Tips for Photographing Children with Amy Guenther and Lindsey Stock
We love Photographing Children. More specifically, we love simple, minimalist portraits that keep all of the attention on that adorable little subject. Whether you shoot in a 2,000-square-foot commercial studio, a small room in your home or travel to your client’s home, you can easily achieve simple and sweet baby portrait images. Read on for some tips on styling, equipment, lighting and posing.
Monochromatic Styling & Props
The key to minimalistic portraits is keeping everything monochromatic with your setup. We know what color seamless paper backgrounds we have, so we make sure to only purchase outfits and props that match those colors. We use our own seamless paper line for all of our minimalistic baby portraits. The 53” is the perfect size for babies because it’s easy to switch out quickly multiple times during a session, and you don’t have to do a lot of background editing in post since you’re working with a small subject. We don’t use a lot of elaborate props for our baby sessions. We do, however, love to incorporate a simple box, bed, bowl or chair as long as it’s the same color as the rest of the set. These simple props can be helpful to contain a mobile baby or assist a young baby with sitting. The fewer props you use, the more focus is on the baby.
Equipment, Settings & Lighting
Our gear of choice is a Canon 5D Mark IV, and for baby portraits we use the Sigma ART 50mm f/1.4. It’s the perfect length for baby portraits because we avoid distortion and can get all of a 53” seamless backdrop in the frame, but we can still shoot in a small space, fairly close to the subject. We shoot pretty wide open at f/1.8 and focus on baby’s eyes. This results in a nice dreamy feel to the images.
We typically use a one-light system when shooting baby portraits on seamless paper. We use an Einstein strobe with an 86” PLM with a spill light cover for the modifier. We also like to use either a white wall or a large reflector on the opposite side as the light to keep the backdrop lit evenly. The light is positioned as close to baby as possible without being in the way of your shots. This will create the softest light and shadows on your subject, which is what we’re always going for with babies. The PLM is positioned at about a 90-degree angle to the direction the baby is facing. We tilt our PLM down slightly for baby portraits so that the light is coming down baby’s face. This gives us a nice Rembrandt lighting style. If baby is lying down, we do not tilt the light.