Babies aren’t easy to photograph. They move, cry, need feeding, and don’t listen to reason. Not like chairs. Chairs are easy. They don’t move, and have nice leather-y textures. See below.
I recently found myself shooting a good friend’s 6-week old boy. Actually, he was fairly easy to pose, and didn’t make too much fuss. Quite a charmer.
What are some of the things I learnt from the shoot?
1. Don’t use your flash directly at the little one. Not only will you produce horrible flat light and vivid shadows, it’s never pleasant to have a powerful flash shot at you, even if you can’t argue coherently against it.
2. Patience is a virtue. The baby’s mother is the best person in the room to decide what your subject needs. If that means a 15 minute break while baby things are taken care of, grab a mum’s magazine, and look for some inspiration while you wait.
3. Open up your aperture. A subject’s eyes are the most important part of your portrait. They need to be sharp, but beyond that, go wild! Your aperture is a great tool in photography, and you need to harness it. I shot a couple of these at f/1.4, to get depth of field softness to match my subject’s softness. If you’re new to photography, you’re going to need to get yourself into manual mode to do this. It’s not too complicated to learn – there are some great books I can recommend. Just comment and I’ll point you in the right direction.