Take an arty baby picture

Baby Kai with bamboo

Whitney and I had a great time the other week lugging our boys out to Marin County to visit the professional photographer for our free 8×10. Luckily, we turned the afternoon into a huge adventure and didn’t get too upset that the photos were not worth paying for. We learned what we already suspected: that sometimes Mommy is the best photographer because real photographers can be scary.

Hilary offers us some photo tips to take gorgeous, professional-looking pictures at home:

  1. Know what you like. Look for baby photographers online. You can look at their sites and pick out photos that you like. We did this a bunch before we began photographing Kai as it helped us decide on what style of photos we liked best.
  2. Take lots of photos. I easily take 100 photos a week of Kai doing most anything–sometimes in action, sometime just sleeping. It’s helped me narrow down which types of photos I like best.
  3. Seize good lighting. Bright, cloudy days seem to have the best lighting. I try to avoid using a flash and just get good natural light.
  4. Find a neutral background. Backgrounds that I have found to work great are nature (flowers, grass, bamboo) and blankets.
  5. Get close. I enjoy close up photos of Kai’s face best. I try to take lots of these to capture his different expressions.
  6. Support the baby. Kai is sitting infront of the bamboo. I am sitting in front of him holding him steady with my feet–the ground is concrete and I didn’t want to risk him falling down–and I’m leaning back a bit so I got more distance between us. You can actually see my reflection in his eyes in a few of the shots I took.
  7. Crop. It’s amazing how much a photo can improve by cropping. Remove a parents hand or go for an interesting shape.

The photo of Kai with the bamboo worked out so well because Hilary knew exactly what photo she wanted before she went out to take it–a close-up of Kai’s face with bamboo in the background set up (to be cropped in a horizontal shape for her site’s banner). Also, the lighting was great that day.

Whitney has some other good ideas for artfully photographing a sleeping baby.