Photography expert, Me Ra Koh, inspires you for this month’s photo contest theme, Sleepy Baby, with a simple photo-recipe to tell the story of your baby’s most peaceful moments!
There is something heavenly about a sleepy baby. I remember the stress of being a new mom, all the things I felt insecure or overwhelmed by, and then if I turned on the news I’d burst into tears. But when I saw my babies in deep slumber, I felt like everything was going to be okay. A sleepy baby fills the home with peace and rest. This month is all about how to capture your sleepy baby. The first few tips are for newborns and the next set of tips are for older babies. May this month’s simple Photo-Recipe, a shortened excerpt from my book Your Baby in Pictures, inspire you to capture the sweet moments of quiet that come when your baby gives in to sleep.
A Newborn’s Yawn
You would think a newborn’s yawn would be easy to capture (since it seems they are always either eating or sleeping), but you’d be surprised how much thought is required. The key is to capture the yawn at its pinnacle, the most exaggerated and dramatic point.
• Wait till your baby gets sleepy, like after a bath. During the day is best so you have plenty of light.
• Have dad or whoever else is around hold the baby, standing next to a window, or sitting in a chair in good natural light.
• Get as close as you can while including both dad’s and baby’s head to fill the frame. We want baby’s yawn to be the focus, so anything distracting from it should be framed out.
• Focus on the baby’s lips and take the picture. If the lips aren’t in the center, reframe your image to center them.
Nap Time for Baby
Isn’t it amazing: One minute your baby was sleeping all day long, the next minute he’s alert and curious! That’s why this is the perfect time to capture baby before he wakes. (I’ve assumed that mom will be taking the picture and dad will be snuggling up with the sleepy one, but you can reverse roles, too.)
• The best time is while your baby is in a deep sleep, preferably during the day.
• Choose a spot for your baby to nap that gets lots of natural light, such as on a bed by the window. Spread out a black or dark-colored piece of fabric for your baby to sleep on, and put her down to nap in just her diaper. Dad should dress in a white T-shirt. Have him snuggle in close to his sleeping baby so that when he tilts his head down, their foreheads touch. Make sure the baby’s hands aren’t hiding, because we love to see those little, chubby hands!
• Experiment with shooting this moment in a vertical direction. This will accentuate the length of baby snuggled up to dad (or even an older sibling!). Try a horizontal shot and focus in on baby’s sleepy face. Notice how the simple choice of a horizontal vs vertical format changes the overall feeling, even energy, of the photo’s story!
Enjoy! I can’t wait to see what you all submit, and especially where your creative juices lead you!
Me Ra Koh loves cameras, kids, and moms and spends her life bringing them together. She is the regular photo expert contributor for The Nate Berkus Show on NBC, and her work and popular photo-recipes have also been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Lifetime Television, and VH1. She is the author of the bestselling book, Your Baby in Pictures; The New Parents’ Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year (Amphoto, 2011), as well as an inspirational speaker holding her CONFIDENCE Photography Workshops for women nationwide. Me Ra is proud to be a SONY Artisan of Imagery, as well as host her annual SOAR! Scholarship Program for aspiring women photographers. She is honored to be a guest blogger for Our365. You can learn more about Me Ra at www.merakoh.com.