Who doesn’t love tiny baby toes, fingers and those lips are so perfect.
By setting up and creating macro detailed shots during your newborn sessions, you can capture those very important details to add to your gallery of images for parents to love and cherish forever. Parents love to see what their babies fingers looked like or if they had curly toes or long toes.
If you have a macro lens but have been putting it off, now’s your chance to dust it off and start putting it to use.
Macro photography can take some practice, but that’s the fun part. If you have never tried newborn macro photography, or have but feel there is something missing, put your fears or uncertainty aside and tag along for some easy tips and ideas below to get you started in the right direction… before you get up close and personal.
Equipment: What will I need?
What if you’ve never taken macro images or even owned a macro lens? No worries, you don’t have to buy a big expensive lens to achieve some beautiful macro detailed shots. If you are unsure about macro photography but would like to take a test drive, you can purchase some macro filters for your standard portrait lens for about two cups of Starbucks coffee! Make Google your friend and find filters to fit your type of camera. Depending on your commitment and funds, you can also search out your favorite lens rental company and rent one to see if you like it. There are several macro choices out there and it’s personal preference to which one is right for you. I’ll say that for my newborns I’ve used the 60mm f/2.8 macro and the 100mm f/2.8macro lenses and they get the job done I need.
Timing: When should I take macro shots?
Macro shots can be taken anytime during your session and work best when baby is settled and sleeping. To be consistent, plan out if you will be taking your detailed shots in the begging, middle or end of your session. That way, you will start to establish your workflow within the session and you aren’t walking away only to remember you forgot. I’m guilty myself for this. I prefer to shoot the tiny details towards the beginning after a few poses have been done or if the baby is laying in a bowl prop with their hands and feet exposed. It’s then super easy to have my macro lens close by and just swap out my lenses when it’s time. I prefer to take all my macro shots at once if possible, reason being honestly, so I don’t forget later.
Details & Shooting Tips: What details should I photograph?
Some of the common and fun details to captures are toes, fingers, lips, eyelashes, hairlines, ears and belly buttons. Don’t limit yourself to just body parts either. If you’re more of a lifestyle photographer, capture tiny details of the babies nursery or items that the baby uses daily like pacifiers, bottles or a special blanket. Try to have a clean background with not a lot of variety of colors or shapes so the focus is on the detail not an overpowering background. Use various angles and lighting to play around with and see what looks good. If you are having trouble picking up focus in Auto switch your lens to Manual focus. Since you are going to be shooting SUPER close and want to get the most out of your details, try closing down your aperture to F4.0 or more. You’ll get more in focus being that close than say shooting wide open, unless you are going for that type of look. If your images are looking underexposed, don’t be afraid to crank up your ISO. Move your settings around in manual to experiment and see what you like, remember this is supposed to be fun.
So let’s have some fun.
Here are a few detailed macro shots taken implementing some of the tips mentioned and how I achieved them.
I hope I hear some macro lenses being dusted off !
Happy macro shooting,
As a former school teacher, and now a full time newborn portrait photographer, Malia has combined her love of children and teaching to help others spark their passion in their own newborn photography journey. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it. Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.
And, if you want to learn more about macro newborn photography I’ve love to see you in my Newborn Beginnings course in the Fall. You’ll get encouragement, support and of course lots of play and practice. Sign up for our VIP list to see when the next course opens and visit the newborn course pages for more detailed information on each course : Click here: Newborn Beginnings & Click here: Newborn Flare Courses
It’s an honor to be photographing the world’s newest little human beings. It takes that special touch, patience and a pure love. She believes emotional connection makes for influential newborn portraiture and that anyone seeking that, can find it.
Malia lives in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with her most supportive husband and her 3 fun-loving children. As the owner of Malia B Photography, she photographs the cutest babies in the Valley of the Sun.
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