There are several ways to do portraits of infants. You can set up a studio, have lots of special lights and backdrops and toys and fun stuff to get the babies to smile for you; or take them outside in the natural sunlight watch ’em play, there are lot of options! However, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when photographing infants, and here they are:
#1: You will want wherever the baby will be laying to be warm. Small babies have a hard time generating their own body heat, so if you lay them on a pre-warmed cushion where they’ll be warm and comfortable, they will love you and be more apt to do what you want.
#2: Watch for the special moments. A small smile, blowing some bubbles, sucking on the fist. These little ones may do any number of small things that, when taken with the right kind of lighting, will be a precious photo and a memory for the parents for years to come!
#3: Know when something is NOT working. I recently bought a basket I wanted to try a baby in, but the only baby available was just a little too big and too old. The older a baby is the less they want to curl up for you. She got frustrated with the continued failed attempts with the basket, I got frustrated. I only got four small pictures that weren’t very impressive doing another pose, and, all in all, it did NOT go well. When a baby has had enough, don’t push ’em. If they’ve had enough, they’ve had enough.
#4: Be Prepared. Have a few poses ready before the baby arrives, have your props out, have whatever lighting you want to use available. Be prepared before the baby arrives and things will run a lot more smoothly. Maybe keep a sketch book, or photo album of previously done sessions, to show the parents of the baby what you’ve done and get ideas for what they’d like to see, but do this before the actual session if at all possible.
Three out of four of the photos used in this post were done in a workshop with Bonnie Ailshie of Blessed Beginnings photography.
This is Sarah’s Scenes Real Life photographer.