Jennifer Moline is a creative writer for the PsPrint Blog. In this guest post she provides some great tips on creating stunning photos of your newborn babies.
Congratulations, you’re a new parent! This is such an exciting time, whether you are doing it for the first time or the sixth. You have brought a new little life into this world, and when you look at them you can’t help but think there is no one cuter or more beautiful in existence. That is why you have a digital camera filled to the end of the storage space with every expression they have made since the day they were born.
This is completely natural, and why shouldn’t it be? You want plenty of photos of your little one, especially in those early days when they are just starting to hit those milestones of life. But you might be a little tired of the look of some of your pictures and wish they could look more professionally done.
Believe it or not, you don’t need some high-end, professional-grade camera to do this. All you need are a couple of tips on how to better capture those precious moments to film – or, for the current age, pixels.
Tip No. 1 – Choose Your Camera Wisely
You don’t have to spend a whole lot of dough to get an incredible camera. Point-and-shoot digital cameras are now so commonplace that you can get them for less than a cheap TV set. But the best part is that the quality of these cheaper cameras is actually really high.
For example, a great investment is the Canon SX30IS , which has 14.1 megapixels, has tons of features and is user-friendly – all of that for less than $360. Or for something more basic, try the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-W530, which also has 14.1 megapixels, though fewer features, for only $105.
Tip No. 2 – Natural Is Best
You know those professional photos that have children grinning up into the camera? Those take about 50 shots to get right with any average child, and babies are even harder. Not to mention, they are staged and under florescent lights that can reduce the pure look of your baby’s skin.
Natural shots can be a lot better. Find a place outside in the shade (so as not to blind baby or wash out your picture) or somewhere in your house with lots of windows during the day. In that lighting, get some pictures from different angles while your baby plays, looks at you or even walks to someone else.
If you really want it natural, just take the photo with them in their diaper to capture the softness of the skin. Everyone loves baby skin, right?
Tip No. 3 – The Simpler, the Better
Babies are so easily disturbed by stimulation, and when it comes to photos they will get fussy fast. To reduce the risk of wearing them out or upsetting them, try to keep things as simple as possible – just your child in a nice place and a couple of quick shots. Use a toy to get their attention if you have to, but make things as relaxing as you can.
Some people find that putting on some soothing music while they take the photos is nice. Others say going outside so their baby can play in the shade on the grass will always keep their attention for quite some time. Or, turn them over to look up at the leaves – whatever is in your immediate vicinity and won’t overstimulate them.
Tip No. 4 – Use Older Siblings and Pets
Does big sister like to play with the baby? Maybe you have a dog that you would love to get in the shot with them. Candid shots with pets or other siblings are adorable and will especially be fun for a toddler.
The only problem is that with these different elements, it is pretty much impossible to get a completely staged picture. So just take them into the back yard or the playroom and let them loose. Then take the shots as you go along.
Tip No. 5 – Catch Them by Surprise
If you have toddlers and older children, one of the best methods of catching precious moments is by doing it without them suspecting. Always keep your digital camera handy, and when you see a good chance, take it. You can find some amazing candid shots this way, and they will be distracted and so won’t move or make a grab for the camera.
Tip No. 6 – Edit, Edit, Edit
Your baby is adorable, and so, obviously, nothing needs to be done to edit them in the shot. But experimenting with filters and tools in programs like Photoshop or Gimp is really fun. You can change the lighting, use the crop feature or even change, brighten or shade the background.
A personal favorite of mine is stripping the color and so having just black and white. The effect is classic, dramatic and beautiful.
Tip No. 7 – Don’t Be Afraid to Move!
So many parents will just stand there and take the photo. But finding new angles will really enhance your shots, and you should be moving almost constantly. Taking the shots from the ground, even laying down, can be interesting. So can looking down from higher above them or crouched.
You probably already have everything you need to take incredible shots. In the end, it is more about timing and creativity than equipment, and you should always be on the lookout for photograph opportunities.
Do you have some pictures you would like to show us of your own little bundle of joy? Send us a link to the photos in the comments and let us know how you took them!
Jennifer Moline writes for the PsPrint Blog about card printing, graphic design and small-business marketing. She also thinks that movie opening titles should have an Oscar category of their own.