Photographing Babies... They Laugh, They Cry, and Other Stuff Too!

Found in: Photo Tips
Mar 25 2013
by Brianne Waterson

Let me start by saying... just like snowflakes, no two babies are alike! If you think you have them all figured out, they will throw you a curve ball! In a single session, they can giggle, cry, eat, make mess, and steal your heart! In short, taking pictures of babies is not for everyone! However, they are my favorite!

How do I like to go about doing a baby session you might wonder? Setups! I keep all the stuff that matches in setups that I prepare a day or so prior to the session. This usually consists of a bucket/basket with a hat or a hairpiece such as a flower, a rug, a blanket, or, perhaps, a diaper cover, and props. I try to keep 2 to 4 setups per session. I may not use them all, but I am prepared! I try to change up the setup with each session, so I do not have an identical set. This isn't really that hard when you swap hats, tutus, etc.

Photographing Babies: studio setup, a pullback shot

What do you always need in the studio? You should have plenty of wipes, an air freshener, a cleaner to disinfect, a garbage container ready to use, a blanket to change a baby's diaper on, a heater, and, of course, a comfy chair for the mom if baby gets hungry with all that modeling going on. Baby will need to eat. It is almost a given! Baby will also need to be changed. I cannot stress enough to plan your time for this! If you usually get babies done in 2 hours, or even 1 hour, I can guarantee that the photo shoot will go over if you book back-to-back sessions. It's like a photographers' law in most cases!

Safety! I cannot stress enough that although babies are beautiful sweet little things, they are real alive babies, not a prop! In recent years, many ideas like the glass jar are being attempted. Please know this craft and the safe ways to get shots! I have also seen many baby images with Christmas lights. These lights are harmful in many ways, including the lead on the cords! As a photographer, I know these awesome shots are so tempting, but please do what's best for the baby!

Compositing is very popular! This is where multiple photos are merged later in Photoshop. You can think of a baby hanging in a sling, sleeping on its elbows, sitting in certain containers, and more! If you are looking at a baby in a glass jar of candy and think it is cute, well, you need to learn how to composite!

Photographing Babies: using a Photographing Babies: compositing artwork

Pintrest, please don't get me started! Just kidding... While Pintrest can be a valuable source for inspiration, please don't use it as a crutch! When all the photos in the area are sharing the same ideas from Pintrest, do something else, something fun, classic, or just focus on good clean photography! This will set you apart. While 125 moms in the area have the pink/blue balloon pregnancy setup, rock a different shot! By the time your picture gets used by others for inspiration, a time gap has taken place and your creativity will be rocking a new shot again!

Photographing Babies: setup with a tutu and a tasty cake :)

Guest writer: Brianne Waterson

My Name is Brianne Catherine. I go by Bree. I am the sole owner of MTM PHOTOGRAPHY AND CUSTOM EDITS. I have attended Baker College for almost four years and will be graduating with a business degree in the fall of 2011. I love to write and I love photography.

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