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Baby Photo Tips

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by renagade, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. renagade

    renagade Member

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    Guys,

    Going to be photographing my cousin's new baby girl on the weekend and would love to hear some tips and experience. I'll most likely be trying to use natural light where I can, hopefully we can get outside.

    Cheers
     
  2. 13atman

    13atman Member

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    Location:
    Behind the camera
    grab a reflector if you have an assistant, otherwise just shoot in the shade.
     
  3. NismoR31

    NismoR31 Member

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    Shoot outside in the shade. Even if you don't have an assistant, using a reflector can help. I even ghetto'd bouncing a flash off a reflector for some soft fill when i shot a firend's baby #1. Shooting their #2 in a couple of weeks but i'll have a proper softbox by then.
     
  4. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Grab a bottle of scotch for afterwards.
     
  5. kooliez

    kooliez Member

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    Keep the baby warm... Warm baby is a sleeping baby..

    Watch the highlights, babies are pretty pink even if they don't look it and its easy to clip the red channel..

    Natural light nearly always works best.. I try to position the bub either outside using a lean to style tent structure I made with a white sheet as a large diffuser or indoors using indirect window light. If you have to use strobes, use the biggest soft boxes you can get and position them as close to bubba as you can without them encroaching on the shot. When natural and window light are not an option, I use a single Elinchrom D-lite4 with a 180cm Octobox.

    Harsh strobes are bad for the forming of neuron pathways. Rule of thumb is, if you fire the strobe and the bubba flinches or stirs in their sleep - lower the flash power and up the ISO. I try to work at 1/16 to 1/8 max when using a strobe.. I use it more as a fill than a key as often as possible.


    Do not underestimate the worth of a $3 packet of puppy training pads... As you fold up a blanket or throw and put it in position, slip a puppy training pad under the very top layer so that if there is an accident, only one small section of your blanket/throw is affected, you can then re-fold the blanket and continue using different areas.. without the pad, the pee will soak right through the blanket in no time and you won't be able to use it.


    Props - LESS IS MORE. Anne Geddies has done props to death - unless you can beat her efforts, your best bet is to make bub the feature of the image, and use as little as possible to detract from the very natural beauty of a newborn..


    Wear comfortable clothes. Newborn sessions can take some time, and most of that time you will be on your elbows and knees on the floor, or lying on your belly.. Comfy, cool clothes..


    Take an ipod and some small speakers with some white noise sounds like waves crashing or rainforest sounds. its amazing how well bubs settle down with this kind of noise in the background. They tend to wriggle around and get restless in silence...


    Relax. Bub will feel your nervousness, tension, frustrations etc.. remaining cool calm and collected is your only option. Patience helps too..


    Forget the tripod unless its 100% necessary.. I'd prefer to work at ISO-800 and deal with noise than be limited in composition options by a tripod to shoot ISO-100~200.

    Be ready 100% of the time. Newborns will smile in their sleep, but only for very brief, fleeting moments with 0 warning and they may not do it again for quite a while.


    If I think of anything else I'll be back..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    Don't shoot f/1.2 :lol:

    What age is 'baby'?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    renagade

    renagade Member

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    A couple of weeks old.

    Thanks for that post kooliez, lots of information in there! Appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  8. kooliez

    kooliez Member

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    No worries man.. when is the shoot?

    My most commonly used equipment for newborns was a 1Ds II and 50/1.4 (usually at f/2.2 through 5.6 depending on the shot) and 85/1.8 at 2.8 through 5.6 depending) Occasionally I used a 135/2L wide open outdoors when the light was right for it..

    I find the 85mm on full frame to be about perfect. Now I almost always use the 150/4 on the Phase but occasionally the 80/2.8 I feel longer lens and greater working distances let me assess the situation of a shot better. With a shorter lens its to easy to become a part of the situation which makes getting the shot right a bit more difficult at times. You want to be an observer in the situation, not a part of it..
     
  9. forbaz

    forbaz Member

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    my 2c:

    Shoot inside as close to diffuse natural window light as possible. This would be my preference rather than shooting outside - brings in less extra factors to control.
    If flash is necessary diffuse it (umbrella/softbox) or bounce at minimum.
    Use white/light coloured sheets/towels etc to enable the babys colouring and eyes to be focal point.
    Have some poses ready to go by viewing other peoples work (sure you've already done this anyway).
    Get white balance correct. (sorry if that sounds like telling you how to suck eggs) - i've just seen a few alien shaded baby pics in the past.
    As other poster mentioned props are good but use sparingly.
    Remember that including mum / dad in the images can work well too. A few of mine here
    Enjoy :)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    renagade

    renagade Member

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    Shoot is this Sunday.
    I am picking up my new D800 that morning!!! eeek
    I have 70-200mm 2.8, 24-70 and 14-24
    I'll probably leave the 14-24 at home and take my 2 primes 50 1.4 and 35 1.8
    I only have an SB800, though dont think I'll use it.
    Thanks again
     
  11. Pixley

    Pixley Member

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    I would just reiterate what Kooliez said. Keeping the baby warm is the most important thing as the warmer they are the more they will sleep. I shoot mostly out of my lounge as it has a big window and it acts as a softbox. I do have some props such as hats, baskets and wraps but a lot of parents like very natural shots on beds, changing nappy shots as well. I shoot mainly with the Sigma 35mm 1.4 and the 100mm Macro for feet, hand type shots. Babies often also like to be wrapped to get them to sleep and if you use a co-ordinating wrap then it will look okay. I also use a bigish reflector and a collapsible backdrop.

    Good luck :)
    [​IMG]
    DSC_0816 - Version 2 by Photography 4 Paws, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    Close Up by Photography 4 Paws, on Flickr
     
  12. Pixley

    Pixley Member

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    It is the 105m of course!!
     

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