Being a mum of three I know how quickly babies grow and how precious it is to have photos of our wee ones. We want to look back as they grow and remember all the tiny details that we swear we wont forget but sometimes do need a good photo to remind us. Being a mum of three I also know how hard it can be to find the enthusiasm to take these photos especially in the first weeks after having your baby. To make this process as straight forward as possible I have put together some of my best tips for taking gorgeous photos of your own baby.
Just get your camera and take a photo...
The most important tip – take the photos. Don’t get caught up on perfection. It is more important to have the record of your baby’s growth than taking the perfect image. Hopefully these tips will help you take great photos as well as plenty of photos. Don’t forget to print off those gorgeous photos and put them in albums or frame them on your walls – they aren’t just for filling up your hard drive!
Turn off the flash! Lighting is everything with photography. Newborns and babies photograph best in natural light. A good rule of thumb for nice soft shadows and highlights is to have your baby angled so the light flows from the top of the baby’s head down their body at approximately a 45 degree angle. Look for a soft shadow underneath baby’s nose to check you have the angle right. Then experiment.
Focus on the details…
Make sure you have your point of focus in mind. Normally you will focus on the baby’s eyes or eyelashes if the eyes are closed. But don’t forget all the other little details that will change so much in the first years of life. Little fingers and toes, rosebud lips and little button nose. Baby’s little fingers grasping your big finger or the little baby hand in your big hand. When you have a friend or family member cuddling baby take the opportunity of having your hands free to take a few photos of them snuggled up together.
Remember that many of the more difficult looking poses and set-ups that the Professional Photographers do for example where the baby’s chin rests on its hands or baby is balanced on a swing are actually composite images, and not created from a single image. Baby’s safety, comfort and well being are most important. Keep the area nice and warm and make sure baby is feed and content before you start. But saying that it is can be interesting to have some of baby crying as well if that’s how your session goes.
Keep the background of your photographs simple and free of clutter. You can do this by coming in close to what you are focusing on or by setting up a backdrop which can be as easy as a favourite blanket or duvet draped over a sofa or bean bag. Knitted blankets are ideal as they don’t crease. Another way to simplify your images is to convert them to black and white. This also helps to soothe out baby’s skin tone and hide some of the blemishes. But remember that the flaky skin, baby spots and red patches are a special aspect of the newborn stage you are trying to record so for those with retouching skills go easy on the retouching.
Get in the photo…
After I had my babies the last thing that I wanted to do was have my photo taken let alone get camera ready. But don’t think about the baby weight you still want to lose, how tired we feel and that you don’t think you look your best. Instead think about how important it will be to our children in years to come having those photos with mum.
Browse the internet inspiration on photos and poses Pintrest is a brilliant source of ideas and remember don’t stop taking those photos. Capture every new milestone. For my babies I made sure to get a photo that I loved every month and then for their first birthday party I hung all thirteen (including a first week and first month photo) of them from bunting, to share how much they had changed in their first year .
Hand your camera to someone else – your husband, mum, dad, or a friend. Whoever the photographer is ask them to focus on the baby. A great new mum pose is with you holding and looking down at your baby. That way you are in the photograph but it’s not a bout the bags under your eyes it’s about you cuddling your little bundle.I know my children love looking back over their baby photos. Being able to share them with my kids as they grow is one of the main reasons I took them in the first place.
What are you waiting for – grab that camera and start taking some gorgeous photos of your family!
Shannon Godfrey is a fun loving self-confessed coffee, chocolate and iPhone aholic devoted to her three beautiful and well-photographed children.
From the age of 5 she have been passionate about photography.
Shannon has been in the business for nearly 15 years. Based on Auckland’s North Shore, she surrounded by stunning beaches that offer numerous outdoor opportunities for photo shoots.
Shannon wants her photographs to be timeless, something you can look at in 20 years time and still think “I love that photograph”. For her it is about capturing special moments in a combination of un-posed fun shots and natural poses.
Have a peek at her website here www.shannongodfrey.co.nz