Live Friday Photo Tips
All About the Babies!
Happy Friday everyone! It has been TOO long since my last Live Friday video! Has anyone else had a crazy busy last couple of weeks? I know we did, from mini sessions, films, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, and so much more!
Thank you all for being patient with me. Thank you for the topic requests and amazing questions. And thank you for reading this blog post!
So here’s the topic requested by one of the sisters of my good friend Delisca Coiro:
“Hey! Delisca said I should ask you a question about photography. I’m not trying to go into the business, but I wanna take good pictures of my baby. My biggest trouble is that he’s so wiggly that it’s hard to get clear shots. What can I do to get better shots? I’m using a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR and I mostly use the EFS 18-55mm lens”
First of all I want to say that her reason behind asking the question is exactly why I started doing the Live Friday Photo Tips videos. There are many other amazing and very technical photography instructors out there, but they are teaching other photographers who already know the basics. My goal is to teach parents, small business owners, and makers a few basics and little tricks to quickly and easily be able to start taking better photos on their own.
Not that professional photography and videography isn’t valuable, it totally is! But there is a time and a place and I don’t believe you should only have a photograph taken if it is by a professional. We need to document our children’s lives people!
Because it all happens so remarkably fast.
As small business owners we also need to be able to share everyday behind the scenes moments in a professional looking way. As makers we need to be able to show off our craft to the world in a way that intrigues an audience.
Okay, it’s time to get back on track so that I still have time to take my kids to the library like I promised. (Who else has overdue fees all the time? This momma right here.)
All About the Babies!
In response to the question I received I have a few points to make.
- He’s so wiggly.
Yes. This is for real a struggle with babies! Here’s my tips to help calm their wiggles. Make sure you put a fresh diaper on and feed your baby right before you plan to take the photos. Keep a bottle and a binky near by for those “just in case” moments. Have a space heater in the room and crank it. Pandora to soft music without lyrics. And if you’re an oily momma like myself, diffuse lavender essential oil. (This will also help calm your nerves and focus your mind reducing camera shake which causes blurriness. I’ll touch on that in my next point.)
- It’s hard to get clear shots
Let’s digest “clear shots”. There’s a few possible reasons for that.
One, you aren’t focusing correctly. Go to my Facebook and look for the live video I did all about focus.
Two, your shutter speed is too low. This is what I’m assuming the problem is for Delisca’s sister. That is a good camera and lens. The problem is the lens has a higher f-stop than I prefer to shoot with. It also makes it harder for the camera to automatically compensate for low light situations. Aka, the babies nursery. If you choose to shoot in auto, your camera will likely lower your shutter speed making any movement from your sweet little one and any camera shake a real issue. Go to my blog, “Shooting in Manual, the Basics” for a detailed overview on how to set your own shutter speed.
Here’s your quick overview: shoot in manual, don’t put your shutter speed below 1/80th of a second if you plan to photograph anything that might move or if your camera is being handheld. (If you have a long lens like my Canon 70-200 USM II 2.8, you won’t want to let your shutter speed dip below 1/120th of a second while it’s hand held.) Also, no matter your shutter speed, when you go to snap that photo click the button gently. If you press it hard and release you are shaking your camera and moving it during the photographing process causing camera shake.
- Shhsh the baby.
My favorite part. Snuggle that baby, shush it, pat it’s cute little tush, then pose it. Then repeat the shushing and patting while the baby is in the pose until they relax into it.
- Don’t force a post.
I have many parents come to me with their new baby and a laundry list of poses they want me to capture. I always tell them, “we will try our best but I am not forcing their baby into a position that isn’t safe or comfortable.” Of course they always understand this. Most of those newborn poses you see floating around the internet are composite images, thats where they take two different images and stitch them together in photoshop. Why, so that the parents hand can hold the babies head up in a crazy unnatural (but super cute) pose. The parent’s hand holds the baby’s head from the top in the first picture, then from the bottom in the next picture then you edit the images together to remove the hand. Cool, right?
Yes, it’s cool, but I personally love to photograph babies in a more natural pose. In the parents arms. In their crib. laying on a bed next to their sibling. You get the idea. Those poses do not at all take crazy photoshop skills. And they often mean more because they represent a special moment or place.