Photographs: 5 Photography Tips for Babies and Toddlers

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When it comes to babies and toddlers, they are so full of life and joy. Capturing special moments and showcasing them in frames, photo books, scrapbooks, and online albums is so important. Babies grow up so quickly so living the special moments over and over again through the power of a photograph is a great way to cherish the younger years. With the right amount of camera and light knowledge, you can capture those special moments that you'll be proud to show off to family and friends.

5 Photography Tips for Babies and Toddlers

1. Plan Accordingly

If you're planning a shoot, talk it over with the parent(s) and figure out the child's schedule. When do they eat? When do they nap? What do they like to do throughout the day? You need to really get to know your subject so that the child feels happy and comfortable during the shoot. If you're trying to take photos of your own child, you know his/her schedule so stick to it to keep your child happy. You know what times will work best for your kids.


2. Fill the Frame

Let's face it, babies and toddlers are adorable. Their skin is perfect, their smiles are contagious, and their expressions are priceless. Why would you want people to squint at your photograph to try and find those expressions? Get up close and personal with the child you're photographing. Once they feel comfortable with the camera, they will really let their true side shine and that's when the magic happens.

Reminder: Avoid cropping at the joints (knee, elbow, neck, etc.). If you do this, your photos might give people a creepy and uneasy feeling. Also, if you're photographing a child and parents, make sure you take flattering angles of the parents. To be blatantly honest, minimize arm fat, neck wrinkles, and belly bulge (especially on new moms). Everyone wants to be beautiful in the photographs.


3. Watch Your Surroundings

You don't want to take away from the cuteness of your subject. With that being said, be mindful of your surroundings. If you're photographing in a room in a house, remove all distracting items. If you're photographing outside, be sure that items in your camera's frame won't steal your viewer's eyes. Also, you want to choose rooms and spaces with good lighting.

4. Use Good Light

In my opinion, natural light is always best. In fact, I don't shoot in anything but natural light (unless I'm photographing an indoor event). With that being said, you don't want the lighting to be too harsh. If the light coming through a window is too bright and you don't have a special diffuser, tape a sheet of tissue paper to the window. The tissue paper will soften the sunlight.

If you're going outside for a photo shoot with your kids, pick times during the early morning or late afternoon. Try and shy away from the middle of the day since the sun is strongest at that time. If you have to shoot at that time, pick shaded areas. Even areas with pops of sunlight here and there are a good choice.

5. Capture the Catch Light

Have you ever looked at a photo and noticed that a child's eyes are so bright and sparkly? That's called "Catch Light," a photography term used to describe either the specular highlight in a subject's eye from a light source, or the light source itself. The Catch Light adds so much dimension to a photograph and it really gives photos the "Wow" factor.

The most important part about photographing babies and kids, as well as families, is to have fun. Special moments can happen at a moment's notice so it's important to be on the lookout. If babies start squirming, snap a photo. If babies start crying, photograph the ugly cries. If babies start fussing, photograph their faces. You really want to capture the essence of babies and toddlers. They are full of expressions that parents want to cherish forever.

How often do you photograph your children? What are your photography tips when photographing babies and toddlers?

Jen Tilley has an insatiable appetite for all things related to baking and cooking. She is the author, photographer and recipe developer on How To: Simplify, a blog that shares tips, tricks and recipes to simplify life in the kitchen. She enjoys sharing recipes that require very few ingredients and only a small amount of prep and cook time, all of which make time spent in the kitchen simple and enjoyable. Find her online at How To: Simplify@HowToSimplify, and Jen Tilley Photography.

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