Parenting

10 Super Smart Tips for Taking Awesome Pictures of Your Baby

cameraWhen you have a baby, you take on a lot of new titles. Parent. Diaper-changer. Lullaby singer. And photographer. Since cameras became affordable for the masses, new parents the world over have felt the need to document this little being's every moment!

I'm just as guilty as everyone else -- maybe more so. I'm a family portrait photographer in addition to being a blogger, and my daughter is so used to the sound of the flash firing, she doesn't even react anymore. That's just mom, at it again!

Want to get in on the game? You've got the perfect model: your cute little pumpkin. And here's how to get great shots for their baby book.

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Get ready -- The first step to photographing babies is really figuring out what you want. Are you content to sneak in when they're sleeping? Are you trying to capture eyes wide open and a sweet grin? Candids can be taken anytime, anywhere, but portraits take planning. Judge when your sweetie is happiest -- is it after a feeding or at a certain time of day? -- so you'll be able to block out a little time for this process.

Get familiar -- With your camera that is. Whether you have a point and shoot or an SLR, the more you know about the camera, the more creative you can be. Some good things to figure out -- how to change shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.

Get 'em comfy -- If you're going outside, you want a spot that has open shade rather than direct sunlight, which isn't optimal for pictures OR particularly pleasant for a baby. Inside, you can use a flash or try to set up near a window to take advantage of the nice, natural light, but you still want a happy, comfy baby.

Get safe -- If you're going portrait, prep a safe place! We all know how wiggly babies can be, and if your hands are on a camera, you can't be holding baby too.

Get on their level -- A little math problem for you people: how tall are you? Now how tall are they? Exactly. A picture shot from standing up when kiddo is way down there is not going to capture much other than the top of their head. Don't be afraid to hunker down on the floor and shoot (with the lens!).

Get close -- Ever perused your pals' Facebook photos and wondered what the heck that picture was supposed to be showing off? Was it their kid or that gigantic mess in their living room? You don't need all that extra "stuff" in your shot; heck, you don't even need your baby's whole body in there. A photo that zooms in on "just" the face or "just" the toes can really capture the essence of babyhood. 

Get happy -- If someone was sticking that weird clicky machine with a flashing light in your face, wouldn't you be a little weirded out? Coo, smile, laugh, put down the camera and remind them it's really just Mommy or Daddy back there. Having a partner playing peekaboo behind you doesn't hurt either.

Get creative -- The 'net is full of ideas for tracking baby through the ages and stages that can spur you on, but don't be afraid to make them more personal. Does baby have a favorite stuffed animal? Pose the two together once a month and you'll be able to look back at how one grew and one stayed the same! Or try posing baby in the same outfit every week -- until they've outgrown it completely. The sky is the limit here. 

Get shooting -- The best thing about digital photography? You can always delete the "bad" shots! So take a ton of your squirmy, wriggly baby and don't worry if some are blurry! The more you take, the more likely something good is going to be on that memory card!

Get in there -- Nine times out of 10, there is one photographer in the family ... who is always on one side of the lens but never actually IN the pictures. Don't forget to hand that camera over and get some of your own time cuddling in front of the camera!

What are your favorite times to take photos of your baby?

 

Image via potzuyoko/Flickr

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