Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taking great baby pictures – 10 tips from Nick Kelsh

Here are the ones that I think are useful from Nick Kelsh’s post:


Get Close

Most amateurs never shoot a close-up and close-ups are so powerful. Fill the frame with your baby’s face and leave out the lamps and furniture and all of that other visual clutter. A good close-up of a baby can be other-worldly.

Baby in bath tub closeup

Experiment with the flash off

A flash on a camera is a very handy thing. It allows you to take sharp pictures in dark rooms. But it does something else, too. It ruins the mood. It’s about as romantic as the headlights on your car. A picture taken with a flash is the signature look of amateur snapshots. Use it if you’re shooting snapshots (don’t get me wrong - I love snapshots) but if you want to take pictures that will make other people say, “Hey you’re a great photographer!” turn off the flash.


Find beautiful light

If you want to shoot beautiful baby portraits this may be the most important step. With your flash off, put your baby in some soft window light or the light of an open, outside door . This is the light Rembrandt built a career around. If you get just how profound this tip is you are well are your way to moving up the photographic food chain.

Baby drinking bottle

Keep your backgrounds simple

You could not possibly error on the side of too simple with this. I spend about half my time shooting pictures trying to find clean, simple backgrounds. Why is that stop sign sticking out of your baby’s head?

Baby in bath tub

Take advantage of the moment

You have what every professional photographer wants – access. Store your camera is the same place all the time and always turn your camera off with the same settings. Be ready for the stuff only parents see.

Baby smiling

Crank up your ISO

I don’t want to get too technical here, but I rarely take a picture with the ISO below 400. Do pictures get a little noisy (grainy) when the ISO is high? Sometimes. How often will get you get complaints from viewers when you’ve captured a great moment and there’s a little noise? Never.

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