All new moms take lots of pictures. We think the photographs should be as charming as the expression on your baby’s face. That’s why we asked LA-based animal and baby photographer Sharon Montrose to give us some tips.
People should not underestimate today’s point and shoot cameras, especially ones like this Canon that have extra settings and really impressive image quality. Some things to keep in mind with digital in general is that you can’t overexpose, so make sure you stay out of bright sun, which is a generally a good idea anyway. You want to look for what is called “open shade”. This can be shade under a tree or from a large building. Also, turn off the flash or put a piece of scotch tape over it to diffuse it. On-camera flash when not used properly can be unflattering, even on baby faces.
If I want to do an amateur photoshoot of my toddler in my house, what set up might work well?
Keep it simple. Pick a room that has lots of windows for natural light. Move some furniture out of the way to make a mini-studio. Use your white or colored wall with carpet or wood flooring as a clean background. If your walls are colored, let the background be the platform for your image and go simple with clothing or just skin. If your walls are light or white, use a punches of color like a red in clothing. Keep propping minimal. If your child needs to sit, try using something that adds interest like a vintage school chair or an Eames stool.
Newborn – 6 months can be tough because of the sitting-up factor. Use the same methods as above, but use a bed or changing table to photograph your baby on his/her back or belly. Lay a blanket down and shoot from above. Try cropping in tight to highlight details: just the face, the bellybutton, the feet, the ears. Most cameras have a “macro” setting to do this.
I like to photograph kids and their dogs in a outdoor environment. Try a park or your backyard with open shade and go for candid moments.
Utilize locations that inherently make for good images, like the beach.
Thanks to the magic of Facebook, RookieMom Whitney connected with Sharon twenty-five years after their shared passion for sticker collecting and cartwheel contests died down. Check out Sharon’s website to see more of her amazing work.
More photo tips
– Shoot like it’s not your kid
– When to use black and white filters
– Photo tips for Halloween
– Setting up a photoshoot in your home
– Produce photo documentation for your baby “A Day in the Life”
– Have lots of cute outfits to commemorate? Play baby doll
– More than one kid? Stuff them in a Pack N Play