Now that your dumpling has made an appearance, you’ll no doubt want to capture every sweet first. Chuck Gloman, chair and associate professor of the TV/film department at DeSales University, takes you through one of his photo shoots offering advice you can use at home. It should not be difficult to get great photos of your new addition if you find the right background and use soft, indirect light. The following tips will apply whether you’re using a mobile phone, digital camera, or even film camera (remember those?).
Aubrey, 20 days old, was camera shy. Having her mother nearby to offer comforting words, we used a black jacket to contrast her pink outfit. Stark contrasts in colors or brightness will make your images pop.
Still using natural window-filtered daylight, we laid Aubrey on her pink blanket as her mother held her hand. A white piece of cardboard was directly in front of the camera to bounce soft, ambient light onto her. Don’t be afraid to get close—they won’t bite (usually).
Eight-month-old Henry was full of energy. Clutching his favorite book and sitting on a curved sheet of white paper, we had a makeshift studio. Bouncing the flash into a white umbrella gave a soft, pleasing light without frightening him. Although dubious of me in early images, giving his active hands something to do kept him happy.
We surrounded him with Cheerios and had someone familiar off camera to provide a focal point.
“So Big” never fails to elicit a smile. Always use indirect, bounced lighting rather than direct lighting on children.
At 9 months, Alana loved being in a new environment. Sitting on the carpet and illuminated by window light, I got down to her level as she looked up to her mother.
Having a recognizable face close by helps distract that you are taking photos.
Lastly, backlighting always looks great on babies. A strong window light behind helps shade the face and makes the subject angelic—even if they might not always be.
Experiment and find a spot that makes your baby happy. The results will make you happy for years to come.