20 March 2013

What I Learned About Taking Baby Pictures

Ah, my poor, neglected little blog.  Remember back in this post, I told you that my blogging would be pretty sparse until Daddy's Girl started taking regular in-her-bed naps?  Well, she does now... but those regular naps are only a half hour long.  Any advice on how to help her to sleep longer?  I know she needs it...

Anyway, I took my little munchkin's 7 month pictures a couple of days week or two ago while back (wow it's hard to find time for blogging with two little ones.  And they've both been sick off and on since January.  That isn't helping), and I thought I'd share some things I learned.  

Lesson 1:  Use neutral/soft colors around your baby.  Daddy's Girl turned 7 months in February, so I thought this Valentine's Day blanket would make an excellent background.  Add to that its wonderful fuzziness and the nice contrast with my little girly's outfit, and I was sold.  Until I pulled the pictures onto my computer and saw the red color cast the blanket was bouncing back on my darling's face.

Also, the bright red was distracting from the soft beauty that my baby (and all babies) naturally has.  Nope--the red has to go.

Lesson 2:  You can always process the picture into black and white to fix the funny color casts and otherwise distracting colors.  I found this tip on making your black and white pictures really pop--thank you, Pinterest--and I use it every time.

Lesson 3:  Try to get your baby's personality, not just their likeness.  Part way through this photo shoot, I realized I was not really getting my little one's  personality in her pictures.  So I gave her her pacifier.  Now, Daddy's Girl doesn't really need to suck on her pacifier ("plug," to us) unless she's sleeping, but she sure likes to play with it.  And the ribbon of her plug-catcher is always in her mouth.  So even though you can't see her face in this picture, you see who she is.

Lesson 4:  If possible, have a helper to entertain your baby so you can concentrate on picture-taking.  It's really hard to keep still enough to take crisp pictures while playing with a baby.  

And two more quick tips I like to use for all portraits:

Tip 1:  Soft natural light is the best!  If the light is too harsh (think direct sunlight, camera flash...), you get ugly shadows and blown out lights.  Try going by a large window where the sun is not streaming directly through.  (North-facing windows are great for this.)  Sheer, white curtains can help soften the light if you are getting direct sunlight.

Tip 2:  If your camera has the option, use a wide aperture (small number).  This make for nicely blurred backgrounds, like in the first picture.  I love the look of a nicely blurred background...It also helps your camera be able to use a faster shutter speed, so you have a lower risk of motion blur (from baby or you).

Happy picture-taking!

1 comment:

  1. She is so cute! Thanks for the tips! I won't be taking baby pictures any time soon, but I can apply them to other pictures ^_^


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