Baby Portrait Photography Tips – Show Scale

A few weeks ago I talked about why you should never stop shooting when photographing babies. Today I want to share another important thing to think about when photographing babies – showing scale. With images of a baby alone you can’t really get a feel for the size of the baby. You could have a very tiny premie and in some of the images that are close-ups you don’t really get the full scale of how small the baby really is. A great thing to do is to incorporate other items into the shot to get a sense of scale. One thing that can show scale well is to use a piece of furniture. A really ornate chair can be such a cool shot and if the piece of furniture has special meaning to the family even better. It’s always good to ask them if they have any pieces of heirloom furniture in the house or anything that has a story to it.

This also opens up a great opportunity to come back for a few more shoots and document the babies growth. Shooting them in the same chair over and over during the first year of the babies life is a really good way to document the changes over a period of time. I always encourage my clients to try and get 5 shoots of the baby during the first year (newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and one year).

You can also show the scale with mom or dad’s hands. If you are shooting a newborn this is a really great way to show how tiny and delicate the baby is. This example is shot in a studio against a black backdrop but you can easily shoot this in the home using a very simple background and finding some good window light coming in. Just pay close attention to the backdrop, you want something that is simple with no clutter so a blank wall is perfect. The focus of the shot is really the juxtaposition of the parent and the baby, so you don’t want anything else to distract from the image. If they don’t have a blank wall around you can setup a quick and easy background with a larger piece of fabric. Even a large black or white sheet can come in very handy for a shoot at a clients home.

Think of how many different ways you can show the scale of a baby, there are so many things around a home that you can set the baby against or in. You really do have limitless possibilities so have fun with it!

If you have any great images that show scale well share them with everyone by adding a comment below or posting an image to our Facebook wall at http://www.facebook.com/digitalphotobuzz

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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