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Thread started 12 Feb 2008 (Tuesday) 10:53
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Baby Photography Tips?

 
Zvon
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Feb 12, 2008 10:53 |  #1

Hey all,

I was browsing the forums for baby photography tips and either my searching skills are not quite up to par, or there isn't much information (I'm leaning toward the former).

Anyway I have been honored by the task of taking baby pictures of a friend's 6 month old. She asked me my price, but as I'm a begginer at this I offered to take the pictures with no sitting fee, but rather just charge for the prints. I think this is fair for them as well as myself as it'll help my portfolio and experience. (This is also my first potential paid gig yippee!)

Does anyone have any general tips for what to do with the baby? at 6 months she's only able to roll around and not even crawl yet. I'm going to be going to their house to take the pictures, but I have not been able to see what the lighting situation is in their home. I am nervous to bring any lighting equipment as I feel it might scare the baby, perhaps just an on camera flash w/ diffuser pointed at the ceiling might be good enough?

I was also wondering if i needed a release form signed by the parents so that I may use the photos for my portfolio? Any tips on this?

I'm nervous about this, but very excited and I have been doing lots of research for inspiration, but I really don't wanna disappoint the parents so Im trying to grab as much info as I possibly can so that I am prepared for what might come :)

Help me baby photogs! Let me learn from your experiences :)


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CheetaPita
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Feb 12, 2008 11:03 |  #2

Well...in regards to lighting - i like natural light/window light best. BUT - on the occasion that i do pull out my lighting equipment - it never scares the baby - if anything..it intrigues them. just make sure its not dialed up too high - cause once they see it flash - theyre usually staring at it...tryin to figure it out - so if its too bright the 2nd time you fire it...theyll be blinded lol.

hmm other tips - i like to spend a little time with the baby before i start shooting - so im not just some random stranger anymore. While shooting though, i talk to the baby constantly...or sing. I actually think the signing works the best - even though i have a terrible voice! That usually keeps their attention on me and so im more likely to get eye contact from them.

Youre lucky she cant crawl yet - so you should be able to sit her up and take shots like that or lay her on her belly and then get down on her level to get the shot. OH thats another big tip....try to get down to where she is...lots of times people take photos of babies from above...which occasionally can be cute (in that it emphasizes how little they are) but usually its a much better photo if youre on their level.

My mind is all over the place right now...so thats all ive got for you...but if ya have any questions ill try to help answer - and im sure ill think of more tips later!


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HeatherSik
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Feb 12, 2008 11:15 |  #3

Hello, Miss Cheeta has given you some wonderful advice.. She knows her stuff... As much photography I have done I have only done 1 baby and that was a daycare baby so parents were not around and it was during the day when ever I had time. So I am not going to be much help with you on that part..

Make sure that when you charge you do get a little for your time and energy.. By the sounds of it you are fairly new to the biz of portrait photography but I could be wrong. This is what I am doing right now and I am also very new. I started in Oct, 2007..

I do not charge a session fee because right now I just need bodies.. I need to get as many people as I can without going insane, so that I can build my portfolio.. I charge 17.00 for a 10x13 and 10.00 for an 8x10 or 9 wallets. I charge 7.00 for 5x7. These prices will go up once I am done building my port.. Another way that you can do this is to give a discount off of a set price which is another really good way... Where do you get your prints done at? I have found that some online printing companies are much cheaper and better quality then some local printers.. WHCC and M-pix come to mind..

Good luck with your session, I know it will go just fine, I can't wait to see the results.. Oh I would get some sort of release so that you can at least use it for a portfolio or a online website.. Good luck..


Heather S.
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slimninj4
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Feb 12, 2008 13:54 |  #4

I agree that singing or talking to the baby will help him/her relax and get a smile out of them. Of course I have only taken pics of my own baby. He loves the flash. I have it reflecting off an umbrella.

I still not sure how to keep him sitting still though. Just need to be fast.


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CheetaPita
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Feb 12, 2008 13:56 |  #5

Oh yeah - slim's post reminded me - i also try to use a fast shutter speed on the babies who can move around quite a bit! nothin is worse than a GREAT shot ruined by motion blur.


and another thing you can do - if youre quick with the focusing- is play peek-a-boo behind your camera. hide behind it, then drop it down, etc. but you have to be quick to catch the smiles from that!


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Titus213
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Feb 12, 2008 14:06 |  #6

All good advice but get a model release signed by the parents...


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Kristy
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Feb 12, 2008 15:41 |  #7

6 months is the perfect age... they can sit up but not crawl away! :)

Break out the beads, and boas..., maybe some tulle and have fun! Do you have a large
hat box? You can get some super cute shots of her in a hatbox, with tulle pouring out of it, and she can wear a few strands of long beads... super cute! :)


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sevillafox
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Feb 12, 2008 15:45 |  #8

A bean bag covered with a nice blanket or a boppy as well can help prop her up into a more "sitting" type pose if she isn't able to do that yet.


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ag93
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Feb 12, 2008 18:49 |  #9

this link might help you out:

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=299930




  
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Zvon
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Feb 12, 2008 22:15 as a reply to  @ ag93's post |  #10

Thank you all for the tips! I will take these tips to heart and use them when I am doing this.


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Jonathan ­ Taylor
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Feb 12, 2008 23:00 |  #11

I work for a chain of children's portrait studios called The Picture People (you may have one in your local shopping mall) and they train us very extensively on baby photography (a wonderful experience for a knowledge-desiring portrait fotog like myself).

The best advice was already mentioned in passing: get down to their level (which typically involves a lot of crawling around on your stomach, army style)!

If you are unable to get down to their level, then bring them up to yours (have them on a couch or bed). Another tip is eye line: When youre looking at their eyes, they should line up with the center of their ears (if that makes sense). Baby's heads can easily get distorted in photography, and the eye line trick helps prevent that.

I typically dont like shots of babies laying flat on their backs with theirs arms down at the sides and their legs stretched out. It makes for a very boring photo. Give them a blanket or a toy or beads or SOMETHING to hold on to/suck on if youre going to be shooting full length from above. The best thing to do when theyre on their backs is to get really tight close ups (and dont be afraid to chop off those big boring foreheads and shoot for those HUGE eyes, just dont chop off the chin).

The child is 6 months, so he should be able to sit up pretty well without toppling over, and he can definitely hold his head up when he's on his belly (never shoot flying baby unless the moment calls for it, always keep the hands occupied or tucked under the chin).

My favorite is getting the baby on his tummy and throwing a blanket over him, and as soon as he comes peeking out from under the edge of the blanket, start shooting. Just make sure you are completely at the baby's eye level (which will mean having the camera pretty much sitting on the floor, along with your chin looking through the viewfinder, or if youre lucky enough to have live view).

Lastly off the top of my head, never shoot at focal distance under 35mm when youre only a couple feet from the baby, unless its meant to be a goofy looking shot (theyre cute, but only when the baby is being silly).

Cant wait to see them when you're finish, and best of luck!
~Jonathan

Oops, one more thing: close-ups of hands, fingers, feet, and toes will make the mother cry...works like a charm. its the details that tend to go unnoticed that make for some of the most eye catching and emotionally connected photographs.


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Erinlaneconrad
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Feb 12, 2008 23:04 |  #12

A metal/tin bucket. A bench. A chair. I try anything that is safe for them to sit on.
I want to try a large pot with Spaghetti noodles. Messy but I think it would make for an interesting photo.

My daughter started crawling at 6 1/2 mths. I had to come up with ways to keep her fanny still!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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bruisergirl
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Feb 12, 2008 23:23 |  #13

Kristy wrote in post #4905206 (external link)
6 months is the perfect age... they can sit up but not crawl away! :)

Unfortunately, not our baby--she's completely eschewing sitting up and going straight to worming around. Plus she's fast! Hard to take photos of her once she spies the camera and lunges for it.

Sorry to hijack! :) Good luck with the baby photos--hopefully she's still not mobile!


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jra
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Feb 12, 2008 23:36 |  #14

Some great advice you've been given above....I would only add to shoot many more pics than you think you'll need. IME...babies can be tough and the more pics you can grab the better (within reason of course). Two pics only seconds apart can be completely different sice babies move about and change expressions so quickly. Good Luck :)




  
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eigga
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Feb 13, 2008 06:40 |  #15

Great advice above. I also keep a bag of tricks by my side. They include clickers, rattlers, horns etc etc. I bought several of the items at a local magic store and the rest at Wal-Mart. It especially works in the 2-3 range when they are mostly brats :) damn cute but brats!

Oh ya the peek-a-boo is a great trick if you practice it like cheeta siad. I usually put on a clown nose too, great smile from the kids and parents.

Lastly, have fun. If you enjoy being with the kids it will show in the images.


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