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Taking Baby Photos

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Baby Photos Baby Photographs Digital

One thing is certain -- babies never stay babies quite long enough. Before you know it, your little cutie will be heading off to school. When you blink again that same baby will be graduating, getting married, and starting a family of their own. Baby photos help to preserve precious memories by capturing moments of your baby's life that you can treasure forever.

Many people choose to have professional photos taken of their wee one, but with a little planning, you can take some very nice pictures yourself. Sometimes, photos taken by family members are the best ones since the baby is most comfortable in a familiar environment and with people that they already know.

Traditional cameras are fine, but if you have access to a digital, use that. When you use a digital camera, you have the benefit of viewing your photos immediately; assuring that you will have a nice variety of great shots. Additionally, most software programs that come with digitals allow you to tweak your photos, adjusting the brightness level and removing red eye to perfect your photos before you print them.

Taking Formal Shots:

Plan to take your photos when your baby is healthy, well rested, and has been recently fed. A tired, hungry, or feverish baby will not feel much like giving you their brightest smile! If possible, enlist the aid of a friend or relative. Your assistant will be able to help entertain the baby and reposition them as needed. This frees you to stay behind the camera, waiting for just the right moment to capture their sweet expression.

The best baby photos are often very simple. Try to avoid including too much distraction in your background by clearing the area of furniture, toys, and pets. You can create a simple backdrop by hanging a plain colored bed sheet or blanket behind the baby. Lighting matters, too. Avoid harsh lighting or your photos may look washed out. Try opening the drapes and allowing the sun to provide warm, natural light. Move the baby to different areas to find just the right balance of light and shadow.

One of the best tips for taking great photos of babies -- or people of any age -- is to zoom in. You get more detail when you take nice, tight shots. Variety is another trick to having unique, memorable photos. Take the traditional poses, of course; full body or head and shoulder shots are always popular. Once you have a few of those, however, take some less common shots. Take a close up of your baby's tiny feet or one of her little hand holding onto your finger.

Color prints are wonderful, but many people prefer the artistic quality of black and white photographs. You don't need to shoot two separate types of film since virtually all modern photo labs have the capability to convert your color shots into black and whites. Most computer programs for photo manipulation offer this option too, even the most basic ones. Simply shoot in color and then, if you'd like, have some of them printed in black and white.

The most important way to assure a good outcome is to be relaxed. Babies are very perceptive to your mood, so if you are calm and relaxed, your baby will be, too!

Taking Candids:

The most important trick to getting great candid shots of your baby is to be always at the ready. Keep your camera within easy reach and be sure that it stays fully charged. When out and about, tuck it into your diaper bag so that you can grab it quickly if you see an opportunity to take a fun shot or two. If you have a digital camera, you can take many pictures without additional expense. Simply shoot freely and then just print your favorites.

One note about candid shots: don't fret about your baby being in her nicest clothes or having that fresh-out-of-the-bath look. Some of the cutest shots are of babies with messy hair and faces covered in strawberry ice cream!

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