Lovelies, I am so excited about today's guest post from Gini, a mom of two from Atlanta. She's a MWAC: a mom with a camera! She's sharing her tips for being a click-happy mom today; 
what are your tips for photographing your kids? 

You just had a baby.  That baby is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.  You want to look at her all the time.  You want to capture every. single. moment.  You are about to become...dun, dun, dun, A Mom with a Camera!  MWACs have gotten a bad rap for stealing business from professional photogs, but in this posting, I’m just going to give you some simple tips for taking lovely pictures of your sweet bundle of joy.  These tips and your efforts won’t replace the skill and knowledge of a professional photographer, and you should definitely have some professional shots done if that is within your means.  But if it’s not, or just not your thing, read on to find out how to capture printable memories for all to enjoy.

Let me backtrack a bit to the night my husband and I brought our first born home.  We left the hospital, stopped by the pharmacy to pick up those all important pain meds for mommy’s c-section pain, and drove up at home.  Daddy carried baby into the house while I took some shots with our little (great, but small) point and shoot camera.  We got settled in and my husband looked at me and said those fateful words, “I think we need to get a better camera.”  Off to Best Buy he went the next day and home he came with the base model Canon Rebel xs.  This is his first shot ever:

Just look at that beautiful baby girl.  We were hooked!  A few months pass and he suggests I pick up the camera and learn to use it.  So I did.  Here’s what I learned:

1)    Read your camera’s manual and become familiar with the settings on your individual camera. Canons and Nikons are set up differently, so I won’t run through all of the settings here.
2)    TURN OFF THE FLASH!  No one needs flash.  It’s harsh and unflattering.  It wakes and startles babies.  It throws shadows where no shadows need go.  Just turn it off.  Natural light is best.  It’s soft, forgiving, and it glows.  Get in front of a window, go outside, up your ISO.  What’s that you say?  What the heck is ISO?  Keep reading...
3)    Up your ISO.  ISO settings depend on the amount of light you have coming into the camera.  If you’re in a low light setting, you need a higher ISO.  However, higher ISO settings introduce noise into your photos, which is basically that grainy look some pictures have.  You can walk the fine line between high enough ISO and low enough noise, or you can use a software program like Lightroom or Photoshop to help reduce the noise afterwards.  In the meantime, you can put the ISO setting on auto, or manually adjust it and play around with it to get the look you want.
4)    Up your aperture, which actually means to dial down the number.  Upping your aperture opens little “eye” of your camera, allowing for that lovely blurred background.  This helps fade away any unsightly burp cloths, dirty diapers, or other hallmarks of a new mom’s unattended house!
5)    Make baby comfy.  You can use all sorts of fancy props, but if they aren’t comfy, baby won’t cooperate.  Same goes with the timing of your shoot.  You'll want baby to have a full belly and be sleepy.  You can use pillows, blankets, rolled up towels, baskets, even your own bed to create a photo worthy backdrop.  I used an ottoman piled with those thin pillows from the hospital, a heating blanket on low covered with towels, and then my fluffiest, softest baby blanket.  Here’s my second born in a basket:

Here’s a pull back of one of my early set ups:

I used a length of felt draped over a bench in front of the large window in the front of our house. 

Above all else, just get in there and take some pictures.  You can work at your skills while you are taking pictures of your little sweetie, engage in a little trial and error, and come out with some winners here and there!  I practiced as I went and have awesome friends and family that have been my guinea pigs.  Good luck!

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites I’ve taken over the past few years, and hope they inspire you to become an MWAC!

I’m a 37 year old mommy to Kenerly (4) and Graham (1).  I teach middle school special ed and live in the metro Atlanta area.  I’ve been married for 12 years to Michael, and it just keeps getting better and better.  My passions are teaching, reading, crafting, and photography. You can find Gini on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

One Comment

  1. Great tips and lovely photos:) I'm going to put your suggestions to use when #2 arrives soon:) I tend to just use my iPhone camera, but I think many of your tips can still apply.