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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 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.
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.
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.
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.