips to photograph a baby/small child?