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Different ways to Photograph your Baby

Photographing a your own baby can be a hugely fun, rewarding and educational experience for the aspiring photographer. But what happens after you’ve photographed the top of her head, her feet, her scrunched up newborn face and laying on her tummy? For a keen momarazza or paparazzi who are just waiting for their little bundle to do something else (for goodness sake!) the resulting photos can get pretty darn same-same. You can only take so many photos of your baby sleeping, right?

I have a daughter with Rett Syndrome. She is pretty much perpetually either on her tummy or strapped up into some piece of equipment. So I’ve had to get pretty creative with what I can possibly do next to take her photo in a different way. And as opposed to a little baby who only takes 7 months to finally sit up in the grass, Gracie is nearly 2 and has never sat up once in her life. So you can certainly say that I’m an expert in finding new ways to photograph a baby who can’t do very much!

{The obvious}


The most obvious ways to photograph your little one is to first get those priceless, fleeting moments. The way she looked freshly new born, her wrinkly little hands, those skinny little legs. It only lasts a few weeks so get those right away.

{Flip It}

I loved taking this photo of Grace sleeping. When I started that evening, I thought ‘great. Another photo of Grace laying on her face’ but then something magical happened when I flipped it up. It became a portrait! And a more interesting one at that. Another way I’ve used this method in the past is when I met with other Rett Syndrome families to photograph the girls for the RSRT UK website. Many of them were also unable to sit up and when one little girl insisted on laying in the daisies, I did the flip. I photographed her laying down and flipped it into a portrait which became one of my favourites from the day.

{Get High}

Find interesting ways to photograph your little one from on high. If you’ve never visited the Mila’s Daydreams blog you simply MUST! Her mom has become a bit of a celebrity for her clever portraits of sleeping Mila, all shot from above. I just can’t get enough of those photos! So find interesting ways to photograph your baby from a different POV.

{Style & Location}

After two years of laying on her tummy, I can’t really get away from this set-up. I have shot after shot after SHOT of Grace on her front. But to make them more interesting, I take them in all different seasons, all different locations and all sorts of costumes, outfits and accessories. If you’re finding your baby photos same-same and uninspiring, add some style or take the same posture in a different location.

Use this time with your baby to learn about photographing people. You will never have such a still, cooperative child-subject as when you’re shooting a baby. It’s your chance to experiment with manual settings on a living subject and to expand your creativity. If you’re going to get great shots of your baby, you are the only one who can do it. They’re not going to give you any ideas or suggestions so put on your thinking cap and photograph the heck out of those precious first few months.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Elizabeth Halford is a Hampshire Photographer and keeps a rockin'photography blog where she writes about photography and business in "real.plain.english". She's addicted to Facebook and can be found answering photography and business questions every day here on her page

  • http://www.wayfaringwanderer.com Wayfaring Wanderer

    Great tips! I recently had the pleasure of photographing a newborn for some friends. It was a wonderful experience and I really can’t wait to do it again. And, that’s being said by someone who definitely got peed on their first time :D

    thanks,
    WW

    Here is a link to the newborn session:
    http://www.wayfaringwanderer.com/2010/09/james-allen-newborn-session-boone.html

  • http://mylittlenomads.com Travel with Kids

    It’s amazing how much baby and child photography has changed with the advent of digital cameras. Oh, the hundreds (thousands?) of photos I’ve wasted on film cameras. But with digital, take as many as you want of course, it’s great. And that, as much as anything, has let me explore new ways to be adventurous with my shots and angles.

  • http://www.firefoxed.com Dave

    Now just have to figure out a way for those pictures to not be so hard to look at years later.

  • http://michaelscott.me.uk Michael Scott

    A wonderful article, and very inspiring. Thank you! And it’s very timely too. 38 weeks into my “photograph my baby once a week” project, the inspiration will keep me going for quite some time.

  • Roberto Sacasa

    Hey thanks for the tips!! Waitin’ on my niece to be born a couple weeks now :)

    Thanks again :)

    http://www.flickr.com/robsacasa

  • http://www.mulesnhoney.com karrie

    What a beautiful girl!

