I was really looking forward to sharing these tips with you because they apply to everyone regardless of their equipment. When it comes to baby photography there are a few things all of us can do to ensure we have the best possible moments with the best possible light.
The best photos are taken with natural sunlight particularly the soft light that happens in the first hours of the day and in the late afternoon. This type of light is soft, glowing gently and creating visual poetry. In the middle of the day the light is harsh and more dramatic. Sometimes this can be advantageous if this is the emotion we wish to convey. Filtered light in natural setting is also quite nice for baby photography. Imagine for a moment gentle sunrays kissing your baby under the playful shadows of a tree.
If natural light is not an option you can replace it with strategic warm lights. Nothing coming from above but instead carefully positioned table lamps and desk lamps with warm colored bulbs and shades. For the purpose of highlights it is best if the light only touches one side of the baby’s face.
Dim lighting inside will force your camera to use slow shutter speed. To ensure sharp baby photos hold the camera steady or use a makeshift tripod.
I adore composition when it comes to baby photography. It is the place where tenderness meets art. The first and most important thing is to remove the clutter. Nothing more unpleasant than having a gorgeous baby photo that you feel you need to crop because the dirty laundry serves as a backdrop. Gift the photo with a tiny surprise. Your baby is the heart of the photo but a little something extra creates magic; it can be a small flower, especially colorful shoes or a funny sign that is already part of their environment. Think baby with sleepy eyes sitting in front of the “I need Coffee” sign that adorns a corner of your kitchen. Use texture. Texture can compliment or contrast. Wrap your baby in a soft fluffy blanket fresh out of their bath or place him carefully inside a large red toolbox. Your imagination is the limit.
Perspective & Angles
Go down on the floor. Giant’s view is not flattering. Worm’s view adds charm and allows you to capture proportion. Capture a unique angle of your baby or just a part of their body
A little work on your computer will take you far. Crop your photos to eliminate undesired elements. Add glow, try soft focus and play a little with the highlights.
Make everything a celebration. Every first can become a beautiful memory. First steps, first realization of having toes and fingers, first ice creams and the cute little face upon discovering the tanginess of lemons. Establish a frame of reference for growth in the form of a prop such as a teddy bear or another object. Take regular pictures next to this prop in the same setting to convey changes.
Our trusty little Iphones & Droids are always handy. We have come to rely on our smart phones to capture the unique and surprising moments of our babies.
As a multimedia device the smart phone does not have all the features required for amazing photos but each model has just enough to keep us hooked to the digital shutter.
The trick to camera phone baby photography is to understand the limitations of most devices.
Most camera phones don’t have auto focus. The fixed focus lens will not allow you to take sharp close-ups.
Most camera phones are slow and finicky in adjusting shutter speed. This means blurry photos.
The light sensors are moody. You must carefully consider your lighting and evaluate your screen before you shoot.
Not a good option for long distance or landscape. If you are trying to capture kiddos playing in the garden from a distance you won’t have awesome results.
Regardless of these shortcomings we all appreciate the instant gratification and ability to communicate and share those special moments with our loved ones. It is amazing. Baby’s first steps, messy feedings and of course, the first time the little darling signs “milk”. To get the most out of your camera phone consider this tips:
Hang a cute charm from the phone to attract the attention of your baby.
Press and hold the shutter and wait until the light has adjusted to your preference.
We can achieve our best photos between two to twelve feet.
Seek simple composition without lots of background clutter.
Still and calm babies yield the best results in overcoming slow shutter speed.
If you get a blurry photo with poor light management call it “soft focus”.
Use editing software like Photoshop or Picasa to play with highlights, contrast and sharpness.
Avoid using the flash if you have one. It will result in a harsh photo.
Use cute special effects apps to add charm and uniqueness.
Have fun! Your instant updates and wonderful first moments are precious to your family and friends.
There are thousands of options when it comes to digital cameras. Once you become a mama you quickly realize that you are no Anne Geddes. How you wish you had an extra hand or a super long arm!
When I set up my baby gift registry I had visions of a fancy DSLR, and dreamt of the day I would place my cherubim on meadows covered with wild flowers, I even purchased props from Etsy and visualized my child as crochet pea or wool bear. Those were my aspirations then, my reality now is more in the happy snap phone pic category. The Point & Shoot has become my best friend and I have learned to appreciate the beauty of simplicity in design. When it comes to baby photography less is more.
Recently I set out to purchase a camera as a gift to my cousin Laura. Before I stepping out the door I decided to get some expert guidance. I emailed a good pal of mine who actually earns a living as a photographer. His words of wisdom were very helpful as I tried to pick the perfect camera in a sea of options. This is what I learned:
The features of point & shoot a mama-camera:
Expendable. Chances are you will drop it or misplace it.
Easy and quick to turn on and off.
It has auto-off after a few minutes of non-activity.
It has a low f/stop lens and it allows a high ISO rating. (This means better flash-free photos indoors).
Image stabilization feature.
Independent exposure control for the flash.
One that has a “kids & pets” setting.
Fast continuous shooting mode.
You can control all the features with one hand.
The surface is easy to wipe clean.
Long battery life.
A mama-camera is easy to learn, easy to carry and reliable. Look for features instead of price tags. A good way to evaluate the performance of a camera is to visit Flickr and review the camera profiles of your favorite pics.
My friend Jamie, an avid crafter and awesome mom sent me a little something to share. She worked on this craft as a gift to her nanny for Mother’s Day. In my opinion it is a wonderful mothers day gift for a grandmother or a great keepsake to commemorate your baby’s first Baby Sign Language word.
In the coming months we will revamp the BabySignLanguage.com website, and we want to hear from you. After visiting the site and starting to teach your baby, what questions did you have? What extra resources did you need? Are there some tips and tricks you discovered that everyone needs to know?
Two changes that will be coming are more signs and a forum. We heard a lot over the last year, that you need more signs. So we have shot an extra 800 signs and these will be coming in the coming months. Many of you also asked for a place to talk to other signing parents. So in the next month, we will try out a forum where you can discuss all things signing.
So let us know how we can help more parents teach their babies to sign.