If you have ever done a search for tips on how to photograph a two month old, you have probably come up empty! Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be too much inspiration out there for this age. They are definitely out of the sleepy newborn stage, yet unable to sit, tummy time is a short lived affair and they will most definitely not be happy being squeezed up into different positions. So you’re pretty much left with laid-on-back with arms and legs rigorously moving at the speed of light! Not incredibly flattering if truth be told. On the plus side, they are not quite at the three month (cute) blob stage ;-)
Okay, okay Dr Skeptismo has left the building! I’d like to offer some starting tips that will help you creatively photograph your two month old.
TWO MONTH MILESTONES & LOVES
Once you take some time to think about what your two month old is doing, you will soon realize they have made such huge leaps in their development in such a short time! The first month is a whirlwind and most of us are in survival mode! However the second month provides time to take everything in and to get to know your little one’s developing personality. I so enjoy the new found leg kicking and crazy arms, displaying his enthusiasm and excitement when I say his name or even displeasure when I walk away! Hands are opening and closing, no longer permanently tightly clenched shut. Not to mention those cute little smiles and talking with his tongue which is also new to this second month. Now to creatively capture these moments on camera!
Not only was I excited to capture these milestones but I had also been playing around with a different natural light set up that created such a beautiful backlit haze. Scroll down for more on the set up! Meanwhile I hope you can take away some inspiration for shots and angles on photographing your own little one!
THE SET UP
I am extremely lucky to have so much light available in Mattheus’ nursery from the tall windows. I do however have to work around the sun shining directly into the bedroom over the course of the day. Previously I have set up on the opposite side of the room but in this set up, I placed Mattheus low down in front of one of the windows which created a soft back light. I moved the light reflector around depending on which way I lay him to fill in the shadows, especially on the face. If you are not looking to create a silhouette effect then you will definitely need some light on the side not facing the window to get clean, crisp images. You will need to keep your speed high enough for the kicking arms and legs to be in focus whilst keeping your f-stop as low as possible to blur and soften the background. If you find your room is not very bright then set the ISO higher. The ISO was set at 400 for these pictures. I often prefer my pictures to be on the brighter side so I will also usually slightly over expose and go up to +1 on the light meter.
Thinking that you can’t afford better equipment? Think again. The only equipment I use is an older Canon DSLR model EOS 550D, the kit lens, a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a light reflector. I used Lightroom 3 for post processing. If you’re on a budget and find you’re missing a few extras that you see in other photographer’s set ups, try to improvise before you invest as seen below. If you find you need the same piece of equipment over and over then that would be a good time to purchase.
And lastly, I don’t like to over edit, but I do like to do a few touch ups to even out the skin tone, reduce some of the redness and edit out some two month baby acne (its a fact of life!) As this shot was taken from above, it was the only image that needed a little extra editing to brighten up the side in shadow. The left side was still far darker than the right side and needed balancing out as you will see below. Et voilà!