Some say that wedding photography is the most challenging event photography type. But that’s just because they didn’t try to photograph a baby that has no intention of posing. Baby christening photography requires patient, technique, advanced preparations, and a good dose of luck. A baby christening involves a church episode, a party episode, and many relatives eager to be photographed near the baby. This is a kind of event where a photographer has to look for stories, funny and emotional snapshots but also has to deliver portraits and family memories. It is a hard job, but here are some tricks for a well-done job.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Do your research before the event. Visit the church and evaluate the lights (the usual church ambient doesn’t have much natural light). Talk to the priest or church staff and find out the rules you have to follow. In some churches, you are not allowed to use a flash. In others, you are not allowed to turn your back to the altar. Visit the party location and evaluate the design and tables arrangement. Talk to the parents and find out what kind of pictures they like (portraits, family, snapshots, funny moments, feelings, romantic etc.). You can make a list of ideas and keep it on hand for the event.
Choose your gear
Choose your gear depending on what you found out in the previous step. For portraits bring an orange filter to do black and white photographs. They are powerful and emotional, and the orange filter is exactly what you need to manage skin tones. For low light conditions, bring a tripod. It can be difficult to move around carrying it, but it’s the best way to minimize the number of blurred pictures. Bring a wide lens and a telephoto lens to cover all possible situations.
The answer stays in details
When you photograph a baby every detail count. The clothes are as important as a wedding dress. The shoes sweet miniatures. The hands and feet are precious and impress every single guest. And if the baby smiles, you have to be there. There are also important moves around such a young baby. How the mother is holding the baby, how she looks at her/him. How the parents are holding hands and smile at each other. Little things that make everybody emotional. Photograph also other children playing around, proud grandparents, family generations.
Take as many photos as possible. This is a general advice for unrepeatable events. Take a lot of memory cards and batteries with you and don’t stop taking pictures. Because the baby will move a lot, will cry a lot, and will be unavailable for long periods, it’s safer to not miss a second.
Focus on the baby. After all, she/he is the star of this event. Close-ups are the best. Try to catch any of her/his expressions. They will be appreciated for a lifetime.
Try taking pictures without a flash. First, there are smaller chances to scare the baby. Second, natural light will give a special atmosphere, a glow. Use a higher ISO if you need, in order to keep a higher shutter speed.