Photographing little babies is a task as challenging as walking into Mordor. It takes a whole different brand of patience, perseverance and resilience to shoot the planet’s most restless beings. Or course, it is a given that the end result is a lifetime of smiley moments. But, in a bid to just get done with the whole nerve-wracking ordeal, could you be putting your baby and yourself through things that do only more harm than good? We have put together seven mistakes you should just avoid without a second thought.
1) Sticking to a schedule
Bear this in mind- in bold letters, if you may- before you embark upon this journey. You may have a schedule that is packed to the last second. And maybe that is how you prefer to roll. But, do not expect the same from a baby that can barely talk. Babies’ moods and interests follow their own schedule, and they don’t really care about yours. You are going to have to wait till the baby is in a happy, playful mood or when it is asleep.
2) Using flash
Personally, we despise the use of flash for any type of photography. Flash has a way of destroying the emotions the picture is trying to portray. Moreover, flash not only makes the baby too uncomfortable, but also proves harsh to the baby’s delicate skin. Make full use of natural light. Choose the day and time for the shoot accordingly. For indoor shoots, choose a room that allows entry of maximum natural light. Don’t hesitate to shoot in diffused light, it makes the pictures look softer, which makes baby photos look all the more beautiful.
3) Making them “pose” too much
Remember: the baby is not a professional model! Accept the fact that he’s restless, and use this fully to your advantage. Making the baby sit in the same position for too long is not only harmful for the baby, but also has the potential of ruining your shoot. Babies move. A lot. So, there’s a high chance of you ending up with motion-blur photos. To solve this problem, you can set your camera on high ISO and bigger aperture. The best baby photographs are the ones where they are in their natural element. Everyone loves adorable candid photos!
4) Shooting in an inconvenient location
A location that is too bright, too dark, too cold, too hot, too cramped or too distracting only sends you tumbling towards a fruitless day. You have to bear two things in mind when you decide on a location- it should be baby-friendly and photography-friendly.
5) Incorrect angle
Experimenting with perspective is one thing and shooting from a wrong angle is quite the other. We know a lot of people who are most comfortable clicking pictures while standing. That doesn’t quite go well when you’re shooting a tiny tot. Towering over the baby will only give you an awkward picture with an awkward pose. Come down to the baby’s level; kneel or even lie down, if you have to. This way, you’re sure to capture the exact expression as well as the perfect candid shot.
6) Running a one man show
Even in a daily setting, everyone in the family has to just leave all their work and get to the most important job in the world- entertain the baby. The same goes for the photo-shoot. A baby needs to have someone around to play with, to look and laugh at, and to listen to. Operating alone will only drive you up the wall. Ask friends or relatives to help you out. “I can photograph, feed, care for and entertain a baby all by myself.” said no one ever.
7) Photographing them hungry and sleep deprived
A hungry or a sleepy baby, is a bundle of absolute trauma and disaster. The whole universe knows this. Before you start the photo-shoot, you have to ensure that your pint-sized model is well-fed and well-rested. Ensuring that these two things are in order is ensuring that you have the BEST. SHOOT. EVER.
Lucy Literna, the writer of this post is a very creative person and an award-winning professional photographer. She likes to keep up-to-date with the latest technology in the field. She has received many accolades for her recent showcase on baby photography at the national art gallery.