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Simple and modern baby photos – getting started




Welcoming a new baby into your life and your heart often means a beginning of a little bit of baby photo obsession. Trust me. I’ve been there, done that, got myself into photography business 🙂

But all too often, the great kind of baby photos seem elusive. We end up with hundreds of phone camera snaps but not so many of the better quality ones, suitable for printing. And I know that often parents start with their ‘proper’ cameras, only to become disappointed with what they get out of it, where in reality, sometimes a few very simple tweaks is all it takes to make the photos look great.

With that in mind, we created a guide in which we explain 10 beautiful, modern and simple baby photos which you can achieve with almost any camera and no fancy props beyond a simple blanket laid out on your bed. The guide is free for you to download and put into practice  🙂  It’s a non-technical guide, meaning we don’t go on about specific camera settings, instead focusing on how to capture the images, using almost any camera, where and how to position your baby, what shooting angle to choose and what common pitfalls to look out for.

Below are a couple of pages from the guide to give you an idea what you’ll be getting:



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5 tips for taking great photos of your children in the bluebells



Are you getting out there with your camera today?

If you want to make the most of the bluebells while they’re still in full bloom, here are our best tips for seriously beautiful photos:

An important caveat here : bluebells are an ancient wildflower but they can be vulnerable to habitat destruction so make sure that when you go exploring your local woods, you cause as little harm to them as possible = don’t pick, don’t trample, leave them as little disturbed as possible. 


1. You want LOTS of them

Pick an area where the bluebells are nice and dense – the strength of a flower carpet is in the sheer volume of the photos – give yourself the best advantage by finding somewhere that has an abundance of flowers! Here is some help finding bluebells near you from the Woodland Trust. Our student Sarah Gannon used the abundance of flowers beautifully – by focusing on the logs in the front, she made the bluebells melt into background, creating a beautiful scene, rich in colour and with subtle texture.


Photo by student Sarah Gannon

2. Think big picture

Before you zoom in on the photos, consider the overall magical scene with the gorgeous flower carpet that’s painted in front of you and shoot that as well – make your photos high and wide, choose a wide angle focal length and picture the whole scene.


3. aaaand the detail

Once you’ve got those wide images, don’t forget to explore the delicate nature of the flowers by going closer in and creating tighter frames. Putting the wider shot and the detail together can give you a really beautiful collage.



4. Get your angles right

Most people shoot from where they stand, without varying the height of the angle and you can make such a difference by getting a bit lower to the ground, you know, where your subject is. Try shooting low, at around the flower height, get your kids to crouch down or sit down amongst the flowers to get the most of it. By shooting low,  you allow yourself to develop a good depth in the photo, almost multiplying the volume of the flowers. Shooting from above and into the ground takes away the sense of flower abundance. In the photo below, the little girl is crouching among the flowers with some at the front being out of focus and some lovely and sharp ( for those of you comfortable around a camera, that’s playing with a shallow depth of field)


5. Bluebells as foreground

Don’t just think of the bluebells as a gorgeous background. Bringing them to the front and either keeping them sharp and your subjects blurry or just using them as a bit of a blurry background can bring a real 3D dimension to your images, lifting them from ordinary, to something a bit more special. Our student Valsa Shah kept the bluebells sharp in the foreground which adds lovely texture to the image. The silhouette of father and a daughter in the background has the perfect blur which means our eyes don’t go there first, focusing on the flowers instead, but at the same time it’s delicate enough to make it clear who they are.

photo by student Valsa Shah

photo by student Valsa Shah




Camera settings:

Choose a shallow depth of field for creating varied texture in the images – ideally you want some flower details around your subject that further melt into the background into a blur of colour and light. You can create it either by picking a wide aperture ( the smallest possible number on your camera), getting close to your subject and zooming in ( ideally all 3 ). Don’t just think background when it comes to creating a texture in the photo – shooting through the flowers brings in a great candid dimension to the photos.

And above all – have fun and mess around with your kids – let them play and  capture the joy! Get them to hide behind logs and flowers and examine the flowers from up close! Play pick-a-boo behind the flowers and encourage them to explore by themselves. When they have fun, beautiful photo opportunities will always follow – you just need to capture them!

Happy snapping!

Want to learn more of what your camera can do? Check out our photography courses, designed especially for Mums and Dads with a passion for photographing their families – just like you! Pick from face-to face, London based classes and Online workshops.

check out our courses

London classes






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What to photograph when you photograph babies?

What to photograph when photographing babies? Because, well, they don’t do a lot, do they? How to capture something interesting when all they do is lie there / sleep and feed? HOLD THAT THOUGHT.

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The most common mistake in portrait photography

There is one thing, that without you ever touching any of your camera settings, dials, buttons and modes can be the make or break of your photo. It’s a mistake we see most often with new photographers. And it’s one you can correct with a flick of your wrist.

