Capturing The First Year {five months}

photographing-five-month-old

Nearing six months you’ll definitely not want to miss all that your infant is able to do right now. Showing off his new found skills and doing them repeatedly as you shoot away! Admittedly I have a million and one images taken on my phone over these five months of my three boys but once a month I plan a mini styled session with the baby to really home in on the changes and hope to capture him in his everyday environment with shots that are also wall-display worthy!

SIMPLE STYLE

As much as I love colorful outfits and toys, I like to keep things simple when it comes to a  styled baby session. Naked baby or a white onesie is usually my go-to to avoid too many competing patterns and textures. This creates more focused attention on the details that may otherwise get lost, such as that hand reaching up or locks of hair. I try to shoot in the spaces that he’s familiar with around the home, such as his play crib or the bed. Being in a familiar environment also helps me to control the lighting and maintain a consistency over the year. I’d recommend de-cluttering a little nook for a clean and calm space. (Your pile of laundry will not look ok in the background!)

{*For a similar session, I’d recommend using a prime lens. And, please don’t leave baby unattended on a bed at this point!) 

THE UNPOSED POSE

Unposed doesn’t mean unplanned! First, you will need to establish the ideal spot for your baby with ample natural light.  You may need to set up a light reflector for additional light. You could even move things around a little to make use of the light coming in from the windows in your home. If shooting in low light you may be interested in reading through these tips.

When placing your baby in the chosen space, think about the angles you’ll be shooting from and how the light falls on your subject as you move around.

Start simple. No props! Ask yourself what development milestones your infant has reached and what you would like to prioritize in the pictures.  This month, when placed on his back, Mattheus spends most of his time drawing his legs up playing with his toes, rolling from side to side. Interact with your baby, let him lead and avoid putting them in positions that they can’t hold unassisted. You are capturing their playtime.

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USE OF PROPS

I am not a huge fan of props, (this is just personal preference) but the advantage of using a prop is to highlight what your baby is able to do with it. If you chose to use a prop, try to keep the color neutral just like the outfit. A stuffed animal with some texture rather than a bright teething ring can give a calm, pleasing aesthetic look. Knits and buttons also look stunning in black and white.

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CAPTURE THE EMOTION

Their connection to an object at this point is a joy to watch and can really display their understanding and perception of their world! Pay attention to how they study objects and especially how their face lights up when they see a familiar face or a stuffed animal with a smile. And then of course, on the other end of the spectrum is sheer frustration that they can’t quite get the entire toy in their mouth! Get these shots too!

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TELL THE STORY

Try to put together a series of shots that can show a sequence of events. A look of triumph below was captured after many attempts of rolling over!

Notice the beautiful catchlights in his eyes as the crib was placed closer to the window which he naturally is drawn to look at. I also had a reflector placed on the opposite side to illuminate the left side. Remember to move around; get down low, from above and the side, all to get the differing angles which will further emphasize the story. A note on focus; I often set my AF selection to manual focus, but this is even more necessary if shooting through crib bars (with the focus on the eyes).

How to photograph five month old baby

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If you missed the earlier months, click on this link to be taken to the Capturing The First Year series.  I cannot tell you how encouraged I’ve been to receive so many messages of how this series has helped you along in your photography and I look forward to hearing more!

Come join me on Instagram! Don’t forget to tag or mention me in your shots for some feedback and connect in with other enthusiastic mama photographers as we look to share ideas and creativy.

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