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Baby Photography Tips

I’ve done quite a couple of baby & child photography sessions so I feel I should share some tips.
I’m not going to come up with yet another “baby photography tips” list but I’m just going to share some experiences & tricks.

Before my very first session I tried to prepare myself as best as I could by reading a couple of books about the matter, and yes, I did google for those same “baby photography tips”-lists.

1. When photographing nekid babies, warm up the house, make sure they didn’t wear anything to tight, yada yada.

Reality: Have mom have spare towels, a mop & some wet wipes ready. Nekid babies tend to will always either go Nr.1 or Nr.2 on you! If dad is holding up the baby .. have mom go and get some dry clothes. (yes Kris I’m referring to you)

2. Photograph the baby assuming a strange pose.

Ahum, babies don’t pose, they just do something or they don’t. Trying to get them in a specific pose, gaffer tape works better than duck tape. (*)

3. Photograph the baby having fun in peculiar place… I prefer doing my shoots at the babies house (see tip#1 for reference), so I can incorporate things I find around the house. A picture with a toy that belongs to me (hmm) or some other baby means nothing to the parents. I try to look for “different” places to put the baby on or in … but I haven’t shoved any inside a washing machine either, yet it’s on my to do list now!

4. A tip I found online : “Show motion blur in the background with a sharply captured baby running around”.
I have yet to photograph my first “running” (huh) baby so I really can’t comment on this.
Yet I didn’t know 2 week old babies can roll out of a fruit basket either (hi Fleur, a big kiss to little Nuno)

5. I’m not a fan of the white seamless background but for babies & toddlers I do like the effect from time to time. (+ it’s a good backup plan) When they are starting to grow teeth, don’t expect to be using your roll twice 😉 (hi Mira)

6. The attention-span with babies & toddlers is a bit shorter, to get an extra 10 minutes I bring my special weapon to the set. (Robin liked it a lot)

7. It’s not big secret that I’m a fan of small portable flashes, I use them in 90% of my pictures. As a new year’s resolution I’m gonna try to incorporate more available (natural) light in my pictures, they still make the best baby pictures.

8. I’ve never been a fan of new year’s resolutions, Joe McNally said “use any f@#| available light”, and I always carry at least 3 flashes with me.

To avoid any lighting accidents, but especially not to have the baby in positions they don’t want to be in for much longer than necessary, my biggest trick in my bag ‘o tricks : use a stunt-baby !

Meet knorretje, the stand-in for little Emma. (though he wasn’t the best reference for skin tones)

* Disclaimer: I’m being sarcastic so for the ‘slow’ readers : never use any tape or glue on babies.

4 Comments so far  
by Kristof Pattyn 12.20.08 5:48 pm

Nice blog!

I like your style of pictures. Another great tip is to shoot right after babydinner! I mean the baby’s dinner 🙂
Hungry babies tend to hate lenses…

by tomleuntjensphotography 12.16.08 2:51 pm

thx, glad someone could appreciate this 😉

by moosability 12.16.08 11:07 am

Never ever? I liked the article. Keep on shooting and blogging.

by Sofie 12.11.08 2:42 pm

Thank you for the usefull tips! 🙂