Tips for Better Baby Pics!

At Campbell Salgado Studio, we’ve been photographing babies for over a dozen years and thought it would be fun to share our top 10 tips for creating great images at home.

  1. Be prepared. Have your camera ready. Inspiration can happen in a moment’s notice, keep your camera close to where you play with baby and tuck it in the diaper bag when you head out the door. Those precious seconds while you search for your camera may mean your baby has wiped all the spaghetti off her head before you’ve gotten back.
  2. Use natural and indirect lighting. Place your child close to a window and turn off the flash in your camera. If you have an adjustable flash, bounce the light off the ceiling to create a softer light.
  3. Set-up your image. It’s okay to arrange the scene. Move away any distractions, and keep it simple. Tack a sheet or a solid blanket to the wall for an impromptu backdrop.
  4. Keep clothing simple. Solid colors or simple patterns keep the focus of the photo on your baby’s expressions, or better yet, undress them for a few naked baby photos. These are the ones that really make us smile and they’ll love us for them later.
  5. Get close and far away. Try to fill at least one third of the photo with your baby. Too much information in the background can be distracting. When you fill the camera with your baby, you begin eliminating those distractions. If your camera has a macro function select that and go in close for capturing body parts like feet, belly buttons, hands. Use a parents hand to cradle your baby’s foot. It will emphasize their tiny size. If you have an object like a couch or bed to put your baby on and can get far enough away, the smallness of your baby is put into greater perspective as you capture the environment around.
  6. Capture your baby in action. Exploring is what life is all about for a baby. Start them a few feet away and capture them as they crawl back toward you. Take photos as they are giggling and splashing in the bath. Give them interesting and beautiful things to focus on like blocks, flowers or balls if they are too busy crawling.
  7. Try a new perspective. Bring yourself down to your child’s level. You’ll get a better perspective of their features when the camera lens is the same height as baby’s eyes. Try angles above, in front of and below your baby for more artistic photos.
  8. Capture your baby’s emotions. Laughing, crying, and frowning are a few of the feelings that make up your child’s developing personality. So, capture them to remember them.
  9. Get yourself into some photos. Ask someone to take a photo of you cuddling your baby if you find you are not in any pictures. Invite friends, grandparents, siblings to hold the baby and be included in the photograph. They are sure to appreciate these photos just as much, if not more than baby by himself.
  10. Archive. Each time you load a digital media card onto your hard drive burn a second copy of the images onto a high quality CD or DVD. Label with the date and description. There is nothing worse than losing precious images because of a hard drive failure or computer loss. Be proactive!



Kim Campbell

Photographer, Portland, OR, USA