Baby Love: Tips from a Baby Photo Shoot

10/20/2008 at 08:00 AM ET
Baby Love by Rachael Hale

When I heard that Rachael Hale, the photographer behind the gorgeous new book Baby Love: An Affectionate Miscellany, was in need of a few models for a shoot day in New York City, I leaped at the chance to place Isadora in front of her lens. Known for her stunning animal portraits, Rachael recently turned her focus to little ones, and the results are magical. Her portraits make all her subjects look like the most beautiful babies in the world. Her lighting and color palette brings out the loveliness of their skin, and she always manages to do something surprising and playful. At our shoot, she had one little boy in a bath, and another in an adorable pom-pom hat. Isadora was handed a hydrangea, which she found very amusing. I paid attention to Rachael as she was photographing the babies, and came up with a few tips that I think we — and you! — can use at home to get your own amazing photos.

For some inspiration for your own amazing baby photo shoots, pick up a copy of Rachael Hale’s new book, Baby Love, $18 at

— Angela M.

To see the results from Isadora’s shoot and some tips that Angela gleaned from the shoot and the book, click More.

Isadora & The Hydrangea; Copyright Rachael Hale Trust

A few Baby Love photography tips:
1. Don’t be afraid to act really silly.
Rachael certainly gets into her own zone when photographing babies. She bops up and down and makes noises that can only be described as chimp-like. It totally works! The kids were in love with her.
2. Play peek-a-poo with the camera. Once you get your shot lined up, hold the camera still and move your face to the side with a loud "Boo!" It’s a great way to get a fresh reaction and smile from the baby.
3. Use props minimally. Let the baby be the star.
Rachael places the babies on a mattress set on the floor, with a piece of cloth hung behind as a backdrop. She keeps a few little things handy, like flowers and accessories.
4. Don’t push it. The smartest thing Rachael does is to act quickly and call it quits as soon as the baby stops having fun. Though frowns and pouts can certainly be cute, the best photos show how much fun everyone is having at that moment.

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