Monday, November 19, 2007

Freeze frame. . .

Babies can be hard to photograph. They wiggle. Which is a shame, because people want baby photos. . . lots of baby photos.

I am not a photographer. I take decent photos, I have a good eye for composition, and I am better than decent with image retouching and color adjusting (I have to be for my day job). To that end, I'm working on taking better than average baby photos of my new son. And I have some tips. . .
  1. Have a photo shoot. Is your baby happiest after feeding? Maybe after a bath? When you take your baby to a portrait studio you're setting aside time to take pictures. . . why not do the same at home? That cute moment will be gone by the time you find your camera. Instead make time for taking pictures.

  2. There's a reason the saying is "LIGHTS, camera, action." Even though digital cameras can register low light, most of them are designed to work like a regular point-and-shoot camera. They all have multiple flash option, but let's face it flash photography can really suck and babies hate flashes. How do you fix it? When you set-up your photo shoot, go though the house and grab every light you can find. Bright light will dilated your baby's pupils making eye color more distinct, plus if you photograph naked (your baby not you) the light will keep baby warm. Try to get the room bright enough that you don't need a flash. . . this will also eliminate red-eyes.

  3. Location, location, location. A photographer friend of mine once gave me some good advice on getting good photographs of babies. Once you pick a corner of your home to take the pictures, find a solid color sheet. . . white or black would be best, but any color color will work. Drape the sheet so it becomes the background and foreground, put a boppy pillow under the sheet. OR photograph with a friend and drape the sheet over yourself or your friend. Then you can hold the baby in your lap without your lap being in the picture. You can also drape the sheet over a chair. The point is to completely fill the picture frame with a background that isn't cluttered.

  4. Take tons of pictures. we all know you can shoot a lot and delete the pictures you don't want after. So go crazy. If your camera can, set it to shoot multiple pictures with one push of the button. Babies move, your camera can deal with that.

  5. Edit. I use iphoto to adjust colors and enhance my photos (unless I need to do more then I use PhotoShop). There are a lot of free photo editing programs available on the internet and every camera comes with some type of editing software. Use one. Play around, try out the settings. Don't be afraid to experiment. Remember to save a copy of the original first and you can always go back.

And that's just the beginning, I'll be working on adding props and other backgrounds soon. Portrait studios are great for milestones, but for the in between times take it upon yourself to take your own great photos.

No comments: