I love the internet - where else can you catch up with someone you haven't seen since high school and pick up instantly? Well, I haven't seen my friend Courtney in *ahem* a number of years, but from her Facebook page it seems the only thing that's changed about her is the number of gorgeous children… including her latest who is 5 months old today!
So in celebration of today Courtney, here are some tips for capturing your baby boy!
First things first - find your pocket of great light. Where are the good windows in your house? Glass doors? No glass doors? Take advantage of this gorgeous weather we're having down south and open one up! Windows and doors take the bright sun and diffuse it into gorgeous portrait-taking light, so find your best and brightest portal and plop that baby boy down at the edge of the light. (Or you might want to try a baby doll first so he's fresh when you get your camera settings perfect!)
What do I mean by the edge of the light? Here… see how my not-so-little one *sniff* is positioned just on the shadow side of the light?
Now look what happened when I put my duff down just inside the door - me sitting in the light, and her just on the other side - magic! And since she's facing the light - look at what it did to her eyes!
Now lets talk about backgrounds. From what I've seen on facebook, your little man should be lifting his head and pushing up. Since we want a decluttered backdrop, use a bench, ottoman or even a chair like the one Sydney's sitting on and place it behind him. Now take a very neutral blanket (dark and heavy wools, felts, etc work nicely - but so do plain white down comforters!) and drape it over the back of the ottoman spilling onto the floor under him. It doesn't have to be perfect, just make sure it's not distracting. If it's large enough, you could even put a boppy or a dog pillow underneath it to give him some reinforcement.
Next - you have a Sony DSLR-A300 camera, so rather than get into how to use your manual controls (because I'm just not familiar with your camera!), lets try and take advantage of the built-in portrait mode. That should be your equivalent of Aperture priority mode. While you're at it - turn off your flash! You want all natural light here. According to the Sony Website, there should be a "flash off" position on the Exposure Mode dial.
Also, check your ISO. If you find a really great pocket of light, you should be able to stay between 100-400. The lower the ISO the better RAW files you have to work with on in your computer. How do you know what that number should be? Take a test picture. Too dark? Bump your ISO. But be careful - go too high and you'll introduce noise.
Speaking of Raw files, are you shooting in RAW or JPEG? For these precious portraits, you want to be in RAW, or at the very least, RAW + jpeg so you have both on hand. Just make sure your memory card is clean so you have lots of room!
Okay - now that you're done with your menus and dials, get on your belly and shoot! Go eye to eye with that baby boy. Connect, laugh, tickle, sing Elmo songs! Don't just rely on your zoom - get in close with your camera. You don't have to see the whole blanket in every shot. What if you just got his head? Just some toes? Get down low with him and just see what happens! Just make sure he stays facing the light!
And finally - come over to the boards and show us your pictures!!