How to take baby photos like a pro with your phone

10 tiny fingers, 10 tiny toes… how can any new parent resist taking all those cute baby photos on their phone?  While most new parents would no doubt love a professional photoshoot of their bundle of joy, with prices ranging from £100 to thousands it’s not always affordable on maternity or paternity leave pay. All is not lost however, as advances in smartphone technology mean that with a little guidance you can take an Instagram worthy baby photo that any parent would be proud of.

Planning your photoshoot

baby photo of first birthday cake smash

Photos are a great way of capturing milestones. From crawling or toddling for the first time to celebrating a birthday with a cake smash the perfect photo will be a lasting reminder of these special moments in time. Milestone cards are great but if you don’t have any you can always use an app like Baby Story after taking your baby photos to add text and dates.

Babies, whilst they make for the cutest of subjects, aren’t always the most cooperative, so timing is key. It sounds obvious but make sure you schedule taking the photos for when they aren’t tired or hungry to get the biggest smiles and make the experience as stress free as possible. Pick a place and a time of day when you know that the lighting will be good. Take advantage of the early morning wake ups and use the golden hour, just after sunrise, when the light is warm, diffuse and directional – perfect for photography. Pictures taken with natural light generally work better than using a flash. Looking at feeds on Instagram is a good place to get some inspiration.                                              

 

Image credit: Amy Morris Photography

 

 

Think about any props you would like to use. You might prefer a subtle, neutral coloured background so using something like the Toddlekind playmat in Blossom would be ideal for a timeless pic. For something more edgy, the Scandi inspired Pebble is perfect. Consider including your little one’s favourite toy or stuffed animal, for their entertainment and to capture lasting memories of these special moments. The choice of outfit can have a big impact on the end result so think carefully about colours and if you are photographing siblings or other family members think about coordinating their clothing.

mother and two daughters sitting on a playmat

Taking your baby photos

Now comes the fun bit – taking the photos! Make sure you have plenty of memory available on your phone as it may take around 75 pictures to get a couple of good ones. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Composition: the rule of thirds is probably one of the most well known photography rules and it simply means breaking the image down into thirds (horizontally and vertically) so you have 9 squares. This will help you identify 4 lines and how to balance and frame the subject in your shot. Turn the grid lines on in your camera settings on your phone to make it easier
 
baby picture with gridlines
  • Perspective: guilty of just taking photos at eye level like the rest of us? Make your image more interesting by lying on the ground or stand on something (making sure it is safe for you to do so) to get some aerial shots
  • Exposure: try to have the light behind you rather than behind your baby, play around for different effects
  • Subject: if it is social kudos you’re after then you might want to focus on your baby’s face (pics with faces receive up to 38% more likes than those without) but it’s also an idea to capture details like tiny feet - they won’t stay little for very long!

young girl with bare feet standing on a playmat

After your photoshoot

Once you have some images you’re happy with then you can edit them. Crop out any parts you don’t want to stay in your shot, adjust brightness, contrast and add filters or effects. Unleash your creative side by having some fun with apps like Pics Art or Photoshop Mix.

Young girl sitting on a playmat having an imaginary tea party      Young girl sitting on a playmat having an imaginary tea party with cloud and butterfly effects

Image credit: @elliaandflo

You will no doubt want to share your favourite images with friends on social media but be mindful of your privacy settings. Compiling them into a photo book is an ideal way to document the first year and makes a great Mother’s Day gift idea for new mums. Surprise grandparents or relatives, especially ones who don’t live nearby, with a personalised card instead of a thank you card or simply because you know it will bring a smile to their faces.