Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Knock-Off Professional Infant Photos

infant photography

I LOVE professional infant pictures. The photographers who are able to capture those early days with beauty and finesse have my utmost admiration. I enjoy following Robin Long Photography (she’s local for me) on Facebook and just about drool over what she posts. Just before Jace was born, she was looking for newborn models ten days and younger to help her with some workshops for teaching photographers the art of infant photographer. I was so disappointed I missed that window.

I’ve discovered it is possible to “knock off” professional photography. I know it lacks much of the artistic nature of the professionals, and my editing lacks the sparkle that you’ll find in them, but it’s also lacking the high price tag—which I really appreciate.

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I took this of my friend’s daughter the other day (see my post about the lace romper HERE), and while it couldn’t hold a candle to what Robin posts previews of on her fan page, I definitely prefer to the generic shots I’d get at Picture People.

Before getting started, I studied (and pinned) some great photography tips posts. I analyzed the angles that my favorite pictures were taken from, how they posed the babies and what the backgrounds looked like. Check out THIS POST for adorable pregnancy and newborn shots. I read up on what the experts had to say about getting the best out of a little one who doesn’t know how to pose. I loved THIS POST’s suggestions for making a comfortable environment. And THIS POST was excellent for tips on backdrops and props.


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I set up my make-do photo studio in my living room by pulling back the curtains and shades to let as much natural light in as possible. I hung an ironed white sheet (Walmart has them cheap!) from my mantel and tested out my camera in manual to figure out if the lighting would work for me or not. And yes, my son was watching Diego while I worked.

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I pulled out Jace’s boppy pillows from a closet and wrapped one in a beautiful Frosted Rose Cuddle in Camel piece I had from over a year ago that Poppy Seed Fabrics had sent me and I used a portion of for Jace’s Lovey Buddy. I LOVE the way this material looked in the pictures, and I think Emma was a big fan of how it felt. I wrapped the other boppy in a white blanket Nolan’s mom had crocheted for Jace. I ultimately hoped the sheet wouldn’t show up in the pictures, but if it did, it would look a lot nicer than my fireplace.

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I turned up the heat so the house was warm when Emma was changed into the romper. Then it was just a matter of getting some great shots. Emma wasn’t too happy during the pictures we took on the white blanket. But it proved to be a good chance for me to figure out which angles worked and which ones didn’t.

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Between shots we let her suck on her paci to see if that would make her happier. During that time I had fun focusing on her feet to get some sweet shots of her toes.

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Ultimately, a bottle was what brought out the smiles and happier pictures. I discovered I’m not as big of a fan of the pictures I got from looking straight down on her of her whole body.

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But zooming in on just part of her worked well. Bunching the fabric around her looked a lot better than leaving it pulled flat (for these pictures I took the boppy away).

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I just kept moving while her mommy stayed close by trying to get her to smile and keep her happy.

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I loved the times she looked directly at the camera. I took close to 100 pictures, but there were only 9 that we really loved, and all of them on the cuddle material. Many of these are cropped down considerably from the original photo. Knowing I could crop later took a lot of pressure off the actual picture taking time. I used iPiccy, a free editing website, to edit my photos. I know everyone else loves Pic Monkey, but I really like being able to change the photo using curves and levels, which Pic Monkey doesn’t have (unless I’m a complete idiot and just can’t find them on the site). I do wish it had burning and dodging like Pic Monkey does.

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While I do appreciate the crispness my DSLR camera is able to achieve, I know that I could have also been very happy with pictures taken with my point and shoot. Depending on your camera, you do have several options within manual mode with even a point and shoot, and can get some great pictures. In my How I Do A Blog Post post, I showed how I do some simple editing what I was able to do using my point and shoot.

Now I’m really excited to put these methods to use when our baby girl comes this fall and get some great shots of her!

Thanks for stopping by!

Parties I like to link up with:

10 comments:

  1. Great photos, Jill! :-) I can't wait to see all the cute shots you get of Reese when she is born!

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  2. Hi Jill, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  3. Great tips! I've tried one infant shoot myself and it was exhausting! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Wow! What great shots you got! Thanks for posting all of your tips and tricks for us. I want to also go over and see the other links that you shared in your post. I saw this post over at "Serenity Now".

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  6. Adorable baby and cute pictures! I'd love it if you'd link up at Off the Hook!

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  7. Wow, those are great! What a darling baby girl and that romper is just adorable. I would have thought they were professional photographs had you not said otherwise! New visitor here from Serenity now's linkup, I'm # 146, mango chicken salad if you'd like to stop by.

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  8. Cute Cute cute. Those are so great! Thanks for the tips. Do you have any prop ideas for boys? Stopping by from Making the World Cuter. I am a new follower. Hope to see you at True Aim.

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  9. This little girl is just beautiful and this post was very helpful to me. I have a friend that has me take pictures of her babies at a week old for birth announcements and she is on her third, so I will be doing more pics. Thanks for the helpful info.

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