7 insider tips for taking the best baby photos

February 27, 2014 12:00 AM by

In today's world, almost anyone can be a decent photographer. With smartphone apps and online tutorials at your disposal, it's easier than ever to take stunning pictures of your family, friends, pets and environment. After a long pregnancy and a grueling delivery, chances are you can't wait to show your most recent achievement to the world: your new baby. To put your child's best foot forward, whether it's your first child or fourth, here are seven insider tips on how to capture the best moments.

1. Keep your camera on hand
Nothing's worse than seeing your baby make the cutest faces and realizing that you left your camera in the other room. Keep it with you whenever you can so you always have what you need to snap a quick shot. This should be easier if you have a smartphone with a decent camera. Try to take pictures of unique events like bath time, visits with relatives or meal time to get interesting, varied shots.

2. Find good angles
You've probably seen more than a handful of unflattering pictures of yourself that were taken at a weird angle. Don't do this to your baby. Find an angle that highlights your little one's best features and camouflages the not-so-great things that sometimes come with newborns, like dry skin or scratches. Get close or use a long focal length to get detailed close-ups or have someone hold your baby upright for more possibilities.

3. Don't forget the background
Don't ruin a fabulous picture of your child with a background full of dirty dishes in the sink or laundry on your bed. Before you snap a photo, consider what's in the background. If you don't like what's there, move to a different spot or clean up a bit!

4. Consider timing
After a couple of weeks, you should have a pretty good idea of your baby's schedule. You'll know when naptime is, when meals are and when your baby's just not in a good mood. For the best pictures, try to find a time when your baby is the happiest and most alert.

5. Use natural light
Good photos take advantage of natural light, whether you're outside or near a window. Take pictures when there's no need for a flash, which is never flattering and could upset your baby. Natural light is softer and gives a flattering glow.

6. Experiment with framing
Instead of taking every picture with your baby in the center of the frame, vary it up a bit and get creative. For example, move to the side a bit to let a family pet or a nice architectural feature in the background show. Have fun with perspective by getting down low or going up high and looking up or down at your baby.

7. Act a little silly
For really cute pictures of your child laughing, you'll need to act a bit silly. Talk to your baby and ask him or her to smile, then make a funny face, use a silly puppet or make a goofy noise. You're bound to get your little one grinning.

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