Photography

Must-know camera settings for taking photos of babies

Post by
Jitz Lim
Must-know camera settings for taking photos of babies

Babies are not the most compliant creatures when it comes to being photographed. They don't like to sit still and often want to wiggle, roll or crawl away from the camera.

To overcome these challenges it is important to master your technique and camera settings when including babies in your photos. Once you've mastered the process you'll be able to get the shot right quickly and ensure that even a moving baby results in a sharp image on camera.

In baby portrait photography, you’ll need to consider the exposure settings, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, including white balance and focus.

Let’s dive deeper into what those settings entail.

Shoot in RAW

The first setting to consider is the file type. Should you shoot in JPEG or RAW? Always shoot in RAW. RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor. This ensures you are capturing the highest quality files out of your camera.

Shutter Speed

Generally, when working with babies, we want to be quick and without hesitation. Therefore choose fast shutter speeds. There's nothing worse than capturing a great moment that is blurry because the shutter was too slow. With good daylight, use shutter speeds between 1/400 - 1/500 to freeze every precious moment!

Aperture

Use narrow aperture (f4 - f8) when photographing babies with products as we want to have the baby and the product in focus.

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ISO

We should always try to stick to the lowest possible ISO (ISO100-400). In order to achieve this, set the shooting scene in a well and evenly lit area (eg. beside a huge window). Using a low ISO will minimise the appearance of noise in the image.

Focus mode

As our subject is constantly moving, we should change our focus mode from AI Focus to AI Servo (Canon) or AF-C (Sony & Nikon). In this mode, the camera continuously tracks focus on the subject.

Use bounce flash

Bounce flash is simply a way of taking your on-camera flash and moving its flash position so the light bounces off the ceiling to the subject. Basically what this does is it creates a huge softbox on top of your subject. This helps soften the light and creates even lighting. Start with a few test shots with the lowest power on the flash and dial the power up until you achieve the right exposure.

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