One of my oldest and very dear friend had baby last month. I was so excited I could hardly keep it to myself. I’ve known her for 19 years now, so this was a BIG deal. I took the first opportunity to drive to her place and give her a surprise visit. (Its something I dont recommend doing to a new mother unless you absolutely know what you are doing.)
While I was there I had less than 24 hours to meet them and taking some photos was very high on my agenda. With a baby there is no good time to take a photo. or a good setting. After trying for hours to get everybody in the room together, after pacifying and feeding the baby we had about 30 minutes to take all the photos. And those are times you just have to get silly and start playing around with the surroundings.
Ideally, a photographer has a nice background, a couple of studio lights and a enough time to figure everything out. I on the other had one flash and the house.
So step number one.. bounce your light if you cannot get a diffused light. This is a tip I’ve learnt from a photographer I’ve come to admire. Neil Van Niekerk. His blog about how to use a flash on and off the camera to get some great pics have helped me a lot with my Canon 320ex.
Step number two – Forget about the background, lets just use a plain wall and figure the rest out later. Actually I got a great idea a bit later to use a window as my background and then blow the details out to create a white background (another tip I got from Neil’s Blog)
Step three – Shoot at different angles and keep improving on the angles
It doesn’t hurt to have a particular pose in mind when you take photos, my Initial plan didn’t work out as well as I thought so I had to improvise a bit. My friend and her husband were ultra cool about all the crazy things I made them do. I tend to nit pick about little things like unkempt hair, asymmetric lockets etc. etc.
Most importantly… shoot in RAW. There is just so many options to fix things later on.
I think I made the best of the time I had there. I got some amazing photos of the new family that made me very very happy. I hope you like them too.