If you want to capture beautiful newborn baby pictures there are two simple tricks you have to know about, neither of which professional photographers are keen to pass on. That’s right, with two simple tricks you can capture beautiful newborn bay photos that not only look professional but will also help you earn some extra money with your camera.
Capture beautiful newborn baby pictures Trick 1 – Shoot black and white
In my experience the best newborn baby pictures are black and white or monochrome. Okay, it is possible to capture stunning newborn baby pictures in colour, but black and white photos are the way forward. Capturing beautiful newborn baby pictures is easier in black and white than it is in colour.
Newborn babies typically have blemishes and uneven skin tones, neither of which result in flattering photos. Okay, there are some newborn babies with even skin tones and no blemishes, however these are few, far between and the exception rather than the rule. Shooting in colour clearly shooting in colour shows off blemishes and uneven skin tones, whereas shooting newborn baby pictures in black and white doesn’t. Shooting in black and white hides a multiple of sins and results in stunning portrait shots.
Whilst all digital cameras have a black and white setting I would not recommend using this. When I shoot in black and white I capture the photo in full colour and then convert it using photo editing software. Taking newborn baby pictures in full colour in the first instance captures the maximum amount of information, which gives more options when converting to black and white in the digital darkroom. If the photo is taken using the camera’s black and white setting a lot of information is lost and the editing options in the digital darkroom are reduced.
Capture beautiful newborn baby pictures Trick 2 – Use a soft lens
Most photographers strive for the sharpest photos possible, and whilst this is the aim for motorsports photography, landscape photography, product photography and the like, this is not ideal for taking newborn baby pictures. A super sharp lens will highlight every spot, pimple, blemish and variation in skin tone.
Spots, pimples, blemishes and skin tone variations are not so noticeable using a softer lens so this is the best option. All lenses are at their softest used at their maximum widest aperture therefore shooting wide will help achieve the soft focus look. If shooting wide open still results in newborn baby pictures that are still too sharp it is possible to soften the focus using some photo editing software.
I use two lenses for almost all of my newborn photography, and these are the Canon 16-35 F4L IS and the Canon 50mm F1.8. Both of these lenses are slightly soft used wide open at their maximum widest apertures but tack sharp stopped down a bit. Even though the images with these lenses used wide open are slightly soft they are not too soft and acceptably sharp.
Photo editing software is essential to capture beautiful newborn baby pictures
All photos benefit from a bit of editing in the digital darkroom and newborn baby pictures are no different. There is a school of thought that editing photos is cheating, however I do not share this opinion. If you want to capture the best newborn baby pictures photo editing software is essential, in my opinion.
Capturing stunning newborn baby pictures straight out of the camera is tough (although it can be done and it is always very satisfying when it does) and using some photo editing software allows you to change the composition, tweak the exposure and lighting, change the levels and convert to black and white. Photo editing software will increase the number of keepers which is essential if you rely on newborn photography to earn a living.
There are many different photo editing software packages available, some of which are totally free (such as Gimp) and some of which are stupidly expensive (such as Photo Shop). The photo editing software I use is Adobe Photo Shop Elements 14, and I highly recommend it. Elements is a cut down version of Photo Shop which is not only powerful (it will do everything you ask of it and more) but also affordable. Elements is also user friendly and, unlike Photo Shop, it is easy to teach yourself how to use it without having to spend a fortune on training courses and tutorials.
I would avoid the free photo editing software packages because they are restricted and limited in what you can do with them, which is to be expected really. I would also avoid the top end editing packages because they are too powerful (you will never use all of their features), cost a fortune and there is a steep learning curve using them. Elements is the perfect compromise between features, ease of use and cost.
If you like the above and found it interesting or useful below are links to other newborn photography articles you may want to take a look at:-
If you are considering newborn photography but have not yet taken the plunge “Newborn baby photography services” is an article you may wish to check out to help you make the final decision.
You don’t need a lot of photographic equipment to capture awesome newborn photos. Don’t believe me? Take a look at “The equipment you need for a newborn baby photoshoot” and see for yourself.
The choice of lens often determines how good a photo turns out to be, and this is the same with newborn photography. If you are struggling with what lenses to use for photographing newborn babies “The best lenses for newborn photography” may be something you want to take a look at.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.