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Operation Smile! 10 Ways to Take a Great Baby Photo

Let’s face it: taking a cute baby photo is foolproof — at least it should be with a model as tiny and as wide-eyed as your little one. But any new parent quickly learns that capturing that perfect shot can be a feat, unless the cherub is sleeping. Babies have minds (and sudden movements) of their own and have no appreciation (ok, understanding) for your need to make them standout from the crowd on Facebook and Flickr.

Since we’ve talked about baby photos a bunch on Babble, we decided to round up our favorite tips for you, like using a prop such as this adorable, crocheted tail to the left. After the jump, find out what you need to know when hiring a photographer, how to get infants to cooperate, ideas for creating a sentimental series, and more. — Jillian Capewell

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  • Keep it simple 1 of 10
    Keep it simple
    If you're aiming for something more au natural, all you need is an unadorned backdrop and natural lighting. Turn off your flash, and photograph your baby near a window or open door and you'll have photo magic.
    Get more tips for the basics
    Photo credit: Crissy Page
  • Take advantage of down time 2 of 10
    Take advantage of down time
    You may feel completely overwhelmed in the first few weeks with a newborn — but the fact that they zonk out pretty hard during those naps gives you a little time to create some of the adorable photos seen here. One mom even got a book deal from her naptime boredom!
    Find more creative baby poses
    Photo credit: Marianne Taylor Photography
  • Learn from someone whos been there 3 of 10
    Learn from someone whos been there
    Ever wonder how a screaming, pooping baby suddenly looks like the height of calm and serenity once a newborn photographer steps on the scene? It isn't magic — it's all about preparing the baby's photoshoot environment. Apparently heat and food can make a huge difference!
    Get a photographer's tips and tricks for a newborn photo shoot
    Photo credit: Arden Prucha
  • Hire a photographer … but be careful 4 of 10
    Hire a photographer … but be careful
    If you'd rather have someone else snap away to get that perfect, precious shot of your baby, go ahead — but make sure you have a clear idea of the type of photo you want (posed or candid? With props or without?) and the amount of money you can spend before diving in.
    Read more about hiring a photographer
    Photo source: Earth Mama Photography
  • Do a series 5 of 10
    Do a series
    Don't take just one baby photo — take a whole set! Showing how your baby has grown and changed against a static background is a great visual effect.
    Find different ways to track your baby's growth in photos
    Photo credit: Famille Summerbelle
  • Start while you’re pregnant 6 of 10
    Start while you're pregnant
    Want a stunning baby portrait to send to your family and friends? Take a cute picture while you're still pregnant, and then take a similar one once baby comes.
    Check out these maternity photo ideas maternity-to-baby photo ideas
    Photo source: Natalie + David Fenn
  • Add some style 7 of 10
    Add some style
    Fans of more natural photographs may think costumes scream "cheesy," but a simple knitted cap or pretty fabric to swaddle baby may take your baby's photo to the next level.
    See more ideas for photo props
    Photo source: Etsy seller NattyHatty
  • Use props 8 of 10
    Use props
    As your baby grows, she can adapt to more photo situations, including posing with props. Whether homemade or store-bought, props are a playful way to capture a significant milestone or party.
    Learn how to make your own props
    Photo source: Craftaphile
  • Make baby the prop 9 of 10
    Make baby the prop
    Surprise your Facebook friends by using your baby as a prop in any of these silly photo set ups.
    Get alternative baby photo ideas
    Photo credit: Team Boo
  • Use an unconventional frame 10 of 10
    Use an unconventional frame
    If you want to take a regular picture and make it pop, then it's all about your display. There are countless options from collages to mismatched frames that are sure to grab any visitor's attention.
    Learn how to display your best photos
    Photo credit: Polkadot Umbrella

 

Find more tips on taking baby photos from a professional photographer

Photo credit: Karen Swimmer

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