Here’s a nice and easy setup for baby photography . If you ever wondered what might be a good way to get those nice baby shots, this will work! First, keep things easy. Go for a simple lighting setup. Like that you can concentrate on what the baby does without having to worry too much about the lighting. For this shoot I set up a 90×120 Elinchrome softbox at camera right. The softbox was at a 45 degree angle from camera-subject axis. The light was kept horizontal and almost touching the floor. Like that you get a nice soft wash of light that wraps around the subject. On the camera left was a big white reflector, a polystyrene foam panel of 1.20×2 meters that I picked up from the construction market. We put the baby on a seamless white background that we lit with two strobes fitted with umbrellas. The seamless is in fact a roll of white painters’ canvas, the widest I could find. It’s not exactly photographers gear but it works wonders. We measured the background to be lit 1.5 stops over the subject and we got it perfectly white. My studio isn’t too big, so I actually got some spill from the background lights, which works as fill. Not according to the book, but the results look nice, so what the heck. Finally we measured the key light to be at f11, and we were all set to go to take some lovely baby photographs.
One thing I quickly learned is that babies don’t sit still. They move in unpredictable ways. So not a bad idea to shoot at f11 instead of lets say f5.6 or so. That gives you just a bit more focusing margin. What else do you need? You need a baby wrangler, someone to grab the attention of the baby with toys and moves and sounds and whatever have you. If they can’t sit up you need someone to keep the baby as well. Here we just worked with both parents. The baby was very comfortable like that. It only took a little while to get those smiles we were after.