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Top Tips for Photographing Babies

Sleeping baby by Will AustinWhen my son was born everyone told me to take a lot of photos and video because “they grow up so fast,” but the crazy days and nights during the first few months made this so difficult, even for me, a professional photographer. 

Now my son is 11 and the baby he was is long gone, but I still have some precious memories and some great images to look back on to remind me of his babyhood. 

These days we can snap a great mobile phone or digital camera image anytime (see 11 Pro Tips for Making Your iPhone the Only Camera You Need), but I find that my best baby shots take a little more time and planning.

Tip #1: Timing is everything

I like to start shooting during nap time.  There isn’t anything much more beautiful than a sleeping baby, and sometimes you can arrange them in their crib without waking them.  Prime photo time is after they wake.  With babies this might be a 20-minute time window, but this will vary of course.  Be ready because that elusive smile or giggle might just happen once.  Patience is required, but a quick shutter finger is even more important!

Also, there are certain ages/stages that are so important to document.  I am so glad I got a newborn shot of my son.  A trick here is to actually wait a day or two, as newborns often will look better then than the day they are born.  The next stage is around 3–4 months, or when they can hold their head up.  Also try to capture that first smile or laugh, crawl, steps, etc.

Next: #2: Start with mom or dad holding baby

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