Me Ra Koh shares her tips for taking better pictures of your baby!
Those Chunky, Adorably Baby Legs (9-12 month old)
What wouldn’t you give to have those chunky baby legs never disappear, especially those thighs? As your baby approaches his first birthday, you’ll be amazed at how she starts to slim down. So capture those big, kissable, squeezable baby legs as early on as possible!
When to take: Any time baby is awake during daylight hours.
Prep: Find a table or countertop with great window light. Ideally there will be a simple background that won’t distract from baby’s thighs. Then put your baby in a white onesie or plain diaper. I like the diaper because it allows us to see that big tummy and belly-button. If the diaper has a design and it bothers you, a white Onesie will fix that.
For P&S Users: Turn off your flash, and put your camera in Portrait mode. Experiment by setting your point-and-shoot to the black-and-white mode. Black and white seems to help the thighs pop out more. As I said earlier, I prefer to change my images to black-and-white on the computer, but why not experiment with your point-and-shoot and see what it can do!
For DSLR Users: Turn your flash off. Put your camera in Aperture Priority mode and dial your f-stop down to f/2.2. If you can only go down to a f/5.6, f/4.5 or f/3.8, don’t be discouraged. As long as your background is clear of distracting objects, you will be okay. If you need more light, bump up your ISO. If you don’t like the grain from the higher ISO, try taking this shot outside on a warm afternoon instead.
Compose: Have your spouse, friend, or spotter hold up baby from the side. Ask them to lift their elbows so they don’t appear in the photo. A vertical photo accentuates the upward motion of baby standing up. Think about the Rule of Thirds with this photo: The bottom two-thirds are all about baby’s chubby legs; the upper third is baby’s tummy. Notice how I framed the image at the top so it doesn’t cut baby off at the shoulders or neckline. It’s important to not frame your subject so her joints are cut off. If you move a little above or below the joints or shoulders, the composition will look more natural.
Capture: Focus on baby’s legs, their diaper, or her belly button—all three will work great. Play around and see what you like best!
Extra Tip for Source: Have your helper wear all black. This baby’s mom wore a simple black dress. Since I was shooting with a low f-stop, her black dress was blurred. Voila! I’ve got my professional looking backdrop without having to set one up! When working with babies, efficiency and simplicity are key.
Want to know more? Check out Me Ra’s book!
About Me Ra Koh
Me Ra Koh loves cameras, kids and parents, and spends her life bringing them together. Her work and Photo-Recipes have been featured on national television several times, including the “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She is a regular expert for NBC’s The Nate Berkus Show, empowering viewers with her photo tips and enthusiasm. Her newly released, bestselling book, “Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parent’s Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year” is now available at your local bookstore or online. She is also proud to be a SONY Artisan of Imagery. To learn more about Me Ra, visit her blog at www.merakoh.com.