This post is written by Guest Contributor, Champ Ocampo. If you are also interested in writing a guest blog, please reach out using the form in the Contact page.
Taking pictures of baby is not a joke. We need lots of patience to get the right angle and more patience to get the shot of baby smiling with joy. It will be an expensive deal if we will have our baby photo shoot in a studio. Save time and money; get your DSLR and try shooting your baby on your own and I am here to share some of tips with you. I took this picture of a four months old baby girl couple of months ago. You may have noticed that I captured her smiling. But to be honest with you, she was not really smiling at me but in fact she was smiling at her Mom who was standing behind me. Yes, I did not do this alone. I asked her parents to stay behind me and catch the baby’s attention.
Photographing a baby is a team effort. You can ask your spouse to get behind you and try to catch your baby’s attention by clapping hands while calling the baby’s name or shake a rattling toy that will make a baby pay attention and eventually smile and laugh. The technique here is just to keep on shooting in order to get the perfect angle and perfect smile of the baby.
Let me walk you through the equipment setup and camera settings I used. I used 50mm f/1.4 prime lens but you can use any lens you want or have. I also used an external flash mounted on a stand with an umbrella. Do not use a flash with babies who are 3 months old or younger. It might have a side effect on baby’s sight development and I recommend using pure ambient lights in that case.
Our camera settings
1. Focal length – 50mm
2. Aperture – f/1.8
3. Shutter Speed – 1/200
4. ISO 100
5. WB – Kelvin 5000 (or Set into Flash icon)
Equipments we used
1. Flash stand with hot shoe holder
2. Umbrella and holder
3. Flash trigger and receiver
1. 45 degrees from your right
2. 3 feet away from the subject
3. Stand should be at least 3-4 feet tall from the subject
Set the flash power level a little bit lower than normal and do not forget to attach receiver on the flash unit and trigger on your camera body to fire the flash remotely. I prefer bounce light in this case; so invert the umbrella to bounce off the flash to produce more diffused light.
Now the equipment is all set and it’s time for shooting. Always remember that proper timing is required while photographing a baby. Ask your spouse to catch your baby’s attention. Keep your eyes focused on the baby’s face, once you see your baby smiling, shoot it and capture the moment of your life. Enjoy!