Becoming a Baby Photographer
Baby photography, or children photography, is very challenging; however, it is also the most rewarding photography job. The most rewarding because babies and children do not act, they exude natural emotions. If you love babies and enjoy photography, there is nothing to stop you to become a baby photographer. Becoming a baby photographer is a very lucrative field of professional photography. Parents are always looking for a good photographer to document the life of their babies. You can begin baby photography by shooting your babies. If you don’t have babies, try to take the pictures of your relatives’ or neighbors’ babies. There is no reason why they would say no.
The Challenges of Baby Photography
Baby photography session can take place indoor or outdoor, in your client’s home or your studio. There are many advantages of photographing babies in their home. For instance, the child may feel comfortable in the known environment. On the other hand, the child may take a long time to open up with the photographer in the studio.
Shooting indoor with babies and children is difficult because you have to be careful about firing flash. Direct flash can harm children’s eyes.
It is difficult to get a proper shot of children and babies because they constantly move and shift positions. It can take a long time to photograph a baby.
Finding the right angle is the most difficult part of baby photography.
You have mastered your equipments, you have photography skills, nevertheless, these attributes are not enough to become a baby photographer. You have to learn about your subjects.
You, as a photographer, must also know how to get the attention of the baby.
The babies in these pictures are my nephew and niece. I had never photographed babies until my sister had a baby. When my sister asked me to photograph her child, I kind of felt irritated in the beginning. However, later I began to love baby’s natural expressions. Even though my early baby photographs are mediocre, my sister says that is the best thing I had ever given to her.
Tips for Becoming a Baby Photographer
As a baby photographer, you are trying to earn from your photographs, however, you always have to remember the art factor in your photos.
First and foremost, you must be aware about clients’ wants and wishes, you can add your inputs later.
In the beginning, offer your service free and try to woe parents, later they will promote you through the word of mouth.
Get a clear picture in your mind what kind of photo you want to take. You can document a baby’s activities as well as do baby portrait photography.
Take pictures of babies in different perspective, angles and moods.
Before you begin to shoot the baby, play with him/her for a while. You can jump in the air, throw balls etc.
Use toys, colorful lights, and sounds etc. to attract the baby. To position the baby according to your want, even if you have to make faces or act silly, don’t hesitate.
Wear colorful clothes. Babies and children get attracted to vivid colors.
Ask the parents to clean the baby’s face and put nice clothes.
Always be patient during your photography session.
Try to avoid direct flash and position the subject near the light source or well lit area, and use available indirect light source or bounce light.
How to Become a Baby Photographer
Your photography skills may be self-taught, but if you can, attend photography schools or workshops. In photography schools and workshops, you meet people who share your passions.
Go to the places where you can meet babies and children such as Children Park, zoo, shopping center etc. You can set your mobile studio in the places where children and babies gather in large numbers.
Sometimes you are required to shoot in noisy conditions or moving subjects, try to be poised while in photography session.
If you have an assistant who does all sorts of things behind the camera to attract the baby, that is nice, otherwise you can ask the parents of your subjects to make noise or faces to calm the little ones.
Don’t be frustrated with the moving subjects. Keep shooting the baby in different angles.
Begin your photography session after the baby is nursed. Normally, well-fed babies are calm. In the mean time, you can also get better picture while the parent or nanny is nursing the baby.
Babies spend a lot of time crying, eating, sleeping or pooing. Try to look for the moment when babies are happy.
You may use photo filters while taking pictures or experiment with hue, color, saturation, brightness etc. during the post processing.
Experiment with light. You can use direct as well as diffuse light. Sometime fill light creates wonderful shots, other times bounce light is better. Learn photography lighting.
Though many people frown upon airbrushing (photoshopping or image manipulation), it is quite necessary in professional photography. To get a perfect baby picture, most of the time it is essential to remove distractions, such as birthmarks, snoot, dried food particles etc., from the photo during the post-processing.
If you are a beginner, it is not necessary to open a studio. You can always work in your client’s home. If you think, a studio is necessary, you can build your studio in your home, in a spare room, basement, or outhouse.
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How to Become a Professional Baby Photographer
- Start a photography website.
- Create an album of your photographs.
- Build an online and offline portfolio.
- Advertise your skills in the print and web.
- Print business cards.
- Learn to accept criticism.
- Work with other photographers.
- Promote your works amongst your potential clients.
- Participate in baby photography contests.
- Attend baby shows.
- Join photography websites and participate in the discussions.
- Share your photos on photo sharing websites such as Flickr and Tumblr.
- Learn to use photo-processing programs such as Photoshop or Lightroom.
- Attend business class and learn the art of marketing.
- Visit childcare centers and kindergartens and make yourself available for photographing events that will happen in these places.
- Invest in good equipments. You must have a professional camera, lenses, tripod, batteries, memory cards, flash, photo printers and other accessories.
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