December 04, 2020 4 min read
New moms know the feeling when baby is making THE cutest face ever – we transform into photographers, ready to pounce. It’s the only age when it’s ok to smear beets in your ear and have everyone around you think it’s smashingly adorable. Picture worthy. Gallery-wall worthy. Heck, maybe museum worthy! Where’s my camera!
Whether you’re here for tricks on taking milestone photos, seasonal pictures with your baby, or just the everyday candid shot, we’ve got a list of our easiest photography tips. New moms, seasoned moms, grandmas, this is your call. Get ready to start snapping! We’ll have you capturing family photographs that you’ll look back on fondly, maybe even with a little tear in your eye. We’re skipping the camera settings, these are just mom-to-mom photography tips, so trudge on!
If your child isn’t upright yet, aerial shots can work beautifully. Grab a little stool or something to give yourself a boost, and shoot looking down toward your babe. If you feel even a wee bit unsteady, keep those feet planted on the ground, we don’t want to risk pancaking your baby.
If you’ve got a sitter, walker, climber, monkey, acrobat, etc. get ready to level the playing field. Some of my favorite shots come at eye level. Hunker down, get on your knees, or even your own belly if that’s where your babe is. Meeting them eye to eye makes the shot more natural. They’re not squinting up at you awkwardly and you’re not exaggerating the size of their forehead.
I’m adding this one in, because I’m pretty sure you’d call me nuts if it were missing. This one is tricky without knowing your camera and how to adjust settings. If you can find a window or head outside into the daylight, do that. If that’s not an option, here’s permission to quit stressing about it. Look into a free editing tool instead – you can crank up the brightness later.
I don’t pretend to know the science behind shot composition, but I do know that I like pictures that feel less staged, that are a little off-kilter. No offense to my own mama, but I’m not the ‘line up and say cheese’ type of gal. If you think about dividing your pic into a grid, with lines going up and down, place your babe on one of those imaginary t’s you created, not in the dead center. And if you really want to get crazy, tilt your camera so your babe is angled within your frame (like the leaning Tower of Pisa). Trust me that it will add interest to your picture, and will be more eye-catching than those shots of yester-year.
Tip #4: BE QUIET
Kids can be like deer in headlights. They see a camera come out and they freeze, or they’re so trained that the fake smile is instantly plastered. I love seeing our boys ‘in the wild’. When they don’t know I’m watching, it feels like I’m peeping on their natural joy. They’re relaxed, in their own element, and it lets me get pictures of them that are more candid. They might not be smiling, or even looking at me, but they’re real. These turn into the photos I want to last forever.
Sometimes kids need a little distraction. Shake a rattle, tell a joke, ask them to hold something for you, let them wear that dress. Again. A simple four-word sentence does wonders for me. ‘Is that a [fill it in]?’ Caterpillar, airplane, booger, whatever it is, they instantly stop what they’re doing and look at where I’m pointing. Snap, snap, done! Extra bonus here, I love looking at the background of old pictures. What were we playing with, what were the toys-of-the-time. Giving your babe props or toys to play with now, will give them that same nostalgia as adults. Remember that cabbage-patch kid you wouldn’t let go of!? That dress you wore for MONTHS?!
I’m not suggesting you Kondo your home, but be mindful of what’s going to land in the picture with your little one. The diaper caddy, tumbleweeds of dirty laundry, wine bottles. Cut. It. Out. My favorite trick here is to hunt for something big and soft. Drape a sheet, blanket, or comforter half on a bed, half on the floor. It gives you a clean background to work with, and minimizes the background noise. Bonus points if you get down on the floor with your teeny human. (Side note – I’m a chip FIEND! Serious problem. But that means we always have chip clips lying around – super handy to clip sheets to curtains, blankets to bedspreads, you get the idea.)
Listen up, this one is important. You are it. You are good enough. No matter how well or how rotten your pictures turn out, decades in the future, your adult children will never say ‘wow, you were a terrible photographer.’ They’ll be thanking you for taking time out behind your phone or your camera lens to make them the center of your world. In your eyes, they’re everything, and that will show.
I hope you found some tricks you can use with your next at-home photography session. Let us know what worked for you, and if you have any tips to share with us or your fellow moms, I’d love to hear them! As our kids grow, so too do the challenges with picture taking. So share away!
Ready to add some photo props to your shots? Check out our versatile milestone blocks that grow with your little one.
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