How to Best Photograph Your Baby

Taking pictures of babies and toddlers is a bit like being a wildlife photographer: Your subjects are unpredictable, you can’t make them sit still, and it’s better for everybody if you can keep them happy. But the payoff -- a wonderful picture of your little angel -- is well worth the effort. Here are some baby photography tips for getting that terrific, holiday-card-worthy shot.

Capture your child in his element.

Don’t be overly concerned about posing your child. He may not sit still long enough for you to get the shot -- and the longer you try, the less likely you’ll be to get a smile. Why not snap away while your child is on his tummy-time mat or take photographs of your baby playing. It’s also helpful to kneel, sit, or lie on the ground so you can take the photo at your little one’s eye level.

Don’t force a smile.
You’ve probably already figured this out as a new mom, but remember that the more natural the smile, the better the photo will be. That’s when you see your child’s natural personality and light shine through. Try making a funny face to get your baby to grin. For older tots, do something silly or remind your toddler of something that made him laugh.

Keep snapping.
A baby photography must-do: Take as many photos as possible. Instead of trying to get one perfect picture, take a lot from all different angles. Since kids often wiggle, squirm, or sneeze right as the picture’s being taken, the more shots you take, the greater your chances will be of getting a keeper.

Set your shutter speed.
Find out if there is a way to adjust your camera’s shutter speed. A faster shutter speed helps capture a crisp image of your baby playing, even when your child is running, jumping, spinning, or playing. The higher the shutter speed, the less blurry your image will be.

If nothing else, remember this baby photography tip: Print out your photos! Flipping through images in an album is more rewarding than viewing them on your camera’s screen. It's easy to set a reminder in your calendar once a month to have your digital shots printed. You won’t regret it!