Every parent’s excitement at the birth of their first child is reflected in the hundreds of photos taken by parents and grandparents. With the advent of digital photography this has increased dramatically. The birth of subsequent children causes this rate to diminish. If the rate does it should be as result of better quality images and not because the novelty has worn off. Here’s how to get great baby shots.
1. Learn to use your camera before baby arrives
This should be the most fundamental part of your baby photography. Don’t wait until mom goes into labour before feverishly reading your new camera’s manual. By the time you reach this most important event you should be competent with all the camera’s functions. There are no second chances at the birth or the first time the baby feeds or is held by mom straight after the birth. These are memories that cannot be missed through incompetence as you learn digital photography.
2. Focus on the baby
Unless you are specifically taking mom and baby shots or grandparents and baby then focus on the baby and not the people and clutter all around. Baby, as the subject should be the centre of attention and easily identified as such. A little baby in the middle of a crowd is not a memory.
3. Get in closer
As I said in point two the focus should be on the baby, but, don’t only focus on the baby, get in closer. Fill the frame with baby or part of baby. You want see the baby and not other things as I said. Many years down the road you want to look at photos that show baby clearly. Unless you want to see the crib, nappy bin and all the creams exclude them from the image. Rather have less of mom or gran in the image and more of baby.
4. Get in even closer
How much closer can you get? Really close. Why? You want to get photos of baby’s little feet, hands or eyes. What makes a baby cute? It’s these little features. Get some images of a big hand with a little hand around a big finger or a small foot lying across a big hand. A photo of a little face cupped in a big hand is exquisite. Be prepared to experiment. If your camera or lens has a macro feature allowing you to get in close, then use it. Focus on baby’s blue eyes or shoot in sepia or black and white to get a fun effect.
5. Shoot a photo a day
Have you ever thought of shooting one photo every day for the first 365 days of baby’s life? Imagine such a detailed documentary of a little one’s life. But, remember to vary them. Different times of the day, different activities such as bath time, nap time or feeding time and different facial expressions. Zoom in, go wide and change your angles such as shooting high or very low. Include photos together with other members of the family and extended family. Don’t forget that baby is the focus of image. What this does is help you learn digital photography as you have fun photographing your baby
The early years of a child are very exciting and you need to document as much as you. Too many photos is better than too few. How many times have you looked back and thought that you’d have liked to see more images of a loved one. Have fun while shooting and it will be a win/win situation. Happy shooting as you learn digital photography!