baby photography - need advice

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by tissa, May 4, 2010.

  1. tissa

    tissa TPF Noob!

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    I have read what I could fing on google about baby photography, but i thought that I would also ask on here.

    I want to practice photographing babies and i need any advice I can get. I have only done it once before - i photographed a 1 month old little gir and i was not pleased with the results. I jsut couldn't get the skin tone to look normal. i know it is hard to photograph little babies and it is hard to edit the skin tones as well, that is why i thought I would ask you all how you do it and if you can give me any tips.


    P.S. i am going to be doing OUTDOOR photography.

    thank you!
     
  2. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I've done quite a few informal photography sessions with other people's kids. The light in the morning is usually nicer on young skin, but that deep afternoon light can be nice too. I usually keep them out of midday or afternoon direct sunlight and under a tree where the light can be diffused just a bit. When it comes to doing kids I also involve a lot of objects like fences, big rocks, outdoor lounge chairs, tables, things they can lean against or climb on if they are old enough.

    Clear colors are great next to baby skin but pastels usually tend to wash them out a bit unless you have the lighting just right. I like using a brighter blue versus say a light baby blue blanket, for instance. If you can use a small reflector held under the baby it can really make a huge difference sometimes, but be careful about light in baby's eyes and about how long you have them out there. Plenty of sunblock, but still don't keep them in sun for more than say 20 minutes because baby skin is new skin and most babies will burn fairly quickly while you are trying to get that perfect shot. It can sometimes take several good sessions to get something really good with a baby. They can't sit nearly as long as an adult so you have to take that into consideration though.

    I usually just plunk them on a blanket under a slightly shady but not too huge tree so I get the good light I want, but some light shade for protection too. I put plenty of toys around them and I let them play. Babies, they don't know how to pose so you just have to watch them through the lens and take your shots when you can. Some of the best shots with babies and kids actually are completely unplanned.

    I like to let them do their thing, be babies and work from there. I find the more time I spend trying to get them to look up or a certain way or whatever, the less I actually get in terms of good shots. It can often frighten a baby too, a camera in the face, so your best bet is to show up beforehand, the camera in your hand, chatter with the parents and the baby, maybe take some shots of the grown ups around the baby a few times until they are well used to it. Some babies are naturals, but some take a while to get to the point where they don't even notice the camera and you can get working.

    The last thing?

    Wear clothes where you can get dirty and avoid dangling jewelry. Unless they're close to being newborns babies can be mobile little creatures! 9 times out of 10 that really good shot is going to be taken from some position where you are laying there in the dirt, or on a rug or whatever tying to shoot up while your subject is reaching for some toy or the Mom or where you are dodging some curious fingers heading for your lens or necklace or whatever to get the shot.

    Babies are fun subjects though difficult sometimes.

    When you get them smiling though, it's awesome!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  3. I am Ivar

    I am Ivar TPF Noob!

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    Nice advice Magkelly!

    Maybe you can try and get a diffuser (and someone to hold it ;-), just in case there isn't enough shade available or the light is too harsh. I would refrain from using the reflector cause the baby won't be able to tell you that the light is really way too bright without either breaking out in crying or squinting really bad ;-)

    Have fun and be sure to keep the baby happy, cause they don't know how to hide that they're not feeling fine about the shoot yet ;-)
     

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