Oh Baby!

Oh Baby

Shooting babies is a challenge—you have to catch the right moment in a short span of time.

For me, the best age to shoot them is between six and eight months. They are at their bubbliest, and usually won’t shy away from you. As he lies on his stomach, he can lift his head, do some kind of pushup, look at camera and smile. He can sit by himself, sometimes with legs apart, which really looks so cute. And because it is their first formal portrait, I prefer to photograph them in their birthday suit. No clothes, no costumes, no props.

How to photograph babies with easeAt 10 months to a year, he is either crawling or walking and will not remain still for a long time. This is why you have to work fast. Trying to catch the moment is the name of the game.

Some kids have smiles that are smaller than Mona Lisa’s. So they will just stare at you, watching you make a fool of yourself. A candid shot, the stare, or the seriousness of the babies is also a good shot to take. Whatever emotion the babies give you, shoot it. You never know it might be the one you are looking for.

I usually go for a clean, soft lighting for the baby’s first portrait. You could experiment on some dramatic lighting if you still have time to do it. Like I said, there are babies who will only work with you for a short while. So whatever lighting you wish to do make sure it’s prepared before the baby arrives, and it’s what the parents like too.

Parents might ask if you can take out the mosquito bite marks of the face of the baby. Show them it’s possible after the shoot. In the world of digital imaging almost anything is possible. Shooting in studio or outdoor settings is almost the same. Just make sure the child is comfortable and safe.

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More tips on how to get great baby photos:

  • Talk to parents and ask them what they want and hope to see beyond being sweet and cuddly.
  • Find out the baby’s best time—it could be right before he takes a bath or just right after. Or after he sleeps, or his playtime.
  • Ask parents to bring his favorite toy. If you show something new, he might get scared and turned-off, then you have a change in mood.
  • Bring the yayas or the drivers or anyone else that make him smile. Let them act as the clown too.
  • Make sure that wherever you sit the baby, whether on the floor or shooting table, it is safe. These babies may be small but they are fast!
  • Before the shooting time, make sure you’ve prepared the lights already and are ready to shoot the moment you put the baby on the shooting table or floor. The baby’s moods change so fast and their attention span is short. You have to take advantage of their good mood time.
  • When baby arrives, make eye contact first. If he doesn’t get scared try to carry him.
  • Call out the baby’s name so he gets used to your voice.
  • Sometimes the baby has a preference for a male or female photographer. Double check with the parents before the shoot.

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