If you had a baby in the last year, you probably missed out on the opportunity to have professional or studio photos of your new bundle of joy (thanks Covid). I’m here to tell ya, you can do it all on your own!
I’m one of those moms that had to have the monthly milestone picture of my baby, I’ve been planning this since I found out I was expecting. I’ve managed to capture some quality, frame-worthy pics of my baby girl, and you can too!
Best Time to Take Pictures
When are you the happiest and most compliant? Probably when you’re well fed and full! The same goes for babies. I found the best time to take pictures of my baby is in the morning after her first bottle. She’s not tired, she’s not hungry, and she’s too full to really care what’s going on.
You’ll want to make sure after the baby is fed to:
- Put on a fresh clean diaper.
- Make sure the baby has been burped (we don’t want a gassy baby or spit-up).
- Wipe his/her face clean and put on some lotion or vaseline (the sheen looks good on camera).
Equipment You’ll Need
The best part of this is you don’t need a fancy camera! I use my iPhone 11 for all the pictures I take of my baby.
Photo taking tips on the iPhone:
- Use portrait mode, studio light.
- Adjust the ‘f’ setting for depth-of-field. The lower the setting, the more blurred your background will be. The higher the setting, the sharper your background will be.
- Tap the screen where you want your camera to focus, in this case it would be your baby’s face.
- I always make sure to snap a few photos in photo mode and make sure live photo is on. You can look at the live options if you aren’t happy with any of the photos in portrait more.
Setting & Lighting
You’ll want to take the pictures in a well-lit room near a window. Natural light creates the best raw images and you won’t need to edit as much.
Make sure your setting has:
- A solid color background. I use the bed in our guest room. It’s next to a window and the comforter is solid white.
- Blinds and curtains should be wide open to allow as much natural sunlight in as possible (another reason to take these photos in the morning).
To edit my photos I use the Lightroom app (it’s free!). I have a variety of presets I like to use, but most of the time I manually edit to get the look I prefer.
Edits I typically make:
- Increase exposure
- Decrease whites
- Increase blacks
- Adjust temperature (I prefer a warmer tone)
- Decrease saturation
- Reduce yellow tones
- Decrease texture
- Decrease clarity
- Brighten eyes
- Smooth any wrinkles in clothes
- Remove any distracting objects
I use the Little Nugget app (it’s free) to add in the month age, milestones, and text to my baby’s monthly milestone pictures. I did purchase the extra features because…well, I’m extra.
It’s super easy to use and the options are super cute.
Bonus Tips / FAQs
How do I get her to smile or look at the camera?
The art of distraction! I hold her favorite toy right above the camera and it looks like she’s smiling at the camera. When that fails, I put on her favorite song or video in the background and that gets us tons of smiles.
How do I get a cohesive look with all the monthly milestone photos?
A few things I do to acheive this:
- I always take her photos around 10:00am, so lighting is typically the same.
- I stick to a color palette when I select her outfits (white, ivory, blush, muted colors).
- I use the same location/background every time.
- I use the same preset or editing style every time.
As with all photos you see on the internet or social media, the one you see posted is most likely one of a hundred. Take as many photos as you can and you’re bound to get that perfect photo.