I had the chance to take photos of my friend Becah’s son recently. Little Asher is just about seven weeks old now so he’s right in that great photo stage where he no longer looks like a raisin but you can also move him around like a little prop. (Unlike Calvin, who now associates the camera with the need to crawl away from me rapidly.)
I’m not a great photographer, but we got some some cute ones so I thought I’d share 5 quick tips for great baby photos:
1 /// Schedule the photos around the baby. Trying to take photos during nap time or when the kid is hungry, etc., is setting yourself up for failure.
2 /// Soothe between shots if necessary. While I was taking Asher’s photo, Bec was next to me singing and waving her hands and jumping in with the pacifier if he started to fuss.
3 /// Go with simple backgrounds. I like to shoot babies against backgrounds that are as blank as possible. I flipped our quilt for this one, using the white side so it wouldn’t distract.
4 /// Take tons of photos, especially if the light is a little low. Because of the way babies move, their little extremities turn up blurry all the time. Just shoot and shoot and shoot and thank the universe for digital cameras.
and the big one…
5 /// Invest in Photoshop and buy yourself some easy-to-use actions. I barely know how to use Photoshop, but I can use actions like nobody’s business and they make a HUGE difference.
Actions are little recipes that automatically change your photo. You can get actions that do all sorts of things, so I have ones that make photos brighter, ones that blur photos a bit, ones that sharpen, ones that add color, etc. I started with the actions from Totally Rad (their videos are AWESOME for Photoshop novices) but these days I’m really enjoying the Grace collection from Paint the Moon. Almost all of the actions I used on Asher’s photos were from that set.
Granted, Photoshop is expensive and the actions themselves can be pretty pricey so this is an investment. That being said, if you can get to the point where you’re about as happy with your own photos as you would be with photos you paid someone else to take, I actually think that it’s money well spent. Plus, it’s fun!