I’m talking about your zoom lens. Or rather the fact that your zoom lens does an awful lot more than just zoom.

Most people assume that your zoom is there to bring distant object closer to you. The more you zoom, the more you can bring them in. By the same logic, your ‘least zoomed in’ lens position is therefore the ‘neutral’. Right? WRONG! 

Check out the two images below. The first one was taken with the lens not zoomed in at all and the second, zoomed in to the max (within the constraints of that particular lens). We moved a few steps backwards with the latter photo to maintain the same proportion of the portrait in the frame for comparison.


Quite a difference, wouldn’t you say? Now, you may not know the child in question, but I can assure you, that she looks nothing like the first photo. So what happened here?

The photos above illustrate beautifully how the length of your zoom ( or to give it it’s proper name – your Focal Length) changes the way the space in your photograph is shown.

So what does the zoom actually do? 

The less you zoom in, the more your camera will stretch the space – if you take a picture of a room at your least zoomed in and compare it later to what it looks like ‘to the naked eye’ you will see that the photo will make the space appear larger, longer, deeper, more spacious – now you know the estate agent’s favourite tool!

So far so good, but unfortunately, especially when you take a photo up close, it will do the very same to the person’s face – stretch it, skew it, exaggerate the facial features, producing an extremely unflattering image.

By contrast, zooming in, compresses and compacts the space, making the space look smaller, distances shorter, and human faces – much, much more flattering (with the added bonus of often creating the blurry background we like so much). It will also reduce the amount of visual clutter in the background of your image. Just compare the two images below and how much you can see behind the child in the first and second image.

lensWhat is best for portraits then? And how do I know how much zoom is enough?

If you have a DSLR, chances are that when you look on your lens, you will see some numbers on the side – on most lenses that come with DSLRs as a standard, they will often go from 18 – 55.

  • 18mm, for most entry level cameras will be the shortest Focal length – the least zoomed in – it will give you the widest, longest largest space and alien looking portraits
  • around 30mm – this will be most ‘life like’ when compared to the view with the naked eye. The portrait will be fine, though if you get to close, it may still look a little ‘off’. Generally safe enough for portraits though.
  • 50mm and more – that’s when the compression comes into play and people start looking their best.

If you’re shooting with a compact or a bridge camera ( where the lens doesn’t detach and there are no markings on the lens) you’ll need to do a little trial and error to determine where your good portrait range starts. Test your zoom range by standing in the same point in the room and taking a succession of images of the space , changing nothing but the zoom – a little bit at the time. Witch each picture compare how the space feels to what you see with your naked eye – when it starts looking about the same or smaller than your actual space, that’s where your good portrait range starts.


  • Find a willing portrait volunteer
  • Set your camera on the longest zoom first – try to fill the frame with your subject’s face so that their face covers at least 50% of the frame – leaving just a little space above the top of the head and below the shoulder line. Take the picture
  • Try to recreate the same image with reduced zoom ( around 30mm this time). You will need to get closer to your subject to achieve it. Take the picture.
  • Bring your zoom all the way down and get closer still to your subject – you may be finding yourself almost uncomfortably close to them. Remember, we’re trying to get the same proportions of face to frame.
  • Compare the images – notice how the face changes with each zoom change. If you have a longer lens ( 100 or 200mm) try it as well to see how it affects the image.

A little caveat here. I am not actually advocating never using short focal length ( small zoom) with people photos again. The advice above, applies mostly to portraiture, and especially when you are relatively close to the person you photograph. It is still absolutely fine if you want to capture a wider scene and when your subject is a little distance away.


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New creative exercise – the colour challenge

Feeling like you’re taking the same children’s photos over and over again?

It’s so easy to fall into a routine with anything, photography included. We tend to be drawn to the same poses, the same angles, the same perspective and before we know it, we’re in possession of hundreds of photos that only vary ever so slightly. If that rings a bell, it’s time to set yourself up a challenge and see how what you see through your lens, changes – and with it – your photos.

Today’s challenge, if you’re willing to accept it is COLOUR.

It’s amazing how a choice of colour can make or break a photo. Use it to accentuate a point of interest and that’s where everyone’s eyes are drawn. Usea toned down palette of similar pastel colours and your photo goes from boring to dreamy. Use contrasting background and make things ‘pop’ agains it.

Your challenge for the weekend is to pick a colour or a colour palette and  try to incorporate it into your children’s photos you’ll be taking throughout the weekend – be it in the background, as an accent element or just recurring splash of colour. Think about how it dominates or defines parts of your photo. Observe how using it in the background or the foreground makes a difference. Match it with similar or contrasting colours. Whatever you do, it has to be in every photo you take.

Some inspiration for you below: