Your little bundle of joy is here, and you want to capture every moment with them! But seeing beautiful photos on Instagram and Pinterest might have you wondering if you need to invest in camera equipment to get the most beautiful newborn photos possible.
The truth is you don’t have to!
Suppose you have an iPhone or another smartphone with a high-quality, built-in camera like the Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy. You can take wonderful photos of your newborn with very little additional investment.
Keep reading to get the most out of your smartphone camera and amazing baby photos!
1 | Know the functions of your camera.
Camera functionality will vary a bit depending on your phone model, so the following is based on the iPhone 11. Check your phone to see exactly what kinds of features you have and how they work.
– Portrait Mode
You’ll often see beautiful newborn photos with the focus on the baby and a blurred background (called the bokeh effect). If you were using a camera in manual mode, you would create this effect by setting your focus on your baby and setting the f stop to a low number.
But many built-in smartphone cameras now make it easy for you with portrait mode!
To get that lovely bokeh effect, head to portrait mode on your camera app. Then, tap your screen to tell your phone where you want the camera to focus.
You can even adjust the amount of blur on some phones by finding the f stop setting and changing it to a smaller number for more blur and a higher number for less blur.
And as a bonus, it negates the need for your background to be picture perfect.
Read more about using portrait mode here.
– Burst Mode
Burst mode is another excellent trick for capturing great photos of your newborn. You should be prepared for movement if you’re taking candid pictures of your baby (and they’re not asleep!).
That’s where burst mode comes in!
Using burst mode will allow you to take several photos very quickly in a row. This means you’ll have several moments to choose from and a better chance of capturing that perfect moment between the wiggles.
If you’re on an iPhone 11 or 12, check out this article to learn how to use it.
Lighting is probably the most important aspect of photography. And many smartphones let you take control of it!
Exposure is the setting on a camera that determines how much light the camera lets in.
A higher exposure lets in more light. A lower exposure lets in less light.
Many smartphone cameras have a flash setting for dark environments, but setting the exposure can often be more reliable and result in better quality photos (not to mention, it won’t wake or startle your baby with a sudden bright light!)
If you’re in a darker environment, change the exposure to a higher number. If you’re in a brighter environment, change the exposure to a lower number.
Follow the instructions in this article to find the exposure setting on an iPhone 11 or newer.
2 | Make a small investment in a smartphone tripod.
You don’t have to buy much to capture amazing newborn photos, but a tripod could be worth your money!
Smartphone tripods are easy to find in most big box stores and online. And they can be inexpensive!
Because they’re designed to be used with smartphones, they typically fold up to be small and compact and could easily be tucked away in your diaper bag or stroller. Check out some examples here, or look at your local store!
Now, why should you buy one in the first place? Having a tripod gives you a couple of advantages.
First, you’ll be able to keep your phone still, even if your baby is moving! Some tripods even come with remotes to ensure the phone remains as still as possible, resulting in clearer photos of your baby.
Second, you’ll be able to use the timer function. Using the self-timer for your newborn photos means your hands are completely free to play with your baby while you snap pictures. You can be off-camera, entertaining your baby and making them smile, or you can be in the photo with them!
3 | Edit pictures after you take them.
Most smartphone cameras provide options to add filters to your photos while you take them. However tempting that might seem, consider editing after taking the photo!
Photo editing on a smartphone is an easy task!
You can choose to add filters from the native app after taking the photo, which gives you the freedom to pick the look that works best for that photo.
You can also use the native app to adjust the lighting, fix colors (is your photo too blue? Or too orange?), add drama, and more! Check out this article to learn more about editing with your iPhone app.
Our smartphone cameras have come a long way in the last few years, allowing parents, small businesses, and hobbyists to capture beautiful scenes without investing a lot of money on expensive equipment. Although there’s nothing like having a professional take photo of your newborn, capturing beautiful candid moments with your new baby has never been easier thanks to smartphone technology.
Have fun and enjoy capturing memories with your little one!
~ Christin Sanders