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Guide to shooting baby pictures

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Tips to shoot the best baby pictures

Capture beautiful baby pictures by following these tips and tricks from fellow moms and professional photographers.

Portrait of baby girl in grass

Photography do's and don'ts

  • Do be patient. Babies are active and don't understand most verbal instructions. Just watch patiently and be prepared with your camera to capture their genuine smiles and emotions.
  • Do get down on the ground. This allows your baby to look into the camera lens and helps you see the world from her point of view.
  • Do get in the picture yourself. Often, moms enjoy being behind the camera so much that they end up taking very few images of themselves with their children. Partner up with another mom and take pictures of each other with your babies. Also, take time to learn about your camera's self-timer and continuous-shooting mode.
  • Don't be afraid to let your baby hold a toy in photographs. This helps an infant or young child feel comfortable and act natural.
  • Don't leave home without your camera. Always have your camera with you to capture photo opportunities when they arise. You'll find the best photos when you least expect them.
  • Don't ignore the background. A pile of laundry, a piece of trash or a wayward toy can ruin the best shots. Remove ugly or distracting elements before you start shooting portraits so that you don't end up spending hours editing your pictures.

10 Photos to capture of your kids this spring >>

Photography tricks and secrets

Familiarize yourself with your camera settings and capabilities. If you have a simple point-and-shoot camera, consider upgrading to a basic DSLR camera. Though the DSLR is more expensive, it has a faster shutter speed than any point-and-shoot and will give you room to grow as you learn about photography.

Change the aperture setting, which is the size of the lens opening. A higher aperture (lower f-number) creates a softly blurred background with the focus on your subject.

Learn to adjust the shutter speed. A fast shutter speed allows you to capture pictures of wiggly babies with ease.

Try to avoid using the flash if you can; instead, make use of available natural light. If you can increase the ISO level of your camera, you often can shoot in low-light situations without the flash.

DSLR photography tips for beginners >>

Photography tips from the pros

It's never too soon to start shooting photographs of your new baby. "It's best to photograph newborns when they're 2 to 14 days old, because this is the ideal time for babies to be asleep and still curl into the precious womb-like poses," says Carolyn Finger of Yoli Finger Photography.

When babies get a little older, their movement makes photography challenging. "Snagging that perfect photo of little ones who don't want to sit still or cooperate can become quite a challenge," says Erin Myers of Erin N. Myers Photography. "At times, it is really easy to get frustrated and want to give up, but don't. Take a deep breath and get creative. Let them be themselves. Find an item that is colorful or has an interesting shape or texture, and let them play with it. I love using small hand mirrors, floppy hats and pearl necklaces for baby girls. For boys, try wooden blocks or a vintage toy truck to keep their attention."

Watch: How to capture the perfect family photo

Take the perfect family photo at home. You don't have to go to the mall and into one of those cheesy portrait studios to get a great family photo. In this episode of SheKnows How To, we learn just how easy it is to get a great, professional family photo at home.

More photography tips

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Guide to shooting portraits

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