Tips for Photographing Babies and Toddlers

Babies and children are the easiest subjects to photograph because of all of the cute things they do. However, when you want good quality pictures that are frame-worthy, photographing babies and toddlers can be tricky. Babies move so much it makes it nearly impossible to capture that perfect picture unless you are an experienced professional.

photo shoot

Sure, portrait studios are ideal for getting great quality photos to share with friends and family. Personally, I find these look a little too staged. More parents are turning to hiring professional photographers for the convenience. Rather than sitting around waiting in a portrait studio, a photographer can come to you. Likewise, you can choose the best location for a natural background. The downfall is hiring a photographer is typically much more expensive.

Photographing Tips for Parents

There are several benefits to taking photos of your little ones yourself. Even if you purchase a really expensive high-quality camera, it’s much more cost-effective taking your own in the long-run. Infants and young children are more likely to take better photos when someone familiar like mom is taking them as opposed to a stranger.

Choose the best lighting location – Natural light is usually your best option, making the outdoors the ideal location for taking pictures. Pick a day that’s nice and sunny for taking portraits. If taking photos indoors, make sure the room has adequate lighting and let in as much natural light as possible. Not only will better lighting result in better quality, it makes for a more pleasant shooting experience for babies. You want to avoid using flash as this can often scare babies. Also, older children tend to blink or look away when there’s a flash right when the picture is being taken.

Have the right camera – You don’t need a big fancy camera with an expensive lens. There are plenty of affordable digital camera options that take great pictures for beginners. If you’re looking for the right camera to photograph kids, choose one that has image stabilization. This improves the quality of photos taken during movement, whether it’s the baby or the photographer. Sometimes, the best pictures are taken when a child is in action. An image stabilizer will reduce blurriness and produce better quality photos.

Have props – Props can make for a really cute scene depending on what you’re going for. They also help make babies and children feel more comfortable with something they like. Using toys can also give your child a distraction and capture their attention long enough to have them look at you (the camera) for the picture. Just try to keep the props to a minimum as too much can cause over stimulation and have an adverse effect. Your main focus should be your child so limit props to one or two in a shot.

Take pictures when baby is happy – Pick a good time to take pictures that isn’t close to nap time or a feeding as babies and toddlers are more likely to be cranky. Wait until they are not hungry or sleepy. If your baby is battling a cold, stuffy nose, or teething, wait until they are themselves and not irritable. This will make it more pleasant for everyone!

Keep Shooting Sessions Short – babies and toddlers can lose interest quickly and are not capable of having the patience to pose for pictures for long periods. If you try to sit a baby in a particular position for too long they may become fussy. Take breaks between shots with different poses and outfits. Let them have some play time.

Get on your child’s level – When taking pictures, get down to your baby’s level for optimal perspective. Taking photos overhead are sometimes cute, but they can produce awkward shots if done poorly. Likewise, your baby or toddler is more likely to look at you if you are at the same level with them as opposed to having them look up.

mom and babyIt’s easy to take tons of snapshots of your little ones, but do try to get in on the action too. Use a camera with a self-timer or have someone take photos of you with your baby to get in a few shots. Some fun ideas for photographing babies and toddlers is to make a game of it so they’re more likely to give you genuine smiles. Play along with them in between shots and keep it comfortable. Take candid photos too. Just remember not to stress so much on getting the picture perfect pose and have fun with it.

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