Sep 16, 2010

Baby Photography Guide

Are you eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new little family member? Amid the hustle and bustle of the baby preparations, it’s easy to forget to photograph all of the small details that you’ll want to remember later. From pregnancy through your baby’s first birthday, this workshop gives you tips for capturing the precious moments each step of the way.

Preserving family memories is important to you—whether you're a newly expecting couple or adoptive parents waiting to meet your new little one, or a grandma who is anticipating the arrival of a new grandchild. You can use the baby and family photo ideas in this workshop to help plan your photography sessions.

Babies can be tricky photo subjects, but that doesn't mean you need to break the bank to get great shots of your new little one. There's a digital camera to fit every family's needs, but first you need to figure out which features are important to you. Most new point and shoot cameras have a resolution of at least 10 megapixels, high enough to make 30 x 40 inch prints of your favorite snapshots. Here's a list of other options to keep in mind while you're looking:

  • Optical zoom: It's easier to get captivating candids when you can step back from the action and use your camera's zoom feature to capture the important details. Look for optical zooms of at least 3X to 5X.
  • Video recording: You'll want to record your baby's first giggle along with her first smile. If you don't already have a separate video camera, look for a camera that can also record video, and capture all the sights and sounds.

We also recommend that you get a handy pocket video camera that shoots HD-quality video that you can watch on your TV, share with family, or preserve to enjoy later.

  • Shooting modes: Most point and shoot cameras have at least a few preset shooting or scene modes that optimize you camera settings for different conditions. Look for a portrait mode (for focusing on the subject and blurring the background), a macro or close-up mode (for close-ups of your baby's tiny features), and a sports mode (to catch quick-moving babies on the go).
  • Manual controls: If you've really caught the photography bug, you'll want more control over your images. Manual controls allow you to adjust the aperture and shutter speed so you can fine-tune your photo settings.

Scene modes

  • On-camera editing: Black and white photos are especially flattering for babies, who often have blotchy or uneven skin during the first few weeks. Look for a camera that allows you to take pictures in black and white or sepia. Some cameras even allow you to crop your pictures on the camera after you've taken them, so you can make sure you got the perfect shot right away.
  • Pick which photos to share from your camera: Some cameras, like the KODAK M-series cameras, let you share with the press of a button. Simply mark the photos you want to share from the camera, choose where they go, and then plug in your camera. Your photos are sent automatically.

Don't Forget the Extras

Once you've settled on the right camera, you'll probably want to pick up a few extra supplies to round out your photo gear:

  • Extra memory cards: Most cameras come with small-capacity memory cards that hold only a few photos. Since you'll soon be taking hundreds of photos of your growing family, you'll want to purchase a larger memory card right away.
  • Extra batteries: Batteries always seem to run out of juice right in the middle of important events. Make sure you're prepared by putting extra batteries in the camera bag, or keeping another set of rechargeable batteries charged and ready to go.
  • Lens cleaning cloth: Keep a microfiber cloth handy to wipe dust and fingerprints from your lens.
  • Tripod: An inexpensive, flexible tripod like the Gorillapod can help you stabilize your camera and prevent motion-blur, especially in low-light situations.

  • Photo-editing software: Whether you go with a user-friendly free download like KODAK EASYSHARE software, or a more robust program like Adobe Photoshop Elements, the right software can help you turn so-so pictures into frame-worthy prints.
  • Storage system: Don't lose any of your memories! Make a plan for backing up and storing your photos, either on an external hard drive, or an online storage site like the KODAK Gallery.

 

Interested in reading more?  Check out these fine Books on Baby Photography!