Your baby has arrived, and it’s time to let the world know! Professional photographer and mom of two Angela Morris walks us through the process of capturing a perfect picture for your baby’s birth announcement, so you can share your new bundle of joy with everyone in your address book.
See the light
Setting up the perfect shot is your first step. “It’s best to shoot indoors, by a window, using natural light,” advises Morris. “Not using natural light can cause some unflattering shadows.”
If you’re shooting outside, opt for early morning sunlight or shoot in the late afternoon, around sunset. (Middle-of-the-day sun is very harsh and will probably cause your baby to squint.) When positioning your babe for a photo, angle her toward the sunlight, and be careful not to stand between the light and your baby when taking your picture.
Find your angle
“Be sure not to get so close to your baby that the camera uses a very wide angle. It’s better to step back a bit and zoom in,” explains Morris. Shooting from too close a range can cause image distortion, making your baby’s head and body appear wider than they actually are.
To capture your baby’s best features, Morris recommends getting down on her level. Try kneeling or lying beside your baby and shooting from there.
Think outside the box
That precious little face will undoubtedly be the main attraction in most of your pictures, but don’t stop there. Try a variety of different image styles—you’ll end up treasuring them all!
“Baby’s feet, daddy’s hand with baby’s hand, baby sleeping in a basket … These all make great shots,” says Morris. “Grab an oversized chair and curl your baby up in it. You can also lay baby tummy down on daddy’s extended arm with her head in his hand.”
Many moms like to capture images of their baby in the buff, but Morris warns, “If you do nudes, be aware that baby may pee or poop. Our little girl did! Have wipes and extra blankets ready to quickly catch the accident.”
Dress for the occasion
When it comes to dressing baby up for her pretty pics, it’s largely a matter of preference. Morris recommends dressing your little one in a solid or small pattern. And keep in mind that the shot should be centered around the baby, not the clothes. The cutest photos are often made in the simplest of outfits! “I photographed my daughter in a white romper with tiny light pink butterflies on it.It didn’t distract from her face, but it was still cute,” Morris says.
Try, try again
Don’t expect to capture a perfect shot the first time you click the camera. Play around and experiment with different angles and positions, and shoot your baby at different points during the day. Sometimes an impromptu shot creates the best picture—and you just might be surprised at how your newfound photography skills pay off.
Capture the moment
As the weeks pass by, you’ll find a new challenge: “Babies have such cute little smiles and faces, but it can be hard to get them in a picture!” Use Morris’ tips for securing that sweet smile to share with your family and friends.
- “Be prepared by holding your baby’s favorite toy right next to the camera, or hold the camera in one spot and focus, and then peek out from behind to get her attention. Hit the button without looking back through the camera. If you wait to reposition, you’ve most likely missed the moment.”
- It sometimes helps to have a baby-pleaser on hand to try to conjure a smile while you work the camera. “Have him stand right over your shoulder, as close as possible to you and the camera, so baby’s attention will still be in the direction of the camera,” suggests Morris.
- “Aim to shoot your baby during her ‘happy time,'” says Morris. (That’s right after eating for many babies). “Remain patient, and plan to shoot fast. You almost want to start pushing the button before the moment happens. Digital cameras can have a delay, and by the time it’s focused (or ready to flash), she will have moved on.”
- “If you have a continuous shooting mode on your camera, use it!” Morris instructs. “It will let you take several frames very quickly.” If you don’t, just keep clicking as soon as your camera is ready for the next shot.