By now you should know that the key element to your success with taking pictures of any child is to have fun – both you and the Child. Here are some ideas to help all your photographic efforts to preserve these beautiful childhood moments.
Baby pictures – Tips
Use props: You can use props in two ways, for setting a theme, or for playing / eating / etc. Kids love stuffed animals, dolls (girls) and trucks (boys). I prefer to use toys at the later stage of the session, when I need to recapture the child’s attention. One thing I recommend is to place the toys out of site until you actually need them, otherwise they can distract the kid’s attention
Get real close: Don’t be afraid to get real close to the child. Get some nice closeups. You can get an eye only shot, though my recommendation is not to cut the face. Instead try and capture the face with something of the child’s world in the background or edge of the picture. Even if the object is not in focus.
Explore different camera angles: Small kids have some interesting facial features. They have cute button noses, big eyes and cherry lips. Experiment with different points of view. Don’t be afraid to turn everything on it’s head to find the perfect way to express the moment.
Take tons of pictures: Children change so quickly. Both in the long term and the short. They are so dynamic and can offer you tons of amazing opportunities for great pictures and incredible headaches. With this said, you can use this to your advantage if you just take tons of pictures. If not, you can expect hours of frustration caused by just missing or rushing the perfect shot.
Focus on the eyes: This is an absolute. As in most portraiture, the eyes are the key to understanding the child. They reveal character, and most often have a lot of expression in them. If you don’t focus on the eyes you will always feel as if there is something missing from the photograph. There are of course artistic exceptions to this rule. For instance, the hand of the child at a particular moment might hold tremendous amounts of character and expression.
Shoot as if you were three feet tall: When shooting from the child’s point of view of the world, you get the world as viewed by children. Also the child will feel safer and equal in the session. Let the children invite you into their space. Just find your inner child. Come on it’s fun!
Shoot in couples or groups: Some of the best baby pictures I have ever taken are of children interacting with each other. There is something special and honest about the way they treat their peers. Be aware that some of your more active children may want to interact more violently then others. Props (especially soft ones) can be a great aid in both getting their attention and aiding in constructive interaction.