I'll be honest. I didn't think much of taking pictures of babies until my wife and I had one. Babies can be tricky subjects. Fortunately they're really cute. I think mine is the cutest, but I'm probably biased. 

  • They stay where you put them. You don't have to worry about them wandering off in the middle of a shoot.
  • They won't pull out their phone and start taking selfies while you're trying to take their picture. (Yeah, that's happened.)
  • Very cute. 
  • They don't take direction well. 
  • Short attention span. 
Things they have in common with Gary Busey:
  • They may pee on your equipment.
  • They will probably scream, and may cry.
  • They'll cry a lot.
  • They have no tolerance for people who aren't prepared. 
Special equipment: 
  • Big soft lights that won't tip over.
  • Heat lamps to keep baby warm.
  • Stuffed animals to distract or entertain baby. 


I wanted to have our baby lit with warm, golden light. Contrast that with a cooler, bluer light on the white background. This is a color grading technique used in movies all the time. Orange light compliments her skin tone. It enhances warmth, and evokes feelings of love and connection. 

Blue is opposite on the color wheel from Orange. These are known as "complementary" colors. Setting up this consonance within one frame makes it visually appealing. There's balance in the colors. These colors represent many opposites we see in every day life. Fire and water, day and night, land and sea. 

If the frame was two objects, one lit in orange and one in blue, the viewers' eyes would go to the orange object first. That color pops over the blue color for prominence. Faces are the most effective image for grabbing a viewer's attention. Couple that with a warm golden light, and you've got it locked in.

Photography technique part - Lighting

The easiest way to achieve this was using the gold side of a big reflector, and 2 flashes on the opposite side. One flash had a 1/4 CTO (orange) gel, and a snoot. This one I set at higher power. The second flash had no colored gel, only a large beauty dish to diffuse the light. Flashes emit light that's slightly bluer than daylight, so I didn't feel the need to add a colored gel to this one. 

The snoot on the orange flash concentrated the light into a small circle. I directed this at the golden reflector. All the light from the flash hit the reflector first, and then lit the subject. The snoot prevented spilled-over light from illuminating the subject before hitting the reflector. Although the flash was physically outside the right of the frame, it acted as if it was set up on the left. 

To fill the rest of the shot, I had a second light next to the first one. With a beauty dish on this un-gelled flash, it evenly lit the rest of the frame. The subtle blue light on the right side of the frame fades off, directing the viewer's gaze back to the face. 

A note on framing - I left room at the top for text. This shot became our chosen photo for birth announcements to mail out to family and friends. Not everyone is on facebook. Plus, everyone likes getting mail that's better than bills or junk mail. I think this qualifies as better than that.

Who doesn't love things with ducky feet?