BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Julie L. Curiel
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/6/2003

Shooting children and babies

I'm wanting to get into shooting children and babies in my little home studio. My question is, when shooting children in a studio setting, how high do I position the camera if the child is standing/sitting on the floor? I don't want it to look like I'm shooting from above so I would want to be more on the child's level. If this is the case, then how high do I position my lights? Same with babies, I'm assuming I'm going to need a table of some sorts covered with fabric and a baby poser made of foam I've seen. How do you get the table to not stand out from your background and what kind of table or poser is safe? I'm still just getting this started as you can tell so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

To love this question, log in above
2/22/2004 7:56:13 PM

Joy Carlsen   Hi Julie!
Im not much of an expert myself, but from the work I have done in the past -I would definetly try to put the child up on a table or chair -some type of prop. It is much to hard to get the right angle when you are shooting something on the ground. I suggest just getting something big enough so if they move a bit -you dont have to worry about them falling off! I would go to a fabric store and get a bunch of fabrics in all sizes and colors, they are great to have around anyways. I would refrain from using posters in the background -they are flat and can cause glare in the shot if you dont light them just right. I would go with better props like Teddy bears, flowers or maybe a painted canvas, nothing with any sheen to it. Putting the kids in things is a great idea too, like pumpkins around thanksgiving, or baskets, buckets with flowers...get creative! Parents love that sort of thing and makes for a more interesting photo! Hope that helps -good luck!

To love this comment, log in above
3/1/2004 6:40:37 AM

Liza M. Franco   Julie, get a piece of fabric that is large enough to be a backdrop that can come down and go under your subject. This will help eliminate the look of the table as you mentioned. I would also suggest a really large table so that you can come in close to the subject and not see a leading edge of the table. A great baby poser is a bean bag placed under your backdrop or fabric. This is a great way to photograph newborns or really small kids to make sure they stay put. The foam baby posers are up there in price. Feel free to e-mail me if I can help in any way. I've done photos of little ones for quite a while. I specialize in vintage style photos and prefer to shoot outdoors because I find that children are more relaxed and natural looking when they aren't cooped up in a study setting. However, I live in NC and due to the cold weather have been forced to do more studio work. I have studio lights and umbrellas but I prefer to use natural light if possible. Hope this helps.


To love this comment, log in above
3/6/2004 10:13:33 PM

Adele M. Errington   Julie I have done lots of work with small children and babies as I worked for olan mills . In order to make it not look like they are on a table you must move in close or as liza suggested use a fabric big enough to cover table and background area. Use lots of props like stuffed animals and such. As for a baby poser you can get one of those neck roll pillows as a poser or a bean bag chair works great too. Sometimes something so simple as a baby sleeping with nothing around them is a wonderful shot. Small children to get attention get bubbles a feather duster feather boas they love that stuff. I found bubbles really work and if they are scared play on floor with them for a bit so they get comfortable with you. Hope this helps.

To love this comment, log in above
4/30/2004 6:26:05 PM

Cindy K. Bracken
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
I never use a table! You can definitely do it on the floor. I use a two umbrella strobe system and I hand-hold my camera. I position the lights low and it works great! I never have to worry about the baby falling off the table.

Thanks and good luck!

To love this comment, log in above
6/28/2004 9:09:18 AM

dennis w. mcclain   yea im shooting a baby for my first actual photo job, im using white muslin back drop, and going to get a wicker basket, paint it white. as far as getting on there level, that just it. all the things I read say get on there level shot with soft light. alot of things ive read say also greyscale is a good way to go, very forgiving

To love this comment, log in above
9/3/2004 10:15:51 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.