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Learn How to Take Baby Pictures

5 Tips for Beautiful Baby Photos

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Updated February 14, 2011

There’s something about a newborn’s smile that tends to turn parents into obsessive shutterbugs. Unfortunately, many new parents end up disappointed when they review 100 snapshots and realize they’re not happy with any of their efforts. If you never really bothered to pick up a camera before your child was born, remembering a few basic tips will help you create better baby portraits.

1. Choose a Backdrop for Your Baby Photos

photo backdrops
Dana Hinders

The best backdrops for your photo shoot are simple. Remember that the focus should be on your baby, not the background. A fuzzy blanket, a satin sheet, or sheer voile curtains can all be used to make good backdrops for baby photos. If you’re taking an impromptu shot, try to adjust the angle so the background is an empty wall instead of your cluttered kitchen counter or the pile of dirty laundry sitting on your bedroom floor.

2. Adjust Your Lighting

photo lighting
Dana Hinders

Outdoor lighting is best for beautiful baby pictures, but that’s not always a practical option when you’re working with a newborn. If you are taking pictures inside, turn off your flash and move close to an open window to take advantage of the natural light that is available. Halogen work lights can also be used to make a simple home photo studio for you to take baby pictures.

3. Pick a Pose for Your Baby Pictures

baby poses
Dana Hinders

Infants are severely limited in the types of poses they can handle. Until your baby is about six months of age, he’ll need to be supported for almost all picture poses. Nestling baby in a wicker basket or having him held by a family member is a good choice at this stage. When your baby is old enough to sit up, you can try posing him in a child size chair with props such as toy trucks or building blocks. 

4. Get Your Baby to Smile

baby smile
Dana Hinders

Babies are a lot like wild animals in that they both make for very unpredictable photo subjects. Scheduling your photo session for when your baby is well rested and well fed is helpful, but you may also need to employ a few secret tricks to get your baby to smile. If you want memorable photos, be prepared to sing, dance, or put on a puppet show. Getting a cranky baby to smile takes patience and creativity!

5. Editing Pictures of Babies

photoshop elements
Dana Hinders

While you can’t make a terrible picture into a masterpiece using image editing software, it’s possible to turn a mediocre picture into a memorable keepsake. Adobe Photoshop Elements, a popular image editing program for amateur digital photographers, offers several easy-to-use filtering options that will allow you to enhance your baby photos. This program can also be used to add text, backgrounds, and special effects for digital scrapbook pages.

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