5 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Baby at Home

It's nearly May, folks. And as heartbreaking as it is to think of the sessions cancelled, the spring minis postponed, and the springtime backdrops we've missed (CHERRY BLOSSOMS, UGH), I am honestly so flipping happy to be approaching a new month. A new month means time is passing and that we're THAT much closer to a solution. A vaccine. Normalcy.

I know that we won't be getting our old life back anytime soon but parents are still expecting, babies are still being born, and kids are still growing FAST. I want to make sure all of the new moms and dads out there have the knowledge and tools to photograph your new baby as best as you can. While I want to cry thinking about how I can't physically be there to do this for you, I've compiled a list of tips below so you can try to do your own photos at home! You don't need a DSLR for this (of course, if you have one that's great too!) but a phone camera will absolutely get the job done.

Before we dive in: Please know that I would love to edit any photos you take!! iPhone photos or DSLR. I'm your girl.

Okay let's begin!

1. Make sure your baby is comfortable.

This means feed your baby RIGHT before you start to take photos! Of course, also burp the baby so you don't have any ahem...spills. I also recommend making sure the house is relatively warm. I typically know I'm at the right temperature if I'M hot! Also, I've seen babies who cry cry cry and then are perfectly content once we've taken off that hat, or that bow. So just be aware of what you're putting ON your baby, as that may absolutely affect their mood!

2. Keep baby's outfits simple.

I always recommend solid or lightly patterned outfits to my clients. And make sure the colors aren't TOO bold. Stick with white, grey, light blue, light pink, light tan or pastels. Bold colors are fun of course, but can often cast weird hues. Keeping it simple also ensures baby stays the main focus of your photos!

It's always fun to try just a diaper too! Or even completely naked if you're brave ;)

3. Only use natural light. Do NOT use a flash!

Natural light is your best friend. Especially if you're indoors. It's soft, usually diffused, and evenly toned. Do NOT use a flash. Flash will flatten the image. It will create weird, unnatural shadows. Please just trust me - don't turn on that flash. If you feel like you don't have enough light, move closer to a window or wait for a brighter day.

4. Make sure the light is always moving DOWN the baby's face.

What I mean by this is: the light should move from the baby's forehead down to its chin. The light source should be coming from behind the baby's head or slightly off to the side. NEVER from below the baby's face. Light that goes UP someone's nose is VERY unflattering!

5. Don't forget the details!

Fingers, toes, cheeks, lips, ears, chubby thighs. These are SO important to capture! Cherish the little things :) Pro-tip: try capturing details in black and white! The simplicity is beautiful.

Curious how I put these ideas into action? Here are some setups I recommend!

1. Lay your baby down on a blanket next to a window. Remember: head closest to the window, feet farthest from the window. Then shoot from above! Try this with the baby swaddled and un-swaddled.

2. Place your baby on your bed. Head closest to the window. Shoot from all angles: shoot from above baby, shoot at eye-level with baby, shoot at a 45 degree angle from baby. This is usually the setup I use to capture details!

3. If your baby is 3 months or older, try belly shots on the bed! Lay your baby on their belly then shoot a couple of frames at their eye-level.

4. If your baby can sit up or almost sit up, find a basket or a crate to place them in and shoot away!

5. Don't forget candids! In their high chair, playing on the floor, in their crib. Capture the everyday memories :)

I would LOVE to see what you create! If you post your photos on Instagram, tag me: @marycatherinephoto.

And don't forget, I'm happy to edit any images you take!

Love and virtual hugs,

Mary Catherine

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