New parents always want to share photographs of their baby — and why shouldn’t they? This is exciting news! Current technology makes creating a unique birth announcement as easy as taking a photograph and downloading it. Of course, taking good pictures of a baby is never that simple, but these tips can help even a novice photographer take quality photographs for baby announcements that everyone will be talking about.
Good pictures for baby announcements are all about lighting, backgrounds, and pixels. Consider making sure all of these are set up properly before you start posing the baby and taking pictures. Additionally, to help maximize your chances of capturing the perfect shot, it is a good idea to make sure the room is a comfortable temperature and the baby is well fed before the photo session begins. Lastly, the process can be made even smoother by enlisting the help of a friend or family member to lend an extra set of hands.
Lights! Camera! Background!
Professional birth photographers all understand the importance of background and lighting for high quality photographs. The background created for baby’s birth announcement will provide the best effect if it is light colored and neutral, without a lot of distractions. Using sheets or blankets to cover everything that doesn’t belong in the baby announcement is simple and easy. A collection of pillows draped with a soft blanket can be used to create a setting for the infant. Car seats and bouncy seats draped with a blanket can also be used to pose the infant for their birth announcement photos.
Good lighting makes it easy for everyone to see the beautiful new baby without distracting shadows. While natural sunlight is nice, it rarely is strong enough to create good photos. Sunlight can be supplemented with lamps and the camera’s flash. Have fun experimenting with different positions to find the best effect. Aiming one light source at the infant’s head will create a lovely halo effect. Before baby arrives on the scene, it helps to grab the camera and take several shots of the setting and look at them on a computer at full size. This will help determine if there are any problem areas in the shot or if any graininess is observed.
Most people use a digital camera to create photos for their baby announcements, but 35mm cameras can also be used. Generally, 200-400 speed film will provide excellent results. Higher speed film is best left for the experts, as it often results in uncorrectable grainy photos. Digital cameras provide the best results when they are set at the highest resolution possible.
Ideally, the best images are at least 1800×1200 pixels. This allows for any zooming or cropping that may be needed. If no editing is needed, images at 1492×1104 pixels can be used. Additionally, if a vignette style birth announcement is planned, a 1280×960 pixel image can also be used, but it is always recommended to refer to your camera’s owner manual for resolution instructions.
Bring Out Baby
Babies are wonderfully photogenic and notoriously fussy. It’s a good idea to start with the baby in just a diaper or dressed in plain, light colored clothing. If the baby will be photographed awake, it helps if he or she has just been fed and is well rested. On the other hand, a baby announcement photograph featuring a red-faced infant in full howl may give recipients an inside view of the baby’s fiery personality!
Sleeping babies can be the easiest to pose and photograph. Awake or asleep, infants can be posed on a pile of covered pillows on their tummy or their side, facing the camera. For an extra special touch, considering using a blanket gently wrinkled over the baby’s lower torso and legs, leaving the shoulders and tummy bare to create a warm, cuddly image. If the infant is posed in a car seat or other upright position, it is important that they are reclined enough to avoid that “slumped over” look. Photos for baby announcements can also be adorably eye-catching if baby’s tiny hands are tucked just under the chin.
If parents, siblings, or the family dog are to be included in the birth announcement, consider posing them with their heads close together to ensure that everyone is seen clearly. The best results are obtained by shooting pictures at the baby’s eye level and keeping baby’s face away from the edges of the pictures. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take many photos! It is completely normal to take 40-50 pictures to get the ideal shot. The more photographs that are taken, the more likely it is to capture a perfect smile, adorable yawn, or an intent scowl, turning baby’s birth announcement into an unforgettable memento of this joyous occasion.