Flash photography with infant


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UncleBen

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Aug 24, 2008
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Toa Payoh
#1
Hi,

I'm planning for my baby girl's first birthday & it will definitely be an indoor event.

Being indoor simply means