In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our professional photographer helps our apprentice take her first steps taking infant portraits. Find out her baby photography tips for taking classic, timeless images.
Our professional photographer
Tracy Willis has only been photographing babies professionally for the past two-and-a-half years, but has won many prestigious awards and has just been named People Photographer of the Year 2012 and Overall Photographer of the Year 2012 by The Guild of Photographers. In addition to photographing infants in her Bournemouth studio, she trains others in the art of baby portraiture. See www.maternity2mischief.co.uk
Originally from South Africa, Carmen Furlonger now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and seven-month-old daughter Ava. She has built up an extensive portfolio of photos of Ava as she grows up, but feels her baby portraits lack the pro touch and came to us for help…
Tracy asked Carmen to get set up to shoot some babies, then suggested these changes…
“Carmen set her camera to Av mode and a wide f/3.2 aperture for a shallow depth of field, but I find that this can be a little too shallow, with vital detail dropping out of focus. My go-to aperture is f/5.6 as this ensures that baby’s features are sharp while allowing the background to blur.
“I also advised Carmen to shoot in Manual mode at around 1/100 sec to sync with the studio lights, and at ISO100 for best quality. Most important of all is to shoot in raw format so you can get the very best from your shots in Photoshop.”
Manual AF point selection
“Carmen set the camera to Single AF point selection, but was using the central AF point to focus, and recomposing. I explained that when shooting up close, even the small movement of swinging the camera for a more pleasing composition can be enough to shift the focus plane, meaning that details aren’t as pin-sharp as you’d like.
“I showed her that, by pressing the + zoom button, she could easily scroll through her AF points to place a point on the baby’s eye for pin-sharp focus, without taking her eye away from the viewfinder.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Baby photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final baby photography tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
19 stellar posing tips and camera tricks for flattering pictures of older people
Male Poses: 17 tips to make him confident and comfortable for your camera
17 posing tips and in-camera slimming tips for shooting curvy models
Maternity photography ideas: 17 tips for pregnancy photos she’ll cherish forever
Our most popular portrait photography tutorials of 2012