Picture Perfect: Tips for Great Baby and Child Photos

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Getting good pictures of your youngster needn’t be a trial of will and patience. Make those at-home and in-studio portrait sessions both fun and successful with photography tips from those in the know.

Children are naturally photogenic—so why do parents have a hard time getting great pictures of their little ones? Whether you’re taking snapshots with your camera or splurging on a professional portrait, you’ll get better results with these tips from award-winning portrait photographers.

Timing Is Everything

When scheduling a professional portrait session for a child, consider your child’s nap times and down times. “There are three times to photograph children: morning, morning and morning,” laughs Bob Horton of Creative Image Associates in Newark, Delaware. Horton, who’s been photographing children for 25 years, explains that while little ones can be photographed later in the day, it is much more difficult to capture good expressions with tired tots, especially in an unfamiliar place like a portrait studio. While it’s not a guarantee that your baby or child will be happy in the morning, it’s more likely that you’ll capture that sweet smile.

At home, grab the camera when your baby is sleeping. “Consider it an opportune time to take photographs,” says Megan Steffen, a professional photographer in San Francisco, California. “They are at their most peaceful and that will be conveyed in the picture.”

Dress for Success

Bright colors and large patterns draw attention away from the face; instead choose simple, solid-colored clothing. All children, from infancy, look classic in white, dark blue, or green, says Steve Theis, a Seaford, Delaware, photographer. Known as receding colors, these hues will make your child’s face the focus of the picture.

If you’re going to a studio, take several outfits in case a child has messes from leaky sippy cups, blow-out diapers, or spit up. If you’re planning a family photo, pack an extra set of clothes for Mom and Dad too, in case the accident includes your blouse or suit jacket.

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