4 easy steps for taking great infant pictures

I normally don’t write much about how to take pictures because I’m not an expert photographer. I love photography but I’m not a great photographer even though I have learned a lot of things. I believe I have improved my photography greatly but I am still much behind in the creative department. I write this article however, because it is rare when I have the chance to see a good photographer up close and be able to learn a few things from him.

If you have a baby then take some great pictures!

Sometime ago, when our son was born we wanted to go to a photo studio and take some pictures of him while he was very little. We were very fortunate however that my friend John Mueller (visit John Mueller photography) offered to come and take pictures of our son as a gift to us. We said yes, of course. We were only used with standard photo studios so far and we didn’t know what a great photographer can do with a little baby. However, we were greatly impressed with John’s skill and creativity. In addition, I learned a few things myself about photographing infants. It is these things that I’ll be sharing in this article. Feel free to comment and share your own lessons.

1. Feed the baby, burp the baby and then hope he falls asleep.

It actually works ! At least it worked for us. Initially we tried a few pictures but he was not very sleepy, so he didn’t like it much. Eventually, my wife fed him and burped him and then he became very mellow and sleepy and amazingly compliant with all the positions we were trying on him. Other things that may help: keep the room somewhat warm, infants love heat and it makes them even more sleepy. Also, the smaller your baby is the more compliant he or she will be.

Infants are great subjects for photography, but if your subject is cranky and doesn’t want to be in the spotlight you will become frustrated very quickly. So, take care of your subject first…without him there is no picture!

Infant in a basket posing for a photo.
Get the baby to sleep and he’ll pose for any picture in any posture.

2. Pay close attention to the light.

The light is the most important ingredient in photography. This is true not only for pictures of infants but for any type of photography. Our photographer has chosen to come around sunset time and we opened the blinds for some natural warm light to come into the room. This worked great for the most part. When the light was not enough, John brought some extra lights to use from some angles. John knew well how to use the light he had to obtain great pictures (check out John Mueller’s blog for some great examples of using the light in photography).

3. Have a dark colored background.

This applies to any type of portrait photography. John brought a black piece of felt material that worked great. These days you can do everything you want on the computer with your pictures. You can add any background if you want. However, having a simple dark colored background helps greatly with making the picture simple and making your subject stand out. We pinned the background with some thumb tacks on an empty wall and that’s how we created our little studio.


A dark background will make your subject stand out very easily.

4. Some simple creative props add life to your pictures.

John brought a few really cute outfits: an Eskimo outfit, a net and a small barrel. Some didn’t work well for our son since he was already pretty heavy and chubby. Others, however turned out to work very nicely and turned normal pictures into great pictures. Now, it is true that you have to have the creative eye. Well, John was very creative and his eye worked wonders (see more examples of John’s creativity.).

Essentials for organizing your digital photos

Over the years I have come to rely on only a few products for managing and backing up my large media collection. These are my essential products and services I have been using for many years to keep things organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.

Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.

In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.

If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.

YOURS FREE! 10 crucial steps most people miss when organizing their digital photos

Most people want to just organize their digital pictures and ignore these crucial steps right at the beginning...when they are shooting and transferring their digital pictures. Then they wonder why they can't organize their digital photos! Avoid most people's mistakes and start on the right track!

Start organizing now using detailed, step-by-step instructions and videos:
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