Monday, November 7, 2011

Point and Shoot Baby Portraits: All Auto Baby

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a professional photographer.

But I like a bang for my buck....which is pretty much nothing.

With my first child I took lots of photos with a point and shoot camera.  We never took him to have portraits done.  We were on a serious budget.  If you have the budget, go ahead and invest in some portraits.  But you can still shoot your own photos whether or not you have a portrait budget.  While I didn't know much about photography 7 years ago, I was able to get some decent baby shots with just using an auto setting.


So I'll share what I've learned so that other mommies (or family members) can take pretty pictures of their babies and be happy to share them with others.

All of these photos are straight out of the camera and have not been touched up using editing software.  It was a cheap digital camera with just an auto setting.  


Use Natural Light

You want a sunny spot, but you don't want the baby actually in the sun.  Use lots of natural light from a window, but not direct sunlight.  The photos below show the east facing window in our old, old house that I used to take the pictures I'm going to show you.  I put the baby on the end of the couch (at the bottom of the photo) and he was facing the window.


Again...Natural Light, but not Direct Light.  Remember NO FLASH!

Below is the baby sitting on the couch I used for photos.  But I waited till he was out of the direct sun.  For these photos he was on the couch at the right of the photo.  You want enough light that you don't have to use a flash.  If the sun is strong, try drawing some light curtains or drapes in front of the window to get rid of the harsh rays.  You should still have some good light coming through.


Set-Up Your Background

Just use something simple, I used a blue sheet over the couch.  You could use any color blanket that you want to.  I put the sheet over a bobby to prop up the baby.  Always keep the baby safe.


Focus on the Eyes

Basic camera use here: Put the little focus finder on the baby's eye closet to you, push half way to focus the camera, and then push all the way to get your snapshot.  After you push half way and focus on the eye, you can move the camera to where you want to frame the shot and then push to take the picture.  See those little white things in his eyes?  They're called catchlights.  It's basically your light source reflected back in the eyes.  In this case it's the light from the window.  Apparently those are good to have.



Be Silly 

Talk to the baby, wave toys, do anything silly to keep the baby happy and smiling.  My little guy was 3 months old in these photos.  Not able to move much, but able to smile!


The bonus of digital cameras is that you can take a ton of photos and then pick your favorites.  Have fun picking out your favorites!  And if baby isn't cooperating, you can always take photos another time.  And enjoy those crying photos, the baby doesn't always have to be smiling or looking at the camera in the photos.


Pick up that camera and shoot away!  They grow up so fast!  What have you taken pictures of lately?  And feel free to add extra tips, I'm still learning too.

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