Our Crush of the Month for January is Adele Enersen’s book When My Baby Sleeps, which is based on her creative hit blog Mila’s Daydreams. We love the amazing tableaus she creates with her sleeping babe—it inspires us to do the same with our wee ones!
Adele joins us today to share some of the most important things to pay attention to when photographing your baby.
1. The Lighting
Using a flash tends to make for pictures that are too sharp, with red eyes, ugly colors, and dramatic shadows, and, of course, it could frighten your baby! I prefer natural sunlight and take my pictures next to the largest windows in my home. And the best weather for a photo shoot like this is a partly cloudy day—if it’s too bright out, it can make for harsh shadows, but pulling a light white curtain over the windows can help. And at the darker times of the day, you can try to light your room using lamps, but if possible, target the light up on to a white ceiling, so that the light reflects softly down.
2. The Idea
As much as you can, create and design the idea for a photo in your head before you actually start taking it. Build your set the whole way through and have your props ready before your bring your baby into the frame. Remember that a newborn baby’s ability to pose is minimal—they can pretty much just lay down!—so to make the photos as interesting as possible, try to infuse the setting around them with a sense of action, motion, or momentum, and concentrate on cute close ups!
3. The Baby
It’s best to take a photo when your baby is satisfied, so before getting all crazy creative, change nappies, feed and burp your baby! And if you want to take a picture while your baby’s asleep, make sure he or she’s in the right outfit before they close their eyes. Wait until the baby’s deep into the sleep cycle and totally relaxed, and then you can move the baby on set without disturbing a good night’s rest!
4. Be prompt
You must be quick, and make sure to snap more than one photo from each set, using slightly different angles. It’s good to have variety. With a digital camera, quantity is quality, and you’ll have more time to choose the right photo from that material later on.
Don’t place anything remotely dangerous in kids’ hands or even near kids’ hands—if they need to hold something to make the scene work, make sure it’s an especially safe item, and if you need to use something a little bit less safe, you can also secure the prop to the background and make it an illusion that your child is holding it.
Just use your imagination! The sky’s the limit. You can find inspiration from baby clothes, books, movies, paintings, stuffed toys or even ordinary household items. Just take a look around your house with an open mind and a fresh perspective. I bet you can make a perfect dreamland set from the first thing you turn around and see right now!