Baby Photography: Eye Contact
Baby photography can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also be a pleasurable hobby, as parents are often pleased to see pictures of their precious child, and you can practice plenty of interesting and artistic shots. On the downside, children are sometimes less than willing participants in a photograph, and they can be awkward or even tearful. When this happens, it can be difficult to get full eye contact with a baby or small infant. If you have this problem, then you have a few options from which to find the best solution.
Getting Eye Contact
Perhaps the basic tool of baby photography is the stuffed animal. Babies are drawn to anything colorful that moves, so a stuffed toy which is large enough to sit on the top of the camera while you take the picture--and which can be bounced up and down--will be perfect. You might also look at making funny noises to pull the attention of the baby towards you, or perhaps get the mother to stand behind the camera and wave at the child. The latter will have to be used with older babies, as a newborn child will probably not be able to focus upon the mother.
If the child has been crying, then you might want to take a close-up of the face just afterwards, as you may find teary eyes can look very appealing. Black and white film is probably best for this kind of shot. Sometimes, babies just won't look at the camera, and you may have to try other things to get a good shot of the child...or just be patient and wait.
When Eye Contact Is Not Needed
You might also be inclined to forget about the eye contact. Babies don't often meet other's eyes in real life, so having it look off in another direction might give the baby a more realistic image. You might also want to concentrate upon expression, with the baby smiling and laughing, or looking slightly tearful.
If you do find that the baby looks away, then you might try adding something behind the child. A pet or soft toy might help to give the child something to look at, making its lack of contact with the camera understandable. You might also like to try out various angles and positions, so the child appears from the side, or perhaps caught in a moment of play. Action shots help to avoid problems if the baby won't look at you. Keeping the baby in focus will help a great deal with all of these problems, but you should also take advantage of sudden funny faces, from an open-mouthed laugh to an open-eyed stare.
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