It is impossible not to smile when a baby smiles at you. Really, it is impossible if you have a heart. This is my nephew who came to visit all the way from Texas. He had a cold and was on stimulus overload from being taken out of his usual surroundings and surrounded by loads of adoring fans holding him and playing peek-a-boo with him all day. I did a quick photo session with him one morning during his short visit. It reminded me of when my kids were his age and I would do monthly photo sessions documenting how quickly they grew throughout the first year of their life. I recommend you photograph your baby often and make a photo album of how they grow that first year especially. Even if you get prints from Costco and slide it in a ready made album it’s worth it. Here are 10 tips for photographing your baby at home.
1. Get down on the floor at their level. It’s not always comfortable or graceful looking, but it makes a huge difference in your photograph. If I was taking his picture while I was sitting up I would have never gotten those sparkly eyes like they are here.
2. Look down on him from above, but squat down to get closer to him. Again, you won’t want anyone standing right behind you because it’s not a slimming position, but your baby won’t look like he’s a mile away. He won’t smile at the big black camera so make sure you peak around the camera to show him your beautiful face so he’ll smile. Peak-a-boo works really well here.
3. Sit your baby upright. I had my daughter hold him up so he was sitting safely. Safety is much more important than the best picture ever created. If you don’t have an assistant to do it safely, just don’t do it.
4. Don’t forget to capture him being himself. 6 month olds love to chew on their toes and fingers constantly. It’s adorable and something they lose quickly. Don’t forget to step back a little and let them be themselves.
5. Don’t forget the details. Their chubby toes, and elbow and knee dimples are priceless. If there is something about them that you love, photograph it. He won’t look like this in as little as a year from now. It goes by so quickly.
6. Find a place in your home where the light is nice and bright. For these pictures we were right next to the front door. We opened the double door to let as much light in as possible.
7. Turn their face towards the light. I love how this picture shows his profile. It’s the brightest part of the photograph, and your eyes are drawn to his smile.
8. Put your baby down and play with him. Get down on the floor with him. Have fun and take pictures at the same time. The smiles you get will be natural and you’ll look back on the pictures and always remember that those smiles were just for you.
9. If all else fails blow raspberries. It works almost every time.
10. Keep your camera in an easily accessible place where you can grab it at a moment’s notice. You’ll never regret having too many photographs, but I guarantee you will regret not having enough. This especially applies to your second and third born children.