Whatever the subject matter, I ALWAYS like to shoot in what I call the "natural habitat." Studio settings have always appeared too formal to capture the personality that can come with shooting at home, but a lot of clients are worried that at-home shoots just don't "work" for their house--trust me, they do. With ample window lighting and close-cropped images, even the most cluttered nursery can become a sweet and stunning back-drop for your little bundle of joy.
1. Get Warmed Up
Take a few practice shots. Don't worry about what's going on in the background just yet, get comfy next to a window and feel-out your subject, and the lighting. Mom or dad won't mind making kissy-faces at their new addition while you figure out what works for you
Mom disctracts baby while I work my angles
...and dad too
2. Get the Details
Baby's tiny hands and feet look just about perfect cradled in their parents' hands, so now that you've got your lighting down start snapping those miniature fingers and toes. Betcha can't even tell this little angel is shrieking her head off right now!
3. Move Things Around
So what if the cradle doesn't belong by the window? We're not practicing feng-shui right now, we're trying to make baby look good, and by close-cropping the pictures and focusing on baby no one will be the wiser that the rest of the room is in complete disarray.
Distracted by shiny object...
4. It's OK if They Cry
...so don't get discouraged if they shed a few tears.
5. Have a Snack
No, not you...the baby! Not only can the tender moment's shared between parent and child be a great photo opportunity, baby will be totally ready for their close-up in their post-feeding bliss. Plus everybody knows babies smile when they have gas, so here's your chance...
Totally chilled-out on milk
A gassy face is a happy face
6. Play Dress-Up When They're Sacked Out
After that snack, baby can get pretty sleepy so this can be the perfect time to slip-on that hand crocheted outfit grandma made and end the shoot with some refined shots of your sleeping beauty. By now you know what's working and what isn't so you can move baby right where you want them while they're fast asleep.