The following are tips to produce great results when photographing babies:
1. Photographing babies cannot be done spontaneously and on a whim. Photographers and parents have to set aside enough time so the photograph session isn’t done in a rush. For photo shoots in a studio, for example, the babies should be given the time to familiarize with their new surroundings, their photographer, and the photograph situations in the photo shoot.
2. Photographing babies generally takes time, so a photo session should not be rushed or forced. One of the reasons being that babies tire and gets distracted easily. This is why there are points within the shoot when babies should be taken out of the set, carried around, and be fed to relieve the fatigue.
3. To capture movements of the babies who tend to be an active bunch, use shutter speeds of 1/125 to 1/250 seconds (especially for outdoor shoots using natural lighting). The ideal aperture depends mostly on the desired depth of field. If sharp wide space is desired, use a small aperture to keep the resulting photo focused even if there is a slight shift in angle or focus. Also choose a spacy, airy, quiet background so as not to distract the point of interest.
4. It is most ideal to use medium telephoto lenses like the 85 mm or 105 mm lenses. To ease the photographing process when photographing in a studio or indoors however, the zoom lens such as the 80-200 mm can be used. Using a zoom lens means already using multiple lenses at once, so there is no need to fuss over lens change when wanting certain shooting angles.
5. One of the most important keys to a good photograph is gaining the right focus. For best results, always focus on the eyes. However, sometimes babies are a challenge to keep still. And an active baby means more difficulty in focusing. Use the auto focus set at the continuous auto focus setting, or more commonly known as the AF servo setting. In this mode, the auto focus will continue to find focus points on a moving object.
6. Even though several studies show that flashes are not harmful to babies’ eyes, the use of these flash devices should not be placed too close to the baby. This is because the sudden flash of light can frighten the baby and thus make the baby cry, which will inevitably disrupt the photo shoot. It’s advisable that the photographer conduct several test runs where the flash is triggered a few times before the actual photo shoot so the baby can get accustomed to the flashing lights.
The level of success in photographing babies relies on the non-technical aspects of the shoot, patience being the major aspect. These miscellaneous things can be quite challenging for beginner photographers. But it is those challenges that make photographing babies an art. That’s why photographing babies may not only be a fun activity; it can also be an exciting one. The key is to have fun. When you have fun, you project a fun set for the babies.