Snapping photos of newborns is something that eager parents have been doing since photography became available to the consumer masses. And even though photographic technology has improved dramatically since George Eastman created the first roll-film camera for Kodak in 1888, still there are plenty of people who make classic blunders with their baby pictures. If you want every photo to perfectly capture moments in your infant’s life, here are just a few photography mistakes you should try to avoid.
- Poor lighting. If you’ve never taken photography classes, you shouldn’t be surprised to discover that your photos suffer from issues like improper composition and lighting. Luckily, you can use photo editing software to crop photos, erase distracting backgrounds, and deal with red eye, lens flare, and so on. What you cannot do is fix bad lighting. Even if you’re able to correct lighting snafus to some degree, you’ll never get the same quality that proper lighting can provide. So make sure you have adequate light and pay attention to shadows when you’re snapping pics of your newborn.
- Trying to get the perfect pose. Let’s be clear about one thing right off the bat: posing babies is hard work! For one thing, they absolutely will not hold a pose unless they’re sleeping, and even then it’s dicey. So don’t get frustrated trying to make your baby look like an Anne Geddes photo. If you look closely, you’ll notice that although her pictures are staged, the babies in them aren’t necessarily posed in awkward ways. In fact, they’re generally doing something natural like sleeping, sitting, playing, or chewing on the scenery. You can get some really incredible photos of your newborn just by letting him do his thing, so don’t worry so much about posing him. Just snap away and see what you get!
- Missed opportunities. Having the camera handy and the batteries charged is essential to ensuring that you don’t miss major moments in your newborn’s life, such as smiling, laughter, discovery, and those magical moments when you catch him doing something hilarious and endearing like chewing on his toes or sleeping on the dog. In fact, if you want to avoid missing photos ops with your newborn, having disposable cameras hanging out around the house, in the car, and so on might be a good idea. It will be quicker to grab one and snap a pic than to fumble with your phone or wait for a digital camera to boot up, focus, and actually take a photo.
- DIY. There is absolutely nothing wrong with documenting every moment of your infant’s life through photography. But there are certain occasions when you might want to consider hiring a professional as an alternative. If, for example, you’re sending out birth announcements, you might want to include some beautiful, professional photos for family and friends to frame and display. Or if you want a family portrait with your newborn, a studio is probably going to turn out nicer work than if you take a selfie with your iPhone. You might think a DIY attitude will serve you well, but spending a little could net you a priceless photo of your baby.
- Neglecting to make a backup. Whether you take your own photos or head to a professional studio, it’s important to have a plan for backing up your snapshots. This could mean buying a disc of digital files for your photo session, burning your pics to disc every few months, or backing up all of your files to an external hard drive in case your computer goes blue screen of death on you.