Zoe : Photographing A Baby

I got a surprise sms about 3 months ago from one of my best friends, Paul. He’s a daddy now! Oh boy! And he wanted me to make a set for his precious daughter, Zoe.

I knew exactly what I’m gonna do as I have been reading on articles about photographing babies (for this blog site and for upcoming baby projects as well).  Let me share to you some very practical and easy tips, as I share to you some shots we came up. =)

Before any technical related tip, I have to say, talking with the parents/guardians for some moments will surely help you. Ask them about the baby’s mannerisms, mood, anything about him/her. And then, spend some time with the baby. Try if you can make him/her smile! Get him/her to be familiar to you. Sing, make faces, be a kid. =)

Now, the first thing I do on site is to check for lighting. It is very important to consider and to choose ambient/natural or available lighting — we do not want to expose a baby to flash or strobe, or if ever we use such, we use them indirectly, or bounce it. In the case of my shoot with Zoe, we found a room in their house with a big window with enough amount of natural light to bring soft focus to the baby’s skin. Do not to use direct sun, it is unhealthy and harsh, so use curtains to filter.


Now, you can place your subject in the manner you want to, paying attention to the lighting and the shadows.Move around, and you can move them around as well, to get desired drama in lighting, as the one above.


Get your ISO to 100-200, aperture between F 1.4 to 5 and speed at 1/60-1/100. Play around that setting and set the mood you want.

The next tip I can give is this : Click Click and Click. On shooting babies, we never know when they will smile. They are very unpredictable. Expect tears and tantrums. You may use continuous shooting mode. Believe me, you may get a few in about 20 clicks.


I am such a fan of macros. So macro away as well. Shoot the feet, the hair, the ears, the skin, all interesting things about the baby. Shoot in different angles. Do not wait for the moment, just keep the camera shooting. Make the moment.

You may want to keep it simple. It looks more professional and yes, it makes things a lot easier. White linens always work for babies, but you may also try to use other colors. Earth tones and pastel colors are nice.

Now this one is pretty. You may want to capture the baby with the parents. Moments will overflow here. If you want, you can play a nice baby themed song or lullaby, just let the mom and dad be. I tell you, you will be surprised to how wonderful shots you will get. It can be emotional. Make sure you capture those precious moments!


Here are some moments I have captured from that shoot.


You may use any DSLR body when shooting babies BUT I highly recommend using a 50mm lens. It gives the perfect distance of you with the baby. It can give you a really yummy DOF at f1.8- f2.You may use pillows or bean bags instead of tripods to move around and keep still. Silver reflectors will be brilliant to bounce light.

It may seem that babies are easy subjects but they are not. They are very challenging. But if you are open and friendly, it will be easy. If you are awkward, the baby will be, too! Do not forget to get a helping hand as babies crawl, cry, and will need food and changes from time to time.


Here’s a bonus! I also did a short baby vid of Zoe!

Zoe from Jayd Ramos on Vimeo.