    The photo montage of the different outfits and scenery is a great example of mixing things up within limitations. My biggest photography challenge with my kids is keeping them clean. We live in the mountains/country, and that, combined with their ages (7,6,4,2) makes for many, many pictures of dirty kids. In the dirt. I take them anyway, dirt and all, because when I look back I see my reality.

    Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.WeddingPhotoAdvice.com Rich D.

    Great article. I have large, attractive pillows that can support most babies who can’t yet sit up by themselves. Having them sit up is a huge selling point for parents who want to show relatives and friends that their babies are developing and growing.

  • Juan

    Nice. I was thinking today of offering to photograph a friend’s baby and how to do it. Perfect timing.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelbuffer/ dutchb0y

    Loved the past year photographing my little son from birth to now. I finally bought a DSLR mainly just for taking pictures of him! Great article!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelbuffer/sets/72157622353550754/

    -E

  • http://biswajitdey.com Biswajit Dey Photoblog

    Nice article…..the photographs are also very good…..photographing children is one of the most difficult task as far as i see…..you have to be patience enough to capture their right emotions at right time….but the patience yeilds good results…the children photographs with all their innocent and naughty moods will always bring peace to your mind.. :)

    BISWAJIT
    DEY PHOTO BLOG

  • http://www.johnparliphotography.com John Parli Photo

    Nice thoughts. I totally agree on the POV and changing perspective. Ya just never know. That Mila’s Daydream is adorable. Thanks for the link. Too cute.

    I also love to catch the gaze of a baby/child. Just makes ya wonder…
    [url=http://www.johnparliphotography.com/Portraits/JolietSeniorPortraitsNewborns/7603093_77iwn#972421215_mmZLz-A-LB][eimg url='http://www.johnparliphotography.com/Portraits/JolietSeniorPortraitsNewborns/Joliet-Rockford-Newborn-Baby/972421215_mmZLz-S.jpg' title='972421215_mmZLz-S.jpg'][/url]

    All the best!
    -John
    My Site

  • http://www.glitterbirdphotography.com Tammy

    Your little Gracie is a doll baby! I have a 2 yr old myself so I’m always looking for creative ways to capture his wonderful, wild personality. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.staciepetra.blogspot.com Stacie

    Thankyou for sharing these beautiful tips.. I just read your blog.. what an incredible woman you are..
    I am inspired and love how you capture the true emotion and pure nature of your adorable daughter… what a treasure!
    Thankyou….

  • Maja

    Here are some of mine photos
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/5012995110/' title='DSC_0374' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5012995110_cd78ee3a85_z.jpg']

  • Theo J

    Thanks for some excellent ideas. The reference to Mila’s Daydream Blog is really inspiring.

    I try to use only natural light if possible. Quite a challenge!

  • Maja

    Thanks for the tips, here something of me
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/5012995110/' title='Oooo' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5012995110_cd78ee3a85_z.jpg']

  • Aristides Cipollone

    Just loved this article ! Thank you very very very much for giving these really good tips which I of course put into practise. I leave you with a picture of our son William who is two weeks old ! Keep it up and thanks again ! ! ! [eimg url='http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1607624&id=1062200550&ref=fbx_album&fbid=1566568558440' title='photo.php?pid=1607624&id=1062200550&ref=fbx_album&fbid=1566568558440']

  • Choo Chiaw Ting

    excellent…

  • Laurette

    The photo of Grace sleeping is just *_____*

Some older comments

  • Aristides Cipollone

    October 1, 2010 08:22 am

    Just loved this article ! Thank you very very very much for giving these really good tips which I of course put into practise. I leave you with a picture of our son William who is two weeks old ! Keep it up and thanks again ! ! ! [eimg url='http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1607624&id=1062200550&ref=fbx_album&fbid=1566568558440' title='photo.php?pid=1607624&id=1062200550&ref=fbx_album&fbid=1566568558440']

  • Maja

    September 26, 2010 03:41 am

    Thanks for the tips, here something of me
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/5012995110/' title='Oooo' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5012995110_cd78ee3a85_z.jpg']

  • Theo J

    September 24, 2010 06:28 pm

    Thanks for some excellent ideas. The reference to Mila's Daydream Blog is really inspiring.

    I try to use only natural light if possible. Quite a challenge!

