Photographing Babies, Birth to One Year – Tips and Techniques

One of the questions most often asked on various photography forums is how to photograph infants and young children well. People are always looking for the best poses, props and so forth. I have been photographing babies and young children for almost 20 years.

The single most effective tool in your arsenal is knowledge.

There is a world of difference between a newborn and a 3 month old.  Quantum leaps in development occur between 3 and 6 months of age.  A 9 month old does not resemble a 3 month old in any way.  And the one-year old is the reigning sovereign of infanthood.[…]

Depth of Field – Photography Tutorial

I want to talk about depth of field (DOF) and why it matters. First, a definition:

In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, the depth of field (DOF) is the portion of a scene that appears sharp in the image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on either side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF, the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions. –Wikipedia

Aperture and Depth of Field, Photography Tutorial


Outdoor Portraiture – Photographing Families in Natural Light

Natural Light Photography – Part 2

Fall is approaching and this might be a good time to talk about how to handle an outdoor family session.  This is a good tutorial for those with a limited amount of equipment.  All you really need is a fairly good camera.  It would also be nice if you have a couple of different, fast lenses at your disposal. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to rent those lenses at a surprisingly low day rate.

Outdoor Portraiture - Photographing Families in Natural Light


Photographing Young Children with Low-Key Lighting – Tutorial

Tips for Photographing Children – Part 1

There is no doubt that photographing young children can be a challenge, and never more so than when using a low-key lighting setup.  So why bother?  Because the drama and richness inherent in this type of lighting is SO worth it and because it’s unexpected for high energy children’s photography. For the purposes of this post, young and active will be defined as children between the ages of one and four (toddlers).

Photographing children with low key lighting tutorial.


Outdoor Portraiture – Overcoming Challenges

Natural Light Photography – Part 1

With the whole, wide world out there to shoot in, why would anyone bother with a studio?  I’ll answer that question and then move on.  The best reason for having a studio is control.  Indoors, you have absolute control of climate, background and lighting.

However, not everyone has a studio, a camera room or even wants one (in a later post I will discuss ways to convert almost any room in your home into a camera room with comfort and ease). Or maybe you do have one, but want to break out of your cozy little comfort zone and take it to the streets.

Outdoor Portraiture


Low Key Portrait Lighting Tutorial

Studio Lighting for Small Spaces – Part 2

In my last post I discussed a classic four light, high key on white, lighting setup.

“But Deborah,” you say, “I don’t have four lights.  Or three.  Or really, even two.  I just have the one.”  No problem.  You’re perfectly outfitted to do a beautiful, classic low-key lighting setup.  Your camera’s dedicated flash unit could even be set up off-camera to achieve this result.

Low key portrait lighting tutorial.


High Key Portrait Lighting Tutorial

Studio Lighting for Small Spaces – Part 1

This is the first in a series of lighting tutorials. I think it’s a good idea to understand the basics of a thing. Learn the rules first and then break them with impunity later.

I offer this lesson freely from the bottom of my heart to the world at large, because frankly, bad lighting makes me cranky.

I have been setting up functioning, working studios in sometimes surprisingly small spaces over the span of two decades. My last camera room measured approximately 12’x16’. This lighting ‘recipe’ worked great there:

High Key Lighting Tutorial

What is high key lighting?[…]