How To Photograph Babies & Toddlers – Indoors & Out

Digital Photography is one of the best and most fun activities to do. And this especially applies to children. And the younger, the more your digital photography really means something. Your digital photography almost becomes a necessity when you have children and want to photograph them. But just how do you get the ‘ideal’ digital photos of toddlers and babies? And how do professional photographers do it? What’s their secret?

Firstly the number one secret is to create an environment whereby the young child is playing, or is feeling happy and relaxed. This can mean setting up lots of toys at home on the living room floor, or if you are in a social situation (Saturday afternoon bbq for example) then perhaps interacting with other children or their own activities are the base starters for getting beautiful digital photos of your children.

Secondly you need to address lighting issues in digital photography. This applies to digital photography with toddlers and babies especially because they move (in artistic photographic terms) so fast. Let’s talk about this, because this is a really important point.

At home, you will be faced with indoor lighting. Indoor lighting in digital photography and toddlers and babies is a little tricky, because the kids move fast your shutter may not give you good, clear pictures because of the low light. To compensate for the low light inside the flash might cause a problem- it might be too bright and distracting. And the point is not to distract them- you want as relaxed and natural as possible. A bright flash going off in their small eyes can be overwhelming.

Make sure you have as much light as possible. Turn the over-head light on, place them under a window with sunlight coming in, and even use a standing lamp if necessary. Then adjust the shutter to a setting that allows for fast movement. And use the flash only if you have to.

Digital photography outside is not so bad, but it does have its problems too due to hard light. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, hard light means harsh, sharp sunlight that creates dark shadows, leaving a stark contrast between light and shadow in the one digital photo. In this case it can feel like its impossible to get any even, balance light over the scene.

Here’s a pointer to combat this:

If your child is outside with the sun behind them playing on a rug, for example, you’ll find the camera makes them look too dark, or the light around them blaringly bright. In this case you can let the camera create the darker shadows and use the flash on a low setting so the flash can fill in the darker areas. This is commonly known as “flash-fill”. It’s just a word meaning the flash lights up the shadowed areas. In an outside situation the flash won’t be as bright or distracting because it won’t feel as intense to the child, but do try to not over do it.

Last, but most definitely not least, you’ll need to work out what type of picture you want to create. If you want a fairly emotional picture that shows how beautiful they are, then decide on a fairly close angle. This means filling the frame. “Filling the frame” is a word that simply means; “don’t have any irrelevant, things in the photo that distract the eye.”

So there are a few things to think about with your digital photography.

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