Shooting a baby portrait photograph comes with specific challenges – your subjects are too young to understand instructions and often have a mind of their own. However, if you are willing to plan, prepare, and persevere, the rewards could be adorable, heartwarming baby portraits. Here are some basic tips to help you get great baby portrait photographs.
Keep the focus clearly on the baby’s face, and especially the eyes. This is true for all portrait photography, but more so in baby portraits as you want to capture the expressions. Use a wide aperture on your lens so that the baby’s face comes sharply into focus and the background becomes a blur. While shooting, focus on the eyes.
This will further ensure that the focus remains on the baby. Avoid brightly colored or cluttered backgrounds. Even though it will be a blur in the portrait, anything striking in the background could reduce the focus on the baby’s face.
As far as possible, shoot baby portraits in natural light. This will give the portraits a softer look. Shoot in the daytime in a shaded spot or a naturally well lit room. It should provide sufficient natural light. Use a longer shutter speed on your camera if you feel the light is not enough. Avoid shooting babies in very bright artificial lights or very bright sunlight. Also, unless absolutely necessary, avoid using a flash.
It is almost impossible to get any baby to stay still leave alone pose for a photograph. The other option, of course, is to shoot them in action. This will also give you natural portraits. Just let the baby do his or her thing and keep clicking. You will capture a range of actions and expressions.
This is most important when shooting baby portraits. Chances are, if you are having fun, the baby is going to respond and you will get great happy portraits photographs. Do something silly or goofy, make baby talk and pull funny faces, babies love it and will be more than happy to smile, chuckle, and pose for you!