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Ideas/books for baby photography

Sathish Rao , Aug 04, 2003; 11:36 a.m.

Hi all, I am starting out photography with my EOS-7E. My subject for my photography lessons is my 6 month old :-) Tough one !! I am having a real hard time getting good ideas. I want to avoid taking stereo typical photos and instead be a little creative. Can you suggest some place I can start looking for ideas. I have looked at Anne Geddes's work, but that is not what I am looking for. It is too flowery for my taste. I liked some of the photos of babies posted on this website. I have a 550EX flash with an off camera accessory. I do not have any other fancy lighting. So, mostly, I will be using natural light or this flash for fill in. Please help. Any suggestions on books/pose cards or websites is really appreciated.

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John Kantor , Aug 04, 2003; 01:10 p.m.

How to Photograph Your Baby by Nick Kelsh (at Amazon)

Dave Martin , Aug 04, 2003; 11:51 p.m.

Hi

6 months old is easy. Wait till they turn 2 and want to take the photos themselves (my EOS30 only just survived).

Your best bet is outside with natural light. That way you don't have a distracting flash going off (believe me they can stare at a flash for HOURS waiting for it to go off again).

At this age they are sitting up really taking an interest in what is going on around them. Try to capture that. Give them a new toy and get some shots of them exploring it. Try some different angles - shoot from directly above them looking down or from right on the ground looking up. Use different crops - try showing a lot of background with them looking small. Try cropping tightly around them. Use a wide angle lens to make them look tiny or like a giant.

They have their own personality at this age. Try to bring that out. I tend to avoid any sort of Anne Geddes style props or posing as the images end up saying more about the photographer than the child. Let them be themself.

Sleeping is good too. Nothing is more peaceful than a sleeping child. Get in close and personal with a macro lens if you have one. Try some really tight crops of face, hands, feet etc. I shoot that type of image using 3200 speed B/W film. it has a fantastic grainy look and means you can shoot in low light without risking waking them up with a flash.

Hope this helps Dave


Newborn

Joe Garrick , Aug 05, 2003; 12:47 a.m.

the images end up saying more about the photographer than the child.

I couldn't have said that better myself.

Anyway, just shoot a lot of photos, study them with a critical eye, then shoot more. Edit them after you shoot them. You can always decide that a shot you took isn't a keeper, but you can't decide that one you didn't shoot is a keeper. Film is cheap. One day you'll wake up and your six month old baby will be six years old.

Patrick (Washington, DC) , Aug 05, 2003; 03:13 p.m.

I don't think that there are any really good suggestions accept take LOTS OF PHOTOS. I would say going digital would help significantly since you have the instant feedback and can easily and affordably blow through 100s of shots in an afternoon.

With baby shots it is all about catching that 1/1000 of sec moment, which is so so hard to do. My baby pics has improved a lot since I got my 10D instead of relying on film. Not really where I want to take it yet, but I'm getting there.

Haris Ashraf , Aug 05, 2003; 09:19 p.m.

You can take some very memorable pictures of your baby in window light of soft light under trees or patios. You can use your baby toys as props. Here is one picture I took when my son had not started to crawl yet. The picture was taking in our covered patio with my wife holding a blue bedsheet in the background.

Make sure that the eyes are properly lit and have some catchlights. Tha make a lots of difference.

The camera was Nikon N80 and lens was 80mm f2 AIS. The light was metered using a hand held meter.


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j c , Aug 06, 2003; 09:43 a.m.

I too am looking for great ideas for my baby pictured at 1.5/2mths here. This was shot with regular fugifilm 200ISO just on automode on my old Maxxum 5000... pic 2 was with a cokin filter which kinda jazzes things up a bit(it's stackable). pic1 pic2

Derek Zeanah , Aug 06, 2003; 10:29 a.m.

They're a lot more fun photographically between 18 months and 4 years old. For your 6 month old, I'd shoot a lot of black and white, and focus on capturing expressions and interaction with the rest of the world.

Dave Martin , Aug 07, 2003; 08:07 a.m.

I's afraid I don't agree with Derek's comments above. Children are photographically interesting at all ages. Every week they do something new that you can capture on film.

While I shoot mostly in B/W, colour is also very effective for shots of children. Their clothes and toys tend to be brightly coloured and this can make for striking photos. Use the bright colours as an element in your composition but don't let them overpower things.

The attached photo isn't technically very good but it's certainly a keeper

Cheers Dave


Enough photos already. Leave me alone

Sathish Rao , Aug 07, 2003; 12:39 p.m.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I found the book by Nick Kelsh very helpful. His ideas are very inspiring. I was all charged up after reading his book in one sitting and I went home and shot about 80 snaps of my son. Though I have the 7E and a good macro lens, I decided to use my digital as I wanted immediate gratification, as well as didnt want to waste a couple rolls of film on the first run. With this, I decided to fill up a 32MB card and ended up shooting about 75 snaps. Initially, he was more interested in the camera, but eventually he started ignoring it and going about his play like it wasn't even there. The only problem I encountered with this camera was its inability to focus at close distances and the time lag between the time I click the button and the time it actually takes the photo. It was very irritating, and I ended up losing a lot of opportunities. I have my eyes set on the Canon EOS 10D for my next big purchase. When the prices come down to below a grand, I am willing to jump up to it. I have attached a few of the snaps, please give me your feedback on these.


Attachment: akshay-01.jpg

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