Photographing babies can be tricky. They’re not very good at staying still and they probably haven’t mastered the art of posing yet. But it’s so important to document those precious first years when they’re changing every day because you’ll look back on them forever. Luckily there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you get the best results out of the cutest subjects.

1. Choose your style

Before you start taking your photos, decide on a style and stick with it. Be aware of the difference between portraits and documentary style photos. Also choose what look you are aiming for in each photo and it will be much easier to achieve it.

2. Take time to observe

While it’s a good idea to take many photos to be sure you get the perfect one, don’t just spend the whole day snapping photos. Take time to observe the smaller details, how the child moves when playing, what position it prefers to sleep in, when they are most likely to smile… and use your observations to concentrate your photography on the best moments.

3. Interact

Don’t be afraid to interact with the children, capture their attention and get a reaction. A toddler’s attention span can be quite short, so make sure you optimise the time they are looking into your camera.

4. Get low

Try and get down to the child’s eye level. This will make them look more proportionate and will avoid giving the impression you are “looking down” on them. It’s a great way to access the child’s world on an equal level, and show the world as they see it.

5. Be creative with colours and background

Just because the child is the star of the photoshoot, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on the environment surrounding it. By matching colours, textures and adding nice props you can make a standard photo into a beautiful piece of art.

6. Control your lighting

While lighting preferences can be a subjective matter, a uniform, diffused light will usually be more flattering when taking photos of a child. Consider shooting photos in rooms with big windows that allow a lot of natural light to enter. If shooting outdoors, take advantage of the later hours of the day, the “golden hour”, when sun is almost horizontal on the horizon and the light is warm and even.

If you need to use a flash, try not to have the light hit the child directly. If possible, orient the flash so that it bounces off the ceiling, or cover it with a white plastic bag, to soften its harshness as much as possible .

7. Control your aperture

If you have control of the aperture on your camera, don’t set it at its widest value. While it’s true that f1.2 or f1.4 give that dreamy shallow depth of field, you run the risk of not having all the child’s face in focus. To ensure you have a good depth of field remember to stop your lens down a little.

8. Include other people

While the baby is the undisputed center of attention during the photoshoot, take some time to include family and friends interacting with it. This will bring a more “real life” vibe to your photos and make for some special memories for your loved ones too.

9. Don’t forget the details

Just because the baby fell asleep doesn’t mean it’s time to put the camera down. This is the perfect moment to capture details that might not be easy to photograph in other moments. A close up of the baby’s little feet, or its hand holding on to a warm blanket will add some variety to your photos.

Armed with these tips we’re confident your baby photos will look better (and cuter) than ever. And now you’re ready to show off your beautiful photos on a beautiful photo product. Try creating a photo book of favourites or make a wall art to hang in your home. Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram using the #mybonusprint hashtag so we can see what you have been creating.