  • Maja

    September 24, 2010 04:35 pm

    Here are some of mine photos
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/maja_petkova/5012995110/' title='DSC_0374' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4085/5012995110_cd78ee3a85_z.jpg']

  • Stacie

    September 24, 2010 11:38 am

    Thankyou for sharing these beautiful tips.. I just read your blog.. what an incredible woman you are..
    I am inspired and love how you capture the true emotion and pure nature of your adorable daughter... what a treasure!
    Thankyou....

  • Tammy

    September 24, 2010 03:27 am

    Your little Gracie is a doll baby! I have a 2 yr old myself so I'm always looking for creative ways to capture his wonderful, wild personality. Thanks for sharing!

  • John Parli Photo

    September 24, 2010 03:15 am

    Nice thoughts. I totally agree on the POV and changing perspective. Ya just never know. That Mila's Daydream is adorable. Thanks for the link. Too cute.

    I also love to catch the gaze of a baby/child. Just makes ya wonder...
    [url=http://www.johnparliphotography.com/Portraits/JolietSeniorPortraitsNewborns/7603093_77iwn#972421215_mmZLz-A-LB][eimg url='http://www.johnparliphotography.com/Portraits/JolietSeniorPortraitsNewborns/Joliet-Rockford-Newborn-Baby/972421215_mmZLz-S.jpg' title='972421215_mmZLz-S.jpg'][/url]

    All the best!
    -John
    My Site

  • Biswajit Dey Photoblog

    September 24, 2010 01:49 am

    Nice article.....the photographs are also very good.....photographing children is one of the most difficult task as far as i see.....you have to be patience enough to capture their right emotions at right time....but the patience yeilds good results...the children photographs with all their innocent and naughty moods will always bring peace to your mind.. :)

    BISWAJIT
    DEY PHOTO BLOG

  • dutchb0y

    September 23, 2010 11:42 pm

    Loved the past year photographing my little son from birth to now. I finally bought a DSLR mainly just for taking pictures of him! Great article!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelbuffer/sets/72157622353550754/

    -E

  • Juan

    September 23, 2010 12:47 pm

    Nice. I was thinking today of offering to photograph a friend's baby and how to do it. Perfect timing.

  • Rich D.

    September 23, 2010 09:50 am

    Great article. I have large, attractive pillows that can support most babies who can't yet sit up by themselves. Having them sit up is a huge selling point for parents who want to show relatives and friends that their babies are developing and growing.

  • karrie

    September 23, 2010 07:09 am

    What a beautiful girl!

    The photo montage of the different outfits and scenery is a great example of mixing things up within limitations. My biggest photography challenge with my kids is keeping them clean. We live in the mountains/country, and that, combined with their ages (7,6,4,2) makes for many, many pictures of dirty kids. In the dirt. I take them anyway, dirt and all, because when I look back I see my reality.

    Thanks for the article.

  • Roberto Sacasa

    September 23, 2010 06:33 am

    Hey thanks for the tips!! Waitin' on my niece to be born a couple weeks now :)

    Thanks again :)

    www.flickr.com/robsacasa

  • Michael Scott

    September 23, 2010 04:27 am

    A wonderful article, and very inspiring. Thank you! And it's very timely too. 38 weeks into my "photograph my baby once a week" project, the inspiration will keep me going for quite some time.

  • Dave

    September 23, 2010 03:33 am

    Now just have to figure out a way for those pictures to not be so hard to look at years later.

  • Travel with Kids

    September 23, 2010 03:14 am

    It's amazing how much baby and child photography has changed with the advent of digital cameras. Oh, the hundreds (thousands?) of photos I've wasted on film cameras. But with digital, take as many as you want of course, it's great. And that, as much as anything, has let me explore new ways to be adventurous with my shots and angles.

  • Wayfaring Wanderer

    September 23, 2010 01:19 am

    Great tips! I recently had the pleasure of photographing a newborn for some friends. It was a wonderful experience and I really can't wait to do it again. And, that's being said by someone who definitely got peed on their first time :D

    thanks,
    WW

    Here is a link to the newborn session:
    http://www.wayfaringwanderer.com/2010/09/james-allen-newborn-session-boone.html

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