Creating connection with a baby client is essential for capturing beautiful, unforgettable photographs and that is my goal Every Time I photograph a baby. Some ages are easier than others to work with (*cough* 6-8 month sitters *cough*) but it’s definitely not impossible to make a connection with any little that comes for a photo session.
Here are some tips and techniques that I use to help with creating a connection during a baby photography session:
- Get down to their level: Photographing the baby from their eye level can help in creating connection between photographer and baby. I kneel or sit on the floor to get closer to their level. Another tried and true technique is “flirting” a little bit. I have a rolling cart in the studio that I hide behind and play peek-a-boo with the baby. I pop out from different spots so they’re never quite sure where to expect me and I make silly noises and gauge the response. If baby is enjoying the show, I keep it up until their diaper is changed or they’re in their outfit for the session. If baby seems anxious or isn’t engaging, I’ll re-evaluate my plan.
- Use a calming voice: Talking in a soothing and gentle voice can help calm the baby and make them feel comfortable. Softly singing a lullaby or nursery rhyme can also help when creating connection. Singing is a must in my studio OR I’ll pull up their favorite soundtrack on Spotify and have the parents sing and clap. Sometimes saying, “Yay!!!” while clapping helps make baby feel good and allows her to loosen up and have fun.
- Use props: Props can help create a fun and playful atmosphere that can engage the baby. Consider using toys or items that the baby is familiar with, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. One of my studio must-haves is a squeaky green frog. This always captures the baby’s attention. Another trick is using a soft duster (one that has *only* been used to tickle baby toes and has never been used for cleaning!) – if mom or dad wields the duster, it’s usually a good time and has baby reaching super adorably in the photos! Creating connection is easy with props!
- Take breaks: Babies can quickly become overwhelmed, so it’s essential to take breaks throughout the session. This can help the baby relax and make them feel more comfortable. Sometimes it’s a water break, other times it’s a cuddle break. My baby only sitter sessions are 45 minutes because baby’s attention span isn’t much longer than that (a one year cake smash runs an hour but ending with the cake draws out the fun for a little longer). Giving a baby the breaks she needs is essential in creating connection.
- Get parents involved: Parents can help create a sense of security for the baby, so it’s always a good idea to involve them in the session. I encourage parents to interact with the baby and often capture unplanned candid moments between them, which are always cherished (and perfect for creating connection!).
- Be patient: Babies can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to be patient during the session. I allow plenty of time for breaks and am prepared to work around the baby’s schedule. Sometimes babies do better earlier in the morning, others are later sleepers so I always ask the parents when the best time is for baby and we go with that. Creating connection is way easier when babies are well-rested and happy.
- Capture natural expressions: Natural expressions can be some of the most beautiful moments to capture. I capture candid moments when the baby is engaged in play or interacting with their parents and I always try to get light in the baby’s eyes for that extra special close up portrait.
Creating connection with a baby isn’t hard at all. By following these tips and techniques, it’s incredibly easy to work with the baby and capture beautiful and meaningful photographs for their parents to enjoy for a lifetime 🤍🤍🤍
Featured on Subkit, Liz Viernes Photography is based near Clarksville, MD, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.