You don’t have to be a Vanity Fair photographer to get gorgeous shots of your baby—after all, you have the most beautiful model in the world. Just follow these goof-proof tips from Angie Arthur, a mom of four and the pro baby photographer who created the site I Heart Faces.
1. Make friends with your camera. The ideal is to buy new camera equipment before the baby’s born. “Read online tutorials and talk to friends who love photography,” Arthur suggests. “You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn in a short period of time.” The payoff? Priceless.
2. Get up close and personal. “Parents often stand too high up or too far away from the baby,” says Arthur. “There’s no need to get the messiness of the room in the background! Move in as much as your camera will allow, and capture all of those amazing little details like fingers, toes, and sleepy eyes.”
3. Go easy on the flash. If some of your best shots are ruined by red-eye, washed-out faces and background shadows, blame it on the flash. “Pretend that it doesn’t work,” says Arthur, “and go with natural light, shooting outdoors, or in a sun-filled room.”
4. Stick with simple outfits. By all means, take a few pix of your tot in that frilly outfit Grandma sent. But you’ll get some of the best shots if she’s wearing only a diaper and blanket—or nothing at all. Explains Arthur, “New babies often look uncomfortable in clothing because it bunches up around their neck or hangs too long on their arms.”
5. Make funny faces and sounds. “As babies get older, you’ll get the best smiles and expressions on their faces by acting silly,” says Arthur. “Those are the real moments you’ll want to remember forever.”
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