In life, there are moments you wish you could freeze and keep it that way forever. Isn’t it? Unfortunately, you can’t. All you can do is click them into photographs and treasure those memories. When my son was born, I was determined to capture every beautiful moment he presents us; from his toothless smile to every milestone along the journey. But at the same time, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it. Of course, you can get beautiful newborn photos taken by a professional photographer. But, it is impossible to get them to take all those unexpected moments you come across daily. Agree?
After deciding to do the picture-taking by myself, I did my research on the internet and learned some essential camera and photography techniques. I started practicing way before my son was born. And, guess what, by the time my son was born, I picked up so much and did come up with pretty pictures at home, to cherish forever. So, I am going to share the tips and tricks which helped me to take beautiful pictures at home. If I can, I am sure you can as well.
Disclaimer: If you are expecting the outcome to resemble a highly edited professional sort of photo, you will be disappointed. But, if you want the daily pictures you click to look better, these tips can be helpful.
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Essentials to create stunning baby photos
The smartphones/iPhones these days have great camera features like the portrait mode, which can capture amazing photos. If you have a DSLR camera, even better. I use an iPhone 8 plus and a Nikon D7200 camera. For the newborn photo shoot and monthly/theme-based pictures, I have used the DSLR. For impromptu daily photos, I end up clicking on my phone. I had tried keeping the camera always near me to capture those unexpected moments. But, most of the time, I faced issues with lighting, and by the time I try to adjust the camera settings, it would be too late. Also, if you have a DSLR, I would suggest investing in a prime lens, which can help to get beautiful portraits with gorgeous bokeh in the background. I use Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens.
Below are two baby photos one taken on DSLR camera and the other on iphone.
The prime factor in getting amazing photos! Good lighting can give whole different look to the photo.
I would recommend using natural light while taking baby photos, as artificial lights can be very harsh on the baby. It makes the room too hot, and we don’t want that when there is a baby in the room. Find a place in the house where the lighting is best; for instance, a large window which brings in good sunlight. I am sure you guys are familiar with the terms sun kissed and the golden hour. Nothing like good bright beautiful sunlight! If needed, you can get a reflector to redirect the light.
This 5-in – reflector on amazon is a great choice. If you are using a DSLR, I would suggest using aperture mode to get good photos. In worst-case scenarios, you can go for the click and adjust the light later in any editing apps of your choice.
The background is an area where you can explore your creativity. For the newborn shoot, I would suggest using soft colored backgrounds like a plain white wall to fur blankets or muslin clothes that are comfortable for the baby as well. For monthly photo shoots, I used a variety of backdrops from blankets and bedspreads to gift wrappers, which matched the clothes my son wore. I bought a set of gift wrappers which are reversible as well; which made great backgrounds for many photos.
There are so many amazing props that you can buy online, which include quirky costumes, fun toys, decorative lights and many more. If you don’t want to spend a lot on buying props, go for simpler things like these balloons, which I have used in the below picture. Such a simple but fun idea. We had a lot of fun taking these pictures. Another approach is to use cute baby onesies with fun/quirky phrases on them. Here are a few I found online.
And here are few of my son’s photos I took using various costumes and props.
When it comes to a newborn photo shoot, none of the above factors matter if the baby is not happy and comfortable. You know what can make a baby happy. Don’t you, Mamma? Make sure the tummy is full, and the baby is ready for a good sleep. Switch on the white noise on the machine or an app on your phone. It is easier to conduct the photo shoot with the first 15 days since birth as they sleep most of the time, and there is a very confined movement. In the case of daily pictures, I would say click whenever and whatever you want. Capture all those moments, whether happy or not. I am sure they will all be beautiful moments once you look back later.
It is good to have some editing skills handy to adjust the lighting and framing of pictures you took in a hurry. I use Snapseed and Lightroom to edit photos on my phone. They are very easy to use and even have some presets to make things easier. I don’t do much editing as I believe the photo loses the naturality in the process. It’s a personal opinion. If you need to try those filters to make it look better, please do. You are the one to decide how your baby’s photos need to look. Isn’t it?
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start clicking! Capture every tiny details. They do grow up so fast! 🙂
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