Monday, May 24, 2010

Photographing babies: Tip # 2 Keep it simple

If you are after a photo of your newborn to use as a photographic keepsake for birth announcements and baby thank you cards, here are some tips to make it a success. 
Today we are considering babies clothes and the background setting.
  • Dress baby in something simple - or nothing at all. If you are planning on having Mini Ink design a birth announcement for you, what colours do you like best from our gallery?  What are the babies wearing in our samples and what is in the background of these photos? 

  • Plain white singlets or snuggly onsies are great. Birthday suits are always gorgeous! Try and avoid bright and busy prints and let your babies face speak for itself. Don't forget it is lovely to see the babies hands and feet so un wrap any swaddling.

  • If your baby loves a dummy (don't they all) use it to calm baby down and once they are relaxed, try removing it and then shoot a few pics, you may need to be patient and put it back in several times to keep them calm.

  •  Consider the background you are photographing baby on. Couches, bead spreads and cots are great spots but the fabrics can often be busy and distracting. I always drape a white blanket or throw over the couch, (sheets are ok but can be creased, and creases show up gloriously in photos!)

  • Try to avoid too many objects in the background - different coloured walls, chair legs and textured carpet. I like to make a mountain of pillows on my bead and then drape the rug over the lot. (excluding the baby) It creates a cosy spot and gives you a consistent background to your shot as well.
  • Photographing your baby in someone's arms can also be very effective.  It helps to position baby.  Don't forget to get the 'holdee' to dress in a neutral un-fussy colour too.

    • In saying that, some outfits can enhance a photo - beanies, head bands, and even dresses and shirts can speak volumes about your babies personality.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Delicious Delicious Delicious: Chocolate Party Spoons!

    Delicious Delicious Delicious: Chocolate Party Spoons!
    Seriously awesome idea! I love it when people come up with ideas that are different to anything I have thought of! So easy. Such a shame my youngest just had his party last weekend because this would have been great. Just think of the possibilities - turn them into spiders, beetles, anything!

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Photo Tips - Episode 1

    Mini Inks tips for great photos -part 1

    If you are anything like me, taking photos of your newborn baby is compulsory! Blurry, over exposed, taken on a mobile phone, in the dark because you were worried about using a flash.... it doesn't matter because they all represent a special moment like the first bath, smile, hold by grand parents or little brother.

    But if you want to take photos specifically to share with everyone for birth announcements, baby thank you cards or baby keepsake cards, perhaps even baptism or christening invitations, and you want them to look the best, its easy to create a 'studio look' photo in your own home.

    Here are some tips to making a 'photo session' work for you. (I know I have chosen the easy option of using a doll that doesn't squirm, wriggle and is always placid but you can get the general idea!)

    NB: I am not a professional photographer - I don't have a studio but I love taking photos of my kids. None of these photos have been edited and they are all taken using 'dummy mode' on my camera no fancy tricks, just helpful tips!

    1. LIGHTING, lighting, lighting - tip number 1
    Great lighting creates clean crisp photos that are more likely to be in focus, less grainy and aren't wrecked by harsh shadows.

    • Turn the flash off - flash lights can startle a new born and make them cranky. They also can cast hard shadows on babies face and around their body.
    • Natural lighting - is the best. Open all of the curtains/blinds, turn all of the indoor lights on.  I have even used an empty bathtub filled with blankets! - It's nice and white and many bathrooms have sky lights and good sunny lighting. This creates softer shadows and a more natural skin colour.  

    • Position of light source- try not to pose baby with an open bright sunny window directly behind them.  This will make your subject dark with the light behind being over exposed. Instead, position yourself between the window and your baby so that baby is bathed in the light, but you are pointing the camera away from the window.

    • Go outside- I think photos look best outside. Try taking photos on a sunny day outside under a pergola, sail or well shaded tree. Direct sunlight is harsh on a newborns skin and can also cast hard shadows. If you are under a tree, make sure the dappled shade isn't dappling your babies face as well. In full shade, shadows are soft, skin tones are natural, dewy and soft - just like a babies bottom!