You know those sweet little photos of babies in their little white onesies with the monthly sticker on their chest? You know how they’re laying there all sweet and smiling up so happily and lovingly at their photographer? Those photos get so unbelievably hard to take as that baby gets mobile. OH.MY.WORD. We took one photo every month and survived 12 months worth of those photos, but let me just tell you, months 9 and up were a struggle. I wish someone would’ve warned me!
Taking photos of mobile babies is a serious challenge!
I can’t promise these tips are going to turn your photo sessions with your little ones into a super fun time or you won’t be dripping sweat by the end from wrangling your little tike, but I can promise that you will have at least one keeper in the end! And that’s really all ya need, right?
Before we get to far into this, there are some very basic photography tips that help any and every photo turn out better.
1. Use Natural Light: Always try and take your photos outdoors or in a brightly lit room. Open up those curtains, pull up those blinds, anything you need to do to shine more light onto your subject. If you have any lights on in the room, turn them off to avoid that orange-y hue they cast in the background of your photo or onto your subject.
2. Turn Off the Flash: Nothing kills a good photo faster than that orange-y glow from a camera flash or the blinking/squinting that results from the flash! If you’re able to shoot in natural light, then you shouldn’t need a flash to begin with. If you have a DSLR camera, try these tips to shoot in manual and increase your ISO before turning on your flash. I only use my camera’s flash as the very last resort!
3. Focus on Your Subject & Hold Still: Make sure you have the focus set on your subject (I prefer to focus specifically on the eyes if I can) and hold that camera as still as possible to maintain that focus. If you naturally don’t have a steady hand, a tripod is always a good idea!
Keeping in mind the tips above, here are a few tips to chase around your mobile little one to capture the photo or photos you’re after.
1. Utilize Distractions: This is probably the biggest tip I have for you and the one that got me through and continues to help me capture photos of Mckenna. She loves Elmo and Abby Cadabby, so they’re both our mainstays. I wave them around or just let them hold one and she’s usually relatively happy for a couple photos. If those aren’t working anymore, I grab her Sophie the Giraffe and squeak that at her right above my camera to grab her attention and usually capture a smile in response as well!
2. Keep Snapping: Second to distractions, you absolutely just need to keep taking photos. You can’t be slow about it, you just have to keep pressing that shutter button. I love the option on my iPhone (when I’m not using my DSLR) for the burst photo. I promise you that a mom invented that setting! (But seriously!) You just hold down the shutter button on your phone and it takes a serious of photos and then you can go through later and select the winner! GENIUS.
3. Capture the Candid: Adorably posed, smiling photos are so stinking cute and when your little one’s on-the-move, they’re also the hardest to capture! If you’re not getting what you want in the “perfectly posted” department, don’t be afraid to just take photos. The very first photo in this post is a perfect example of that. That little smirk with her tongue sticking out? That is 100% Mckenna! Her personality is shining out through that photo and it’s one of my favorites because of that! Capture your little one as they are and I’m sure you’ll snap some of your favorites that way as well.
4. Get a Close-Up: Sometimes you just need to get in their face with that camera to capture those bright blue eyes, their silly little smirks, or the number of teeth they have! I just love those beautiful portrait photos capturing all of the above with the milky blurred background. So beautiful and classic.
If you’re looking for sweet, affordable styles for your little ones you absolutely have to check out the Gerber Childrenswear line at Walmart. They have everything you can imagine to cloth your child and even some great items you can give as gifts all at very affordable prices! You can find brightly colored onesies, comfy leggings, the cutest little socks (baby socks get me every time), washcloths, and my personal favorite, hooded bath towels! Mckenna gets a kick out of those hooded towels and we always have to play and giggle in the mirror in them after bath time! I dare you to try not to grab something from this adorable line every time you’re at Walmart. Seriously, I can’t help myself during our weekly grocery trips!
What tips do you have for taking photos of babies?