Nothing is more momentous than the birth of a baby. With family gathered around to meet the little bundle of joy, a birth is an event to remember. Many couples take their own photos or have a friend or family member do the honors. Unfortunately, if the amateur shooter is a nervous and distracted, the photos may not do the occasion justice. The precious pictures may come out blurry, off-center, badly set-up or just plain unflattering.
LoveToKnow Baby asked Sandra Coan, a professional photographer specializing in labor and delivery photography, to offer our readers her best tips and tricks on how to get a great photo every time. From creative ideas like shooting the clock just after the birth to capturing the machine that records the intensity of contractions, Sandra has a wealth of user-friendly tips to offer.
Sandra is a nationally recognized photographer and has been featured in several publications, including ePregnancy, Showing Style, Plum, Bump, Seattle Bride and The Knot.
What should parents dress their children in for the best photos?
It depends on the age of the child. With little babies, less is more. Too much clothing tends to look too bulky on little babies and can hide their sweet faces. I always recommend my clients dress their infants in a plain white onsie, or diaper. For older children, just stay away from logos or patterns. You want your child to be the focus of the photo, not his shirt!
What kind of camera is easy to use and takes great pictures?
There are a lot of great digital SLR's (single-lens reflex cameras) out there that are reasonably priced and can be programmed to be fully automatic. The nice thing about using an SLR is that you don't get the delay you get with most point and shoot cameras.
What are some holiday picture suggestions that parents can easily do?
I think the best holiday photos are candid. I know we all want the cute picture of our darling little one(s) smiling into the camera, but that is often hard to get. I say, make some room and let them play with some ornaments that you put out on the floor, or a strand of garland and see what happens!
What are some easy tips for taking great baby pictures?
One of my favorite tricks when photographing babies is to put a sticker on their belly or foot. They'll spend a long time trying to get it off, and you'll get some great candid looking photos of them playing with their "toes" and "tummies".
How do you reduce red eye?
Avoid using flash! Sit your child in front of a window and shoot from an angle to avoid back lighting. You'll get no redeye...and natural light is so pretty!
What are some tips for taking pictures outside?
Shooting outside can be hard. Just be mindful of the light. The biggest mistake people make is putting their kids in bright sunshine. This causes big shadows on the face as well as squinty kids! Look for a big patch of shade where the light is even...everyone will be much happier.
Do you have any other tips or advice you'd like to share?
Just have fun and take a lot of pictures! These little ones grow and change so quickly!
What is your photography background?
I have been a professional photographer for eight years specializing in maternity, infant and birth photography. I feel like I have the best job in the world! I get to be with people during the happiest times in their lives, and I get to hold a lot of really cute babies!
Where can our readers see some of your work?
View Sandra Coan's beautiful work at Sandra Coan.