All parents know it: babies change so fast—too fast! Here are eight simple tricks to capture the special moments in your little one’s life.
Golden rule: always be ready
Make sure you always have your baby’s stuffies and toys on hand to draw their attention if necessary. If you’re away from home, be sure to have a change of clothes in case your baby spits up, drools or has a little accident.
Catch the natural light
Using a flash tends to harden facial features, and should be avoided. Instead, catch natural or indirect light to prevent shadows, faces too bright and red eye. If you are low on light, use a reflector (e.g. a blank piece of paper) to add a touch of soft light to your baby or if you have an external flash, turn it towards the ceiling or a white wall. And don’t forget to set your white balance to avoid giving your little one a bad complexion.
Focus on the eyes
Your baby’s expression is unique and communicates so many emotions. Whenever possible, focus on their eyes. Ideally, crouch or lie down to position yourself at their level, rather than taking the photo from above, which tends to “squash” babies in photos. This will give your shots a more natural appearance.
A neutral background focuses attention on the subject and increases the photo’s impact. You can also blur the background if it’s too loaded or unappealing by using a shallow depth of field.
Adjust your camera’s settings
Do you have an active baby? No problem. Use Sport mode for compacts and aperture priority exposure mode (S or TV) for single-lens reflex and hybrids to adjust your shutter speed. This way, you can choose to freeze your baby in motion, or give a sense of movement.
Use burst mode
Get into the habit of taking several photos of the same shot without looking at the result on your camera each time. This way, you’re guaranteed a good photo. Using burst mode can also be very helpful.
Zoom in and use different angles
Before getting close, set your zoom midway. This way, you’ll avoid a wide angle shot that can distort your baby’s facial features. Try to experiment by using unusual photo angles. Take a picture of your baby on daddy’s shoulder or lie down with your child and play.
Your baby has his own habits and there’s no point in upsetting them. Respect their personal rhythm. If your baby doesn’t like a position or refuses to sit still, don’t insist. The experience should be a positive one for all involved!