Infant Portraiture

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Cruzan80, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So as we can all keep commenting on Amin's new addition, I decided to start a new thread for those of us who have recently had arrivals, or are expecting.

    What did you find worked for you? Didn't work? Modifications you needed to do? Expectations (that may be abandoned)?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    I found crawling around the ground with them helped. Really just be at their level. But most importantly, just play with them and try to snap a shot here and there and not make it the sole thing you do.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Yep, this is pretty much a universal rule with portraits. You need your eyes to be level with the subjects. Either raise the kid or "crawl on your belly like a reptile".

    Also, with very young infants (<~6-8 months) you should generally avoid longer lenses. Their faces are usually rather flat and any "telephoto compression" works against getting a good rendering. Use a more "normal" focal length and work fairly close.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    As a new father (4 week old), I've had really good luck with the Oly 45mm with available light. The catch is that they are almost always while baby is sleeping. It is challenging to catch his eyes open while there is good light and there is enough time for a photo or two before he gets hungry or otherwise fussy.
    My in-laws printed a few of the pictures and the staff at Walgreens flagged them as professional and asked if they had print rights. So :43: is good enough to fool Walgreens. :biggrin:
  5. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I got some great keepers of my son from 3-12 months with the 20/1.7. it was a great focal length offering a little bit if added cuteness from close up distortion while also giving me some great "normalish" portraits.

    I needed to upgrade to to the 17/1.8 for AF speed when he got walking to freeze motion.

    Then I found bounce flash to help even more with freezing motion and getting nice even skin tones indoors.

    I'm thinking the best kit would be the new olympus 12-40/2.8 with the FL600R flash.

    I still use the clip on flash that came with the EM5 when the FL600R adds too much bulk to carry around. a reflective card works great for bounce.

    Attached Files:

  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I have the most luck with normal or short tele lenses. On MFTs, 20-45mm is about right. Close enough to interact with them. I try to concentrate on getting the right moment and find that "image quality" is less important. And I take lots of photos.

    Here's a recent favorite of mine. Image quality is poor (bad lighting), but I love the expression of my two-month-old. Taken with GX7 and PL25 wide open.

    P1060048 by Amin Sabet, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Great expression, Amin (btw, your embedded is broken). Thinking of just keeping my camera at my side, and doing a collage frame of the faces he makes over a 2-3 week period. Never knew baby's were so expression-full!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mievil

    mievil Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2013
    San Diego
    Only thing that worked for me was waiting for her to go to sleep. haha
  9. mf100

    mf100 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Sawbridgeworth, England
    I've been trying all week to take some decent photos of my new baby boy whose 10 days old today. Problem is the lack of available natural light. Being November in the UK natural light all but disappears by 3pm for it to make any difference, added to that it's been very over cast, and it's been too cold to do anything outside.

    I've attempted to use flash which has definitely worked, but I realise I've got a lot to learn re flash.

    All that said I've managed to get some pleasing shots this afternoon.
  10. mf100

    mf100 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Sawbridgeworth, England
    I also meant to say the 12-40mm has been brilliant for baby photos. The close up focusing distance is great for photos of hands, feet etc.
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