If you’re a new mom, I’m sure your phone has about 1500 photos of your new little baby – but what about better quality, more professional looking photos? Of course, you will probably go to a photographer to get photos done within the first year of your baby’s life. However, it’s also nice to be able to take your own (quality) photos for special occasions like holidays or that Tuesday that your baby rolled over for the first time and you realized that your 1500 photos aren’t nearly enough because they are growing up so fast.
Here are some beginner tips from an (amateur) photographer on how to capture those adorable shots!
THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE PHOTO SHOOT
PLAN YOUR SET IDEA(S) AHEAD OF TIME
Because trying to re-arrange those props while your baby is impatiently screaming is not fun at all – and will most likely leave you both frustrated.
MAKE SURE BABY IS FED AND CHANGED
A fed and clean baby is a happy baby (at least in my experience). Even if you don’t think their diaper is wet, even the littlest amount can make a baby upset. Not to mention that if your baby is a newborn and can’t actually smile at you and toys yet, maybe you’ll catch one of those baby gas-smiles while you’re snapping photos.
TRY TO MAKE YOUR BABY HAPPY (RIGHT BEFORE THE SHOOT)
This may only work for slightly older babies who can smile at their parents or toys they enjoy – but getting your baby into a good mood before the camera starts shooting just makes it that much easier to capture one of those precious smiles.
PICK EASY/COMFORTABLE OUTFIT(S)
Yes, that button down onesie with the bow-tie attached might look cute, but if baby is uncomfortable, chances are your photos won’t be as nice as you imagined.
HOW TO GET THE BEST PHOTOS DURING THE SHOOT
CONSIDER TAKING SLEEPING SHOTS
Because honestly, have you ever seen a sleeping baby that doesn’t look absolutely adorable? You just can’t go wrong with this shot.
USE TOYS AND FUNNY NOISES TO CAPTURE A SMILE OR LAUGH
We were at a baby-convention a few weeks ago (yes, this is my life now) – and the photographer there was incredible with babies. She made all these airplane, train and car noises that could make almost any baby crack a smile. We also brought along our sons favourite ball and once we pulled it out, we could see his face light up at the sight of it.
JUST KEEP SNAPPING PHOTOS AND AT LEAST ONE WILL TURN OUT
This is just a photography tip I enjoy for any occasion, but shooting baby photography can be even trickier to capture the perfect moments. So, I just keep the camera going – sometimes you catch the most incredible moments this way.
NOT EVERY GOOD PHOTO HAS A SMILE
Babies make so many different faces – who says you need a smile to make a cute photo!?
TAKE BREAKS IF BABY IS GETTING FUSSY
For the love of Canon, don’t force it! If your baby is feeling restless or fussy, pick them up! Give them some love and let them have a break – don’t forget that baby life is super overwhelming and you want them to be in the best mood. When I do photo sessions with my son, the equipment is set up all day and I simply just plop him into the set when he’s feeling smiley!
EDITING BABY PHOTOS
This is the one part of the photography process that I am still trying to figure out. I’ve come a long way, and I’ve tried a ton of different programs for editing (which I also suggest you do, because you have to find your own style!)
DON’T BE SCARED OF EDITING
Even if you’re an amateur or actually have no interest in photography or editing, there are a ton of sites (like FOTOR or PIXLR) that are relatively easy to figure out! If you don’t like the edit, no worries – you still have the original (as long as you don’t save over it!) Try out a few different edits and have some fun with it!
CUSTOMIZE YOUR PHOTOS
Adding a nice editing style, filter or adjustment to your photos (or even adding text like your child’s name or the date) are great ways to make the photos really personal. Anyone can take their child to a photographer and come back with nice photos, but it feels incredible to look back on a photo and know you took it on this specific date to celebrate this specific thing.
REMEMBER IT’S JUST FOR FUN (AND YOU CAN ALWAYS GET PROFESSIONAL ONES DONE!)
Don’t put too much stress on yourself! You’re a mom, so you’re already basically super-woman. If you can’t get any really great photos – no worries! There is a reason why people have this as a career – photography and editing are hard and frustrating! Getting your baby’s professional photos done is really fun, and sometimes (depending on the photographer) they even let you suggest positions or props to use!
Here are some of the photos from sessions I’ve done of my son in the 4 months since he’s been born. I’m definitely not a professional – but I do hope these tips help you capture your precious baby in exactly the way you want.
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