You’ve got the cutest model ever! You just need to figure out how to take the best photos of your little sweetheart using your smartphone. Here are some of our favourite tips on taking jaw-dropping baby photos with your smartphone.
1. Find the light and time them right
Taking a great photo is all about finding the right light. Stop using the Flash feature on your phone and make use of soft, beautiful, natural light to take stunning baby images. Here are some tips to use light right:
- If you’re taking pictures indoors, position your baby near a natural light source like a large window. Don’t shoot directly into the sun. Choose a window that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. If you’re taking pictures in the morning, choose a window that faces the west. If you’re taking your pictures in the afternoon, use a window that faces east. Experiment with the light in your home at different hours of the day to see what works best.
- Ever heard of the magic hour? Photographers swear by this time slot when the light is absolutely perfect for taking pictures outdoors or even indoors. The magic hour is the hour just after sunrise or one hour right before sunset.
- Cloudy, slightly overcast days are perfect for photography. Take your baby to the park or set up your props by the window and snap away.
2. Use a plain backdrop
Place your baby against a plain background, whether it’s just a simple light-coloured blanket or white wall. Look around your home for backdrops you can use. Your baby needs to stand out against the background.
3. Get creative with props and themes
Do a little scavenging around your home for bits & bobs that you can use in your baby pictures to add a little colour or texture. Found a cute basket or box? Layer it with a few cozy blankets and place your little one inside for a cute baby picture. Use toys as props. Props should always be simple so that they don’t distract from the main subject – your baby.
Another fun project is to take the same picture of your baby every month using the same background and props to track his/her growth through the year. You can make a fun collage with those cute baby images at the end of the year. Put his/her favourite stuffed animal in the picture so that one can actually see your baby’s growth over time.
4. Get up close for those macro shots
Focus on your baby’s features for some beautiful shots. Instead of using the zoom feature on the smartphone, bring your camera up close to capture clearer, better pictures. When doing this, try and keep your hand as steady as possible to capture great quality baby images.
5. Keep baby wipes nearby to clean up any baby messes quickly between shots
For quick cleaning of spit, drool and so on! This is especially helpful if you’re undressing baby for your photoshoot. You never know when a diaper blowout might strike.
6. Keep clothing & accessories simple and subtle
Again, you don’t want anything to take away attention from the main subject of your photo – your baby! So, dress your baby in simple outfits and use solid, subtle colours. Try and stay away from jazzy patterns and maintain a specific colour scheme. Or keep it REALLY simple and take photos of your baby only in diapers or even diaper-less. Simple, pastel-coloured swaddle blankets are also perfect when you’re taking cute newborn baby pictures. Sometimes, adding just one simple accessory to a picture such as a fun beanie can make all the difference. Use a simple headband or a sweet flower crown for baby girl images. For cute baby boy images, use a simple beanie, a bowtie or even suspenders.
7. Keep your baby engaged with toys
Pro trick: Get your baby to focus on the camera by dangling their favourite toys in front of the camera.
8. Think about poses and photo angles beforehand
Decide on 3-4 different poses that your baby is comfortable in and then try them out while taking pictures. You can even ask your spouse or someone else to hold your little one in different positions for pictures and then crop out their hands during editing.
While traditional front-facing pictures are pretty common, try laying your baby on a flat surface and experiment with overhead pictures. You’ll be surprised at the kind of pictures you might get if you simply try a different angle.
9. Get a basic tripod for your phone and go hands free
Between setting up the shot and handling your baby, getting the perfect baby photo can be hard. So get a simple smartphone tripod with a remote like this one and take pictures easily with a click of a button. This also leaves you free to get into the shot if you want.
10. Pick the right moment to start snapping away
When is your baby most relaxed and happy? Is it after bath-time, or maybe right after a feed? That’s when you should be taking pictures. Look out for those cute expressions and keep your camera within reach.
11. Try black and white photography
Some moments look extra special when captured in black and white. Experiment with this.
12. Make sure your tiny model has had his/her beauty sleep
It isn’t easy taking pictures of a cranky model. Make sure your baby has had a good rest and is not hungry or tired when you start your baby photoshoot. If it’s cold indoors, make sure your baby is appropriately dressed and comfortable. Oh, and most importantly, make sure you just changed that diaper!
13. Get some ‘app’ assistance
Download a couple of free apps to help edit and enhance your baby photos. Snapseed is great for improving picture quality. Try VSCO and Instagram for gorgeous filters. Create collages using Layout app and PicStitch. For hands-free photography, download TimerCam. Bokehful can help add amazing light effects to take your photos to the next level. Another great way to photograph babies is by taking burst shots. Use the High Speed Camera app for this one!
14. Be patient and take LOTS of pictures
You might not get the exact picture you envisioned but be patient and take lots of different pictures from different angles. Improvise and be spontaneous. For every 50 pictures, you might get 1 that’s REALLY special. Most of all, enjoy the process!