This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Pictures Of Mother And Infant. There are limitless numbers of positions in which the mother and baby may be placed to secure pretty and pleasing effects. The mother may be standing with her back to the camera, the child resting over her shoulder, facing the camera. Another popular position is to have the mother seated in a large chair with the child lying on her lap looking up into her face. Another very pretty picture can be made with the mother seated in an arm chair, the baby resting on the chair arm, supported by the mother, both looking toward the camera. A similar position is presented in Illustration No. 61.
448. Other positions may be secured where the infant is placed on a small couch or settee, with the hand resting on a dainty little pillow; or the mother may hold the child in her arm in the act of cuddling it, thus showing the profile of the mother and about two-thirds view of the baby. Be sure to place the baby on the shadow side of the mother, permitting the mother to receive the strong and the child the more subdued illumination. An arrangement of this kind will be very successful, as very sweet expressions can be secured, the mother alone knowing exactly what to do and what to say to please the child and secure the innocent smile.
449. Pictures of children, especially the baby's first picture, are of special interest to the whole family and frequently to a large number of relatives. They feel that their presence is required to see that the baby looks its best. It may seem somewhat arbitrary to prohibit their being present when the exposures are made, but as their presence only tends to mar the results, and makes your task more difficult, they should be kept out of sight of the child. Better still, a suggestion that only the mother, and perhaps the attendants, accompany you to the skylight room, will prove still more satisfactory.
450. No one should interrupt your efforts to amuse and interest the little subject, and you should strive in every way possible to keep the child from losing interest. As little ones tire quickly, work rapidly and never apply more than one method of amusing at one time. If your good nature is ever brought to the fore, it must be at this time, for with its lavish use the desired expression can usually be obtained. At the same time be on the lookout for the proper expression, and with bulb in hand, snap the shutter the moment you observe it.
Best Time Of Day For Photographing Babies. The forenoon is the best time of day to photograph babies, as they are then refreshed and bright, after their long sleep. Later in the day they are usually tired and are not easily amused or interested.
Obtaining Expression. Always have the child's eyes directed above their level. In this way you will obtain a brighter and better expression. Remember that the expression of the little one is what the parents desire, and if you secure it the chances of pleasing are better, even though the drapery and accessories are not entirely perfect. To direct the eyes properly, you may find it necessary at times to step close to the child, with either a bright-colored handkerchief, some toy or noise-producing instrument. Get the child's eyes centered on this and then cautiously recede towards your camera. You will find that the little one will follow you closely, and by raising or lowering the article in your hand you can direct the eyes in the correct direction.