When it comes to babies we are certain of two things: 1)they are delicate and squishy and their cuteness is enough to melt the coldest of hearts, and 2) they grow and grow and before you know it, they become petulant teenagers. So, every parent wants to capture these precious, ephemeral moments of their children in a baby portrait from photo, to come back and look at them and feel a sense of nostalgia.
“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
– Andy Warhol
A baby is a new addition to a family, and watching them grow is an exciting phase for any parent. So you want to capture every little nuance and change, every toothless smile and the first teeth, every wobbly stumble before the confident strut. You want to fill a whole album, documenting all the minute changes. However, taking photos of babies is a lot different from taking photos of adults. So, this comprehensive guide of baby portrait from photo ideas is here to help you.
1. Find the best lighting for your baby
To achieve that angelic, glowy look that baby photos are famous for, choose a location that has plenty of natural light (flashes are not necessary—it may also irritate your baby ). You can pick the room in your house that has the most sunlight pouring in and make that your studio. If you want to, perhaps, shoot on the floor, it’s easier to do so if you can find a ceiling-to-floor sliding door or window.
2. Figure out the best time based on your baby’s schedule
Babies are difficult to shoot since they are such tiny divas. So you need to keep in mind when your baby is usually the happiest during the day (maybe after a meal) or when they are sleeping. Hence, you can try to coordinate the photo shoot with their nap time. If your baby feels calm when you play soothing music, turn their favorite track on while making your baby portrait from photo.
3. Choose textured, neutral props
Choose outfits and props that are neutral and are of similar tone so they don’t contrast too harshly with your baby. Picking a light color even helps with the picture’s lighting as it reflects light rather than absorb it. You can also add visual interest by using a textured prop, like a crochet blanket. You can also use such blankets as background since they will not wrinkle as curtains and sheets do.
4. Baby-ready your set
Adjust your lighting on your baby before the shoot starts. This saves you time on readjusting later. It also makes your baby happy because they don’t have to stay in this strange situation for too long. It also aids to have backup props and baby outfits prepared in case they have a mishap. Keep those outfits handy in case they are in a good mood and are okay to have their outfit changed for another set of background/foreground combos.
5. Set camera up for the best shots
Point and shoot camera: If you have this kind of a camera, set it to the portrait mode. Doing so makes the background blurry and the hair and skin tones are smoothened, which is very flattering for your baby.
DSLR: If using this kind of a camera, open the aperture all the way (set it on the lowest number) to get a blurred, soft background. Pair it with an 85mm or so portrait lens. Focus and zoom in on your baby’s eyes.
6. Make sure to support your baby
Putting your baby on the ground is an excellent option for getting good overhead shots and keeping your baby from rolling off anything. If you want to try other poses, have someone hold the baby while you put them under a bulky blanket or place the baby on a pillow covered by a blanket. In fact, having someone hold your baby is an excellent trick for newborns as they get cold and they really love it when someone holds them. This also ensures your baby is less fussy.
7. Take photos from above
Always keep the strap of your camera with your for safety. You don’t want the camera to slip and fall. Angle the shot so that you’re taking the photo down your baby’s nose and not up because that angle is unflattering on everyone. If you are taking your photo from a raised surface, it is recommended getting on their eye level to establish eye contact.
8. Use songs or toys to keep their attention on you
If you want an exceptional photo, you need to make eye contact with your baby. However, it can be difficult for them to see you when a big camera is in the way, so play peek-a-boo or use shakers as you move the camera to capture that perfect baby portrait from photo.
Baby portrait from photo ideas—documenting the age
1. 3-6 months old
Babies change a lot during this growing period, so it is fun to capture a moment every day. Here are some suggestion to freeze some moments from this period:
1.1 Sleeping in their parents’ arm
Either parent can maximize the baby’s nap time for some sublime photos.
1.2. With siblings
If the new baby is the second or third child, having all their siblings in one shot makes for a sweet, memorable photo.
1.3. Propped on their stomach
If they haven’t learned to sit yet, position your baby on their stomach on a sturdy but soft surface.
1.4. From up above
Position your baby on their back as you stand above them directly for this shot.
Capture your baby’s tiny and cute hands and feet, or get closer to capture their beautiful eyes.
1.7. Sitting up with a prop
Most babies manage to sit on their own from 5 to 6 months, so you can use some sitting poses for your baby. You can use books or toys for a baby portrait from photo.
2. 6 months-1 years old
As they grow, they learn as well and start recognizing people besides their parents and siblings. You can capture some first times during this period.
2.1. The first taste of food
Babies start consuming solid food at this time. Perhaps taking the picture of their first birthday cake and the birthday party is an excellent opportunity.
2.2. A personality shot
Babies start showing a lot of personality at this growing period. You can over-exaggerate by using props like oversized sunglasses or hats for a fun, sweet photo.
2.3. With their grandparents
This idea makes amongst the most striking images of all. Multi-generational pictures with your baby and your parents are one for the photobooks. Baby portrait from a photo like this is keepsakes.
2.4. Learning to walk and crawl
Whether your baby is crawling on their baby, full-on crawling or walking wobbly, these moments are precious and deserve to be captured.
2.5. Making silly faces
Babies can make the most unintentionally funniest faces. Even though it is mostly on chance, you can still freeze some moments. So when your kid is old enough, it makes for a good laugh.
Bonus: Some dynamic ideas
If you already tried the above-mentioned ideas and want to try something new and different, here are some more creative suggestions for you:
You can use a doll or a blanket someone in your family made with their hands or a piece of jewelry safe to use and has passed on to you as a prop for this baby portrait from photo idea. The photo can be more special if a parent joins the shoot.
A summer or spring baby can take full advantage of this concept. Ensure your baby is not allergic to pollen or scent before placing the crown on their head and then taking photos of them.
Capture only details
It is a universal fact that the hands and feet of a small child are the most adorable thing in the world, so why not take some really special shots of your baby’s feet or hand? This portrait captures a memory. As your children grow, you can always come back to this photo and remember the days when they were still so small.
Children grow too fast at times, it seems. And if you’re a first time (or even a second time, or third time) parent, you’d obviously want to capture every detail of this exciting phase of your life. So, are you making the best of this precious time? Once you’ve captured the moments of eternity, you can actually convert it into a piece of art. Baby portrait from photo can be a life long gift which will be with the baby forever. let me know in the comments if you have tried a baby portrait from photo before?