How to Take Perfect Baby Pictures at Home

A mom with a camera can take perfect baby pictures.
A mom with a camera can take perfect baby pictures.

Have you tried taking your baby to a professional photographer, only to have your baby cry through the entire session or be more interested in staring at the lighting than cracking a smile? Did you end up spending a good deal of money, but were not all that satisfied with the result?

The last time I attempted to take my girls to a photographer, my oldest refused to smile, my middle daughter threw a vicious tantrum and my sleepy baby refused to do anything but, well, sleep. I left defeated, with no hope of beautiful, perfect baby pictures, three cranky children and a very bad headache. Sure, we were just having a bad day. Every day of my life is not that difficult, but still, I needed a new plan for preserving the memories of their childhood. I had to learn to take better pictures myself. Here is my method for getting beautiful close-up shots of babies and children.

A perfect baby picture is one that captures your baby's unique expressions.
A perfect baby picture is one that captures your baby's unique expressions.

Taking Perfect Baby Pictures

I love faces, up close, full of expression, baby faces. I don’t care for the posed, propped look. I like natural expressions, whether happy or sad or concerned looking, just purely natural.

Steps to Getting That Perfect Baby Picture:

  • Pick a time that you can be sure your baby will be happy, playful, well rested and well fed.
  • Find a spot where you can lay your baby down flat on her back to take the pictures. Make sure this spot is safe and has abundant natural light.
  • Choose a piece of fabric to lie down as a backdrop. This can be a blanket, sheet or anything that will compliment your baby’s coloring. In the pictures to the right I used a sheer drapery panel, because I love the color. Choose a darker shade if your baby has blonde hair (or no hair).
  • Choose an outfit for your baby that will blend well with the background color. Since we are taking a close up of baby’s face, baby can be all natural without the fancy attire!
  • After lying your baby down on her back, hover directly above her with the camera.
  • Zoom in close until baby’s face fills most of, if not all of the viewing screen.
  • Dangle a toy with your free hand if your baby needs additional entertaining. Some babies will be fascinated by their parent and the camera and will not need additional entertainment!
  • Take at least 40 shots of your baby’s face close up, changing the angle and capturing the natural expressions.
  • Don’t pause between shots to see how the picture came out. Just keep going. You have a limited amount of time before baby gets bored and wants to move on to another activity.
  • When you are done, and your little model has gone down for a nap, load the photos on to your computer and play with them in your photo editor. Play with the light, and cropping feature to get the desired look.
  • Print them and email them to everyone you know!

**Note: I am not a professional photographer. I am a mom with a digital camera and a passionate desire to avoid trekking my kids, dressed in their best clothes, all itchy and cranky to a photography studio only to be overcharged for photos I don’t like.

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Comments 25 comments

RainbowRecognizer profile image

RainbowRecognizer 8 years ago from Midwest

Fun - I love pics at home in a natural setting!


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

This is a GREAT idea. Wish I'd read this Hub years ago!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

GREAT hub Amy Jane! You are 100% right (those setting photos never turn out for me either)


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Hi Rainbow, Lela and Steph, thank you so much for reading and leaving such sweet comments!


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

Very informative. We will certainly need this info. Thanks.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Peter, and best of luck with you new little blessing :)


PCaholicDotCom profile image

PCaholicDotCom 8 years ago from USA

Amy - Great Hub! My son is 17 months and I can remember his first photo shoot :-) he got cranky toward the end, and the photographer had this duck toy that make this weird qucking sound... sure made my son smile!! ~ Peter :-)


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Peter! At least the photographer got a smile from your baby! Mine babies always looked at them like they were crazy or just screamed for me to rescue them :)


Atlanta Photog 8 years ago

Think about hiring a pro to come to your home. It's much easier for you and you'll get some great pictures if you hire the right person. These are not bad but look too much like mug shots.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Gee, Atlanta Photog, that's a fine idea. Sorry you didn't ike my baby mugshots. i think they are cute :) I really enjoy taking their pictures, and this is not the only way I photograph my children.


MommyMandy profile image

MommyMandy 8 years ago from The South

I loved the baby pics Amy Jane!! Awesome ideas, I'm an at home shutter-bug, I have a new niece on the way and plan on using your tips!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks MommyMandy, I hope they work out well for you! :)


Lyndsey 8 years ago

great article. I think taking photos yourself can make the photos that much more special.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you Lyndsey, and I agree! The photo session itself becomes a happy memory.


starcatchinfo profile image

starcatchinfo 8 years ago

CUTE EXPRESSIVE BABY PHOTO.


Justyn 7 years ago

We rarely pay for professional photos. I love that we take them ourselves and guess what over the years we have gotten pretty good! We may take around 100 photos at a time and get half a dozen that look professional are keep sakes. It is fun to do it your self and the child, I think, responds better to the one he or she knows best : )


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

And what a cute baby too! :) Mommy's with a big heart can have the patience to take the perfect shot!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you Justyn and Ripplemaker! I do think that a child or infant will respond better to a parent behind the camera than a stranger. And its fun to take pictures of your baby!


GinneyHarris profile image

GinneyHarris 7 years ago

Hi Amy, I think these are great tips, especially the one to just keep taking pictures and then look to see what you've gotten instead of the other way around.....the moment passes so quickly! 

And I've gotta say, those photos definitely don't look like "baby mug shots" - you're babe looks darling and that series is a great representation of some of the many varied natural expressions little ones make, often in the matter of a very short space of time.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thank you Ginney! I don't think they look like mugshots either - maybe that's because it's my own sweet baby! The point was to learn to have fun and get some great shots of your baby without the stress and expense of going to a professional. I accomplished it and was very pleased with the result.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Baby Grl 7 years ago

Great ideas! It's always tough to get that perfect picture, these tips will definitely help.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks Baby Grl - I'm glad you found these tips for taking baby pictures helpful.


Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 6 years ago from Minnesota

Cute article!! I featured it on mine titled "Tips on Photographing your Baby" :)


amy jane profile image

amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut Author

Thanks for the link Pinkchic! Glad you liked it!


zara khan 3 years ago

very nice pic

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