I recently shared some fun bath time photos that I took of our son with our friends and family and I got several sweet emails and even some calls asking me for more photography details, so I thought I would write a quick post to share what I did to captures these memories of our son. After all, photography loving moms need to be having as much fun as their littles ones playing at bath time…at least every once and a while, right?
All kidding aside, bath time really is one of my favorite times. I swear there is something magical about putting a child in water. Even the crankiest child is transformed into a giggling, splash machine within minutes. I have told more than one of my friends that when my little one is having an off day and the family rhythm is upside down…I put that Cub in the tub and within minutes we’ll both be reset and laughing. For the Cub, there is always an adventure waiting to be played out with his toys in the water and the more bubbles in the tub the better.
A quick shout out for products that go on the Cub’s allergy sensitive skin, we stick to Burt’s Bees and California Baby Sensitive Skin. We tend not to deviate from those, because we have found some other products use (even in the California Baby line) almond oils in them and that would cause an instant hive outbreak and scare in our house. So we steer clear and keep bath time exactly what it should be — fun!
As another allergy side note, we once tried a lavender infused “soothing” baby bath and it was FAR from soothing for us. It caused a scary and instant hive outbreak for the cub. I can still remember pulling him out of the tub (after only maybe one minute of being in the water) and actually losing count of how many hives were covering his body at around 200… Needless to say, the lavender bath wash went right into the trash, as did the wonderful lavender linen spray that I loved so much in my room. As we’ve learned, with an allergy baby…once you find out what works…you stick to it and then life continues to be beautiful.
So now onto the fun stuff…capturing these wonderful moments with our children. I for one am SO glad that I grabbed my camera on the way up the stairs this week.
I took all of these photos with a 50mm canon macro lens on my Canon 5D Mark II. The beauty of the macro lens is that it allows you to get in nice and close to focus on your subject. You may typically think of a macro lens as the go-to lens used for all of those gorgeous flower shots out there in the world, but as you can see…it also comes in handy when you are hanging over the bathtub. I am sure that many of you already understand that the fade that you have in the background in your photos depends on a lot of things. Of course you want to be able to use a wide aperture setting for that nice creamy background, but there is also a relationship that exists between the distance between you and the focal point and then the distance between the focal point and the depth of the background. That relationship is important to understand and something to read up on. BUT….until you have time for that, know that being closer to your subject when you are in a tight spot is important.
Still not sure what I mean? Try out some bath time shots of your babies – first with your 50mm 1.2 or 1.4 and then try them out with your macro lens. I am a big believer that the best way to learn is by shooting. When able capture the exact same shot over and over again despite the lighting. That’s when it becomes fun…it’s when you’ve started thinking for your camera instead of letting it think for you.
Some things that worked in our favor for bath time photos. The Cub’s bathroom has white tiles which naturally do a fantastic job of bouncing and reflecting available light all over him. The bubbles are also white which help to do the same thing…although for me, their most important job in these photos was covering the Cub. The light was beautiful when I took these shots and thankfully the shower in new house does not have the standard small, rectangular shaped window at the very top of the wall. At our new house, there is a full-sized, frosted window above the tub. The frosted glass gave me beautiful, diffused light that fell softly upon the cub.
I set my exposure and light-meter to get the desired look that I wanted and then – SNAP! Closed the shutter. Kind of a magical moment when you close the shutter. It’s the moment when you have actually frozen a moment in time and honestly, what mom hasn’t thought, “My baby is getting so big…I wish I could freeze this moment”. Well…the good news is….we can.
Two side notes: First, I did make minor adjustments to my settings for each of the different angles that I shot at. And I of course went off of how the light was reflecting off of my subject (my sweet cubby). Second, watch out for splashing cubs…mine liked trying to splash the camera. Made for a few fun action shots…and I think may even have counted as some cardio being that my heart raced so fast ;).
I hope this helps and inspires – if it did, be sure to let me know!
Thanks for Reading,
Chew Chew Mama