Beginner Photography Tip: How to Take Photos of Newborn Babies
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- Newborn Photography Tips for Beautiful Photos of Your Baby
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Let's face it...
Taking photos of a newborn baby can be intimidating.
That's especially true if you aren't a parent because children can be terrifying! But man, what better subject matter to photograph than an adorable little bundle of joy?
Besides, if you go about it the right way and create beautiful newborn photos, you'll be the parents' hero.
If you've been asking yourself how to take photos of newborn babies, follow along below and get a few insider tips.
Use a Long, Fast Lens
One of the primary obstacles to getting great baby portraits is that unless you have a portrait studio, you're likely going to be taking photos in the parents' home.
That means you'll have to deal with unattractive backgrounds, like kitchen cabinets or furniture that don't really scream of newborn photography.
However, if you use a long, fast lens, like a 50mm f/1.4, you can open the aperture to blur out the background, as seen in the shot above.
Aperture is just one factor that influences the depth of field (the area of the image that's in sharp focus), but in this case, shooting wide open at f/1.4 does wonders for the shot.
Additionally, shooting with a very large aperture allows you to play around with focus.
When you're photographing a baby at f/1.4, the depth of field will be quite small.
That means you can create artsy images with the baby's hands in focus, for example, and nothing else, or the baby's lips in focus, and nothing else.
The point here is that you can get around unattractive backgrounds while also giving yourself some artistic freedom by shooting with a long, fast lens.
How to Take Photos of Newborns: Use Natural Light
There are plenty of advantages of using artificial light for portraits. However, when you're photographing newborns, natural light is best.
For starters, think about how blinding a flash is for your eyes. Now imagine what that must be like if your eyes have only been functioning for a couple of weeks!
The strong, intense light emitted by a flash might be painful for a newborn to see, and it might even startle them.
Beyond that, natural light is so much more pleasing to the eye, anyway.
It's softer and easier to diffuse (just hang a white sheet in front of the window to diffuse the light), which results in even, beautiful light for your newborn portraits.
When it comes to newborn photography tips for beginners, using natural light might be the most important!
Accessorize Your Newborn Portraits
When photographing adults, accessorizing can get out of control very quickly.
Whether it's too much makeup, wild patterns on clothing, or distracting jewelry, sometimes adults aren't sure when enough is enough.
It's a little different with newborn photography because some photos call for accessories to add visual interest to the shot.
You can use stuffed animals, a hat, a colorful blanket, toys, and the like to bring some texture, shapes, lines, and so forth into the shot.
When all is said and done, having a few accessories to mix into some of the photos will help you create an interesting visual story that enhances the quality of your photos.
Present Your Portraits in a Gorgeous Print
A simple newborn photography tip is this: don't spend all your time composing beautiful photos with perfect lighting, only to have them printed on a cheap substrate.
This is a pet peeve of mine, and I'll tell you why...
The image itself is only part of the viewing experience. How the image is printed is the other piece.
After all, if someone asks you to photograph their baby, they will want to have a nice print to hang on their wall.
That means you need to have your baby portraits printed by a company that dedicates themselves to the utmost in quality and service.
For me, the company of choice is CanvasHQ.
I've ordered a ton of prints from these guys, and I've never been disappointed with the quality.
Not only are the colors beautiful, but they have excellent contrast that make the images leap off the canvas.
Great customer service. Quick, easy and they are very polite and professional. Excellent quality canvas prints! - Chris S., Louisville, KY
Speaking of the canvas, it's stretched by hand and machine to get a perfectly smooth surface that stands the test of time.
That's due in large part to all the work that CanvasHQ does behind the scenes to craft a top-quality frame that's straight and true.
Wonderful job of capturing our family memories and making them even better! Thank you for adding your professional touches. Well done and we are so pleased!!! - Lisa R., Goddard, KS
Something that always amazes me when I order prints from CanvasHQ is how fast they can produce such incredibly well-made prints.
We're talking a couple of hours before you get proofs, and in the case of my last order, just a couple of days before the prints arrived at my doorstep.
You can take all the time you want working on baby portrait ideas and fun newborn photography poses and so forth, but if you neglect to have those images printed by the best in the business, well, disappointment is likely.
Taking photos of someone's baby (or your own, for that matter) is a big responsibility. Don't leave the quality of the presentation up to chance. Instead, upload your images to CanvasHQ and see what true quality looks like!