helloBABY designs wants your announcement cards to be the absolute best they can be. Your photo card will no doubt be displayed on your friends and family’s fridges and walls for some time, and it’s worth taking the time to get the right photo for your photo card.
Please keep in mind, that the quality of the photo(s) you submit is extremely important to the finished print result of your photo cards. Below we have provided you with a list of photo tips to help you provide us the best possible image(s).
Digital Camera Settings
Image quality is one of the most important factors in order to achieve the best outcome for you.
When using your digital camera;
- Make sure you have it set on the highest resolution setting possible. For example, 300dpi (dots per inch), or some cameras refer to your image quality as large, medium or small – select large in this instance.
- If your camera has an image compression function, remember to turn this off, or put it on the lowest setting possible.
- Also, remember to turn off the date stamp feature if your camera has one of these functions – we don’t want this date stamp overlaying your baby’s face.
- If your camera has an image stabilizing function, it may assist in reducing camera shake, so it is always best to have this function on.
While we can correct things like image brightness, image contrast and color balance, we unfortunately cannot correct a blurry or grainy image (unlike the TV shows such as CSI would have you believe). Please make sure your photo is sharp and in focus.
Natural light will always produce the best results. Position your baby so the natural light from a window lights up the scene. Don’t however, put your baby outside in the direct sunlight – this lighting is too harsh. If the natural light coming through the window isn’t enough, try adding additional lighting sources via the soft light from a lamp as well as the natural light to improve the situation. Try to avoid using a flash all together; they give you ugly shadow marks (in our opinion), unless you know how to “bounce” the flash off another surface, this type of flash photography is usually acceptable.
Keep this element of the shot as simple as possible; avoid distracting backgrounds or outfits with patterns, brands, or too much going on – your baby’s face should be the centre of attention. Suggestions:
- Try neutral clothing colours (no stripes, checks or bold logos).
- Woollen knits and denim have great contrast and texture.
- Try outfits that are simple, bright and solid in colour.
- Try no outfit at all or simply have your baby in a nappy
- If you’re looking for the perfect background, try a plain and neutral colored blanket, sheet or towel under your baby – be sure it fills the whole frame when shooting to avoid contrasting background colours/effects.
Try photographing your baby in a range of different positions to capture the right moment. Suggestions:
- Get down to your baby’s level,
- Photograph your baby in a sitting or lying position (Sleeping shots are also very nice),
- Use a pillow or arm of a sofa or chair, to help prop your baby up (you could cover the pillow, sofa or chair with a blanket or sheet so you’re not distracted from the baby in the finished portrait)
- Please remember to allow some room in your shot for us to have some flexibility when placing your photo into your chosen design. For example, shoot off centre or zoom out a little. We can always crop into the shot if we need to.
It’s best to focus the photograph of your baby on his/her face. Make this element the most important item. If you have a camera with manual control over depth of field, try setting it on either f4.5, f5.6, or f6.7 for a shallow depth of field (this means that the focus is on your baby’s face and the background is blurry). If you have a camera that has a “close-up” or “portrait” mode select these options when shooting as they act in a similar way to a shallow depth of field.
Choosing the moment
Taking pictures of newborns don’t always go according to plan. It can be a long-winded process, sometimes over a couple of days. To enhance the results of your photo shoot, time your session for when your baby is alert, well rested and fed (all this should equal a happy baby, providing they are not sick) If your baby is not enjoying the photo session, it will be apparent in the photos and I suggest taking a break and trying again at another time or on another day.
helloBABY designs will do the necessary adjustments to make your baby’s photo look its best. For example, if you only have the shot in full colour, and you would prefer it in black and white, we will convert it for you. Or if you think the image looks a little dull, we can brighten it up. We will happily make these minor adjustments to improve the visual quality of your image.
Not too sure which image?
Sometimes it’s difficult to judge whether a photo will work, so if you’re unsure about the photo, then please send it our way for us to take a look at. If you would like, you can send us a couple of photos – your favorite and a backup (please make sure you tell us your preference) and we will provide you with a card sample of each shot and then you can decide (please note: this service is limited to two images).
By ordering and sending in your photos to helloBABY designs you warrant and declare that you are either the copyright owner or you have obtained copyright permission from the owner to use the image.
SENDING US YOUR PHOTO
I only have a physical photo, what do I do?
Although this is not a preferred method, we do accept physical photos.
Please make sure your print is free from fingerprints, smudges or bends and creases in the paper. When you send it to us, we recommend that you place a piece of thick card either side to protect the photo. Please make sure this is not your only copy of this image, as helloBABY designs will not be held responsible for photos that are misplaced or damaged in the mail. We recommend sending all mail via registered post for added security & piece of mind. We will return all original photos you supply to us with your finished order.
If you’d like to send your images via post, our details are:
PO Box 2053, Kent Town SA 5071.
I only have a scanned photo, what do I do?
Although this is not a preferred method, we do accept scanned photos. When scanning your photo, please scan it at a resolution of 300dpi or more. Please take extra care to ensure you scanner bed glass is clean and free from fingerprints or smudges. Once scanned, save your file as a .jpg or .tif.
To ensure the highest quality, please do not compress the file to make it more email friendly. Once you have chose your card design, you will be asked to provide us with your baby’s details and then you will be able to upload your photo(s). If you’re having any trouble, please email your image and all your personal details to: firstname.lastname@example.org.