THE BLOG

The Best Tips and Tricks for Taking Pictures of Babies and Infants

03/18/2015 01:40 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2015

What are the best tips and tricks for taking photos of babies and infants?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

2015-03-18-1426698449-5267362-Mira

Answer by Mira Zaslove, Zoe's Mom, enjoys travel, photography, and negotiation

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times! Babies are amazingly cute. But they move too much, they are totally unpredictable, and they will not pose. As a first time mom, who enjoys photography, I've taken a lot of baby photos. And I've learned a few tips. It takes practice, patience, and lots of shooting:

  • Focus on baby's eyes & aim for soft natural light. Either get down on the floor with baby and shoot at their eye level, or place baby at your eye level. This photo was taken at my eye level and near a window. The natural light creates nice catchlights in the eyes. Steer clear of a harsh flash or direct sunlight, both are unflattering for a baby.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Shoot fast! Babies move constantly, so keep your eye on shutter speed. If your photos are coming out blurry, it can be because you're shooting too slow. The photo on the left is taken 1/15, and the one the right 1/250. You have to set your shutter speed to be faster than 1/30 to prevent the baby's motion from being blurred and you also have to set shutter speed to 2-3x the focal length of your lens to keep your shaky hands from blurring the photo -- so if you're using a 35mm lens, shoot at least 1/70. Or set your camera to 'sports or burst mode.' That way you can take a burst of photos, and you'll have higher odds of getting a crisp, in-focus one. Babies can go from smiling to crying in 2 seconds, so set your camera settings before you start shooting.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Crop photos to fill the frame. Babies spend a lot of time harnessed in car seats and strollers. Inevitably you'll take photos with distracting elements. Crop out the clutter and fill the frame with baby's face. Crop close.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Watch all corners of the photograph & eliminate distracting elements. I like this photo of my daughter, but too much is going on around the edges. It would be a much better photo if I moved the toy car and garden hose out of the way before shooting. I like her expression, and the lemon, but the rest is just too much and distracting to the main movement.


Mira Zaslove Photography

The photo below is less cluttered and baby takes center stage. I also used a a wide-angle fisheye lens, which is fun. It gives a different prospective.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Remember Mom and Dad. Baby is the star, but don't forget to include the supporting cast.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Follow the action. Have the camera handy at all times, especially when baby is doing something for the first time. Action and candid shots provide for new and "non-posed" looks. A genuine look of surprise, and even fear, can be cute.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Remember scale. My daughter is now a year and a half years old, and already she looks big to me. However, just a few weeks ago, my husband got a big pot, and she climbed into it. It was an adorable moment, and reminded me of her size.


Mira Zaslove Photography

  • Don't forget the details. Those small feet and hands are too precious, and make for great photos. I love a photo of my husband and daughter holding hands when she was just weeks old.
  • Keep baby's nature in mind. If your little one likes to run around in the park, take pictures there. If she's happy in the bath, take a shot there. Don't try to get an active baby to stay still, it isn't going to happen. Similarly, if your baby likes to sleep, catch her snoozing. Also keep in mind that baby's have a short attention spans, and will get cranky fast. Get everything ready and be quick. Finally, smile a lot, and praise baby. Keep it fun, so they won't stress out when they see the big bad camera coming out.

More questions on Quora: