How I take my sleepy pictures for Instagram
I want to start by saying I am in no way a professional photographer, I don't even own a camera! I don't really know what I am doing photography wise but this is probably the question I get asked the most on Instagram. Every time I get asked this I am so flattered, but its honestly so simple. There are no fancy tricks and really I just let Lake sleep. I don't disturb her at all.
So to take all my pictures, I always use my phone, I don't have a camera. I use the Samsung Galaxy S8. I honestly can not fault this camera, I love it. So much so, I actually upgraded by phone when my contact ended to the Galaxy S9, but I kept the S8 as I found the camera so much better for indoor shots. I also use a soft light box for lighting as the lighting is terrible in my house! Theses I the ones I have, they are from Amazon.
So, Lake nearly always sleeps on her side, sometimes on her belly and rarely on her back. She has a nap everyday between 11am and 12pm, so this is when I usually get snap happy. I'll probably take these sleepy pictures once a every couple of weeks, depending on how long she sleeps for and how many photos I get. Sometimes she will sleep for a couple of hours and other times only about half an hour.
When I realise Lake is ready for a nap, I'll make her a bottle, I'll get a blanket ready. I will give her the bottle and she will nearly always fall asleep straight after. Lake feeds herself a bottle now, but during this morning nap, I'll always nurse her while she is feeding. I don't always have time to do this now as i'll be at work and she'll be a nursery, so when I get chance, I love to have this time with her. This is our routine whether I plan to take some photos or not. Most days, when I'm not working, I'll nurse her until she wakes up or use this time to get my jobs around the house done!
So when she is asleep or almost asleep I'll lie her down on a blanket, most of the time the blanket will be on the floor in the lounge, sometime I put her on my bed. Lake will not sleep in her cot during her day naps. I have a large white fleece blanket which I almost always use. Like I said, even if i'm not planning on taking a photo, this is still our routine, I will still place her down on a blanket while she sleeps (then I crack on with a million jobs). I will give her 15 minutes to settle into a deeper sleep, I'll usually have a cuppa and prepare for the photo I have planned.
After this time she would have settled into a comfortable position, like I said she usually sleeps on her side. I just work with whatever position she has decided to sleep in. I normally have an idea in my head of what sort of photo I want to take, so I'll set up a few props and start snapping. I don't really touch Lake at all, I'll arrange things around her.
If the photo I have in mind (for example, say I have been sent a baby grow to photograph) but Lake is not in the right position etc, I'll improvise and take a different style of photo and then try again another time for the original photo.
If Lake is having a real good sleep I'll try to take as many photos as possible, so they will be similar photos but I'll change the surrounding a bit. I'll then just post these at different times. These photos below where all taking during the same nap but I posted them at different times on Instagram.
The only other thing I would say is I try to be really quiet, again I would do this whether I would be taking a photo or not. I try to be prepared as well, for example if I have a particular outfit to photograph I will make sure she is wearing it that day.
Obviously the next step i'll take, is to edit the photos, I don't really do to much to them and I never touch Lake (she's already perfect!) I am going to write a full post on how I edit, as I get asked this quite a lot too, but if you are interested I have a quick tutorial on my Instagram highlights.
I just want to quickly add this may seem a bit extreme to some. But I love creating content and I love taking photos. I love taking photos of Lake, surely everyone loves taking photos of their children. Some may think arranging props around their child is crazy, but each to their own. Lake is literally none the wiser, I do not disturb her in any way, she just thinks she's having a good kip! And I have already mentioned but I wanted to stress, this is not something I do a great deal, its probably once every couple of weeks. I do spend the majority of my time with Lake doing mother and daughter things, we play, we sing, we dance, we learn, we go for walks, we go to the park and I love every second!
I would love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to drop me a message over on Instagram.
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