I took my first photos of Daniel when he was just over two weeks old. He was so tiny and seemed so fragile to me, but then all babies do. Unfortunately he didn’t feel too well that day so we didn’t push for too many photos.
When taking photos of children, at any age, you must always have the mother or father, but at least one of them. If you are doing baby photos you need the parent to put the baby in all the different positions. I would not advice you to handle the babies too much as they don’t know you. If you do touch the baby, make sure your hands are warm. Make sure that the room where you take the photos are warm for baby, so if you are getting too hot, it’s most probably right for the baby. Never push too hard with baby photos and be very patient. Where you would maybe get all the photos you need in an hour with an older child, it could take you two to three hours with a baby.
I was asked to go back about a week ago and I was so shocked at how much that little boy grew. He looked so different. When you take photos of babies, or toddlers for that matter, make sure to take your camera out as you get to the location. You must be ready to catch any and all photos of the little one. The photo on the right with the elephant was just before Daniels’ mother, Kerry, got him all dressed up for the shoot. You can capture so many good photos at any time, just be ready.
Make sure you have natural light to take the photos in. You cannot use a flash with babies. If you need more light then rather use continuous lighting. Just remember to set your camera for the light. When using natural light, remember that the light changes continuously. So what I do, is I will check a photo every now and again to make sure that they still look ok on the camera. Make sure your camera settings are right, keep checking them. If your shutter speed is too low you will get a lot of blurring, remember they move around a lot.
So, getting back to being patient. Your little ‘model’ will not be able to go for an hour straight of shooting, sheesh, you might be lucky if you get to shoot for 3o minutes non-stop. Keep that in mind and give your little ‘model’ all the breaks he or she needs for their little growing bodies. Ask the parent to keep you informed as to his or her mood swings. When they can see that the little one is getting tired, they must let you know and then take a break. Learn to also see it for yourself. When the little one starts crying, don’t stop taking photos. Now I am not saying that you should just leave the baby to cry, but catch a few….. you never know what real photos you can capture.
Keep practicing, keep shooting