Best flash settings for baby photography

Baby photography tips

Do you have a baby due soon and you’re keen to shoot some nice newborn baby photography at the hospital.

Any photographer who doubles as a parent likely will be, and you’ll likely be wondering what are the best flashgun settings to use?

The relatively hard light of a flashgun generally makes for poor baby photos. To shoot baby photography, you’re then better off sticking with ambient lighting.

Baby photography tips: flash menu

Most current SLRs are capable of low-noise images at high ISO settings, so increase the sensitivity to around ISO1600 or ISO3200 to avoid camera shake.

Room lighting usually provides pleasant soft lighting, but keep an eye on white balance and switch to a Tungsten or Fluorescent setting if the shots look yellowish.

One neat trick is to use an angle-poise bedside light, which you can reposition for the best effect.

If it’s daytime and you’re near a window, try using daylight as the main light source.

A sheet of white card or A4 paper can work well as a reflector to fill in the shadows.

Baby photography tips: best flash settings for newborns

Shot at f/5.6 for 1/50 sec using ISO1600, this softly lit baby portrait uses the hospital bed’s angle-poise lamp as the main light source