Elisha Snow's picture

TopTips for Photographing Babies

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be a guest blogger at Ella today! I've been a professional photographer for a few years now and I can't even tell you how much I love doing it. I'm so incredibly lucky that I get to do what I do. I've been married to my husband, Matt, for 7 years and we have three beautiful boys.

Today I'm going to give you a few tricks on photographing babies. I mean, how hard can photographing babies be, right? They just lay/sit there, coo and smile, and you just snap away with your camera. Uhhh….dream on.


When I photograph newborns I plan on at least 2 hours for the session. Usually we don't need quite that much time, but occasionally we need even a bit more than that. It turns out babies are very unhappy when they're unwrapped from their blanket, undressed completely, and then expected to be a contortionist so they can be photographed in the cutest pose possible. But here are five tips to make the process as smooth and quick as possible:

1. Keep the room really warm. Babies like to be warm. If you're sweating a little bit then the room is at the right temperature.

2. Don't invest in fancy backdrops. All you need is a simple, neutral blanket. Place the baby on the blanket (with a cushion or pillow underneath her) and then have someone hold up the back of the blanket to create a "backdrop."

3. Expect to be peed and pooped on. Yeah. That's life.

4. If you're taking photos of your own baby, you may find it somewhat difficult. Babies have an amazing sense of smell, and if they can smell their own mom they might not cooperate very well for you. I know this from personal experience, and it's frustrating.

5. Don't forget to photograph details!


Older babies (especially those that can sit up, but can't crawl) are so FUN to photograph! They've got these cute little personalities and it's great to be able to capture those personalities. There are still a few tricks to use with older babies.

1. Get down on their level. Even if it means laying completely flat on your stomach.

2. Have plenty of toys nearby that make noise. I say have plenty because one noise may scare a baby, while another noise may make him coo and smile. If a toy with noise doesn't work, try your signing voice. Babies don't care if you've got a great singing voice or not--they just love to hear you sing.

3. Use fun props that are age-appropriate (such as vintage blocks, flowers and bows for girls, or some neutral-colored stuffed animal).

4. Again, keep backgrounds simple. You can use just a simple blanket again, or try a simple white or neutral backdrop (such as a sheet).

5. Know when enough is enough. When babies have had enough there's usually nothing you can do to get just "one more smile" out of them. I've often rescheduled photo shoots because it simply wasn't working that day. Let everyone take a break and try again later!

That last baby is my youngest, Myles.

For more photography read Picture Perfect, I am one of three authors along with Kelly Noel and Becky Novaceck.

Also I have a class starting at Big Picture Classes called Photo Finish. Leave a comment below to enter a giveaway for a free spot in my class.

Giveaway closes in 48 hours Sunday 4/17 @10:00 am MST

***Winner of seat in photo finish is Ella reader sdebevec***


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