• Ian Crowson Photography

Good Day from Southsea - Photos of Babies and Children

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Blog of Ian Crowson Photography. Thoughts and advice about taking photos with a drone or a camera. Crow's-eye has landed.

Happy Baby Pose

This position is well known in yoga. I call this a studio style photo because I set up the lights, camera and props and then the baby was placed in position. He is just six months old and can hardly sit unaided, The happy baby pose was ideal.


I used two Elinchrom D-Lite studio flashes with soft boxes, one higher to the left and one at baby height to the right. (check out the catch lights in babies eyes) The soft boxes placed like this give a soft and even light which suits babies.

Unless you have a large studio/room low powered flash heads are better. I used a Elinchrom D-Lite One RX Head and a D-Lite Two, each with 70cm (27inch) softboxes.

Getting Ready

We have a large life like doll, Ben, which I use to check out the lighting and exposure.

Ben sits happily whilst I mess about, a baby would not!

I adjusted the power level of each flash head to get an even light.

Mum and Granny helped. I like my subjects to have eye contact with the camera in portraits. Granny leans over my shoulder singing and clapping, you might get a smile too. The viewer of the photo gets a feeling of engaging with the subject.

The Set

The photographer needs to get low down relative to baby. Here the baby is on a large table on the fleece blanket that is supported on a frame behind and above the subject. This make things so much easier for Grandad.

Camera and Settings

I used my Nikon D850 DSLR with a Nikon 85mm f1.4 portrait lens. the two studio flashes were fired remotely by the triggering device on the camera's hot shoe.

Camera settings. Captured in RAW, manual exposure mode, aperture F12, shutter speed 1/200th sec, ISO 200. I used auto white balance and very little adjustment was required in post processing. You could use the flash setting, especially if shooting jpeg.

I used spot metering on auto. My technique is to focus on the subjects eyes, hold the focus by half pressing the shutter button, compose and then shoot. A portrait where the eyes are out of focus is not good.!

Calculating exposure

The camera is set to manual. So long as the shutter is set to around 1/200th of a second and the ISO is set (not on auto) then using studio flash you only need to adjust the aperture (size of opening of the lens). I have a flash meter but don't often use it. Have the camera's screen set to medium brightness and check out the test shots. Adjust as required. Get the histogram showing for more guidance.

By the way if you don't have studio flashes try bouncing a speedlight off the (whitish) ceiling.

Happy snapping

bye from crow's-eye in Southsea, off to walk our dog, Dylan, in the rain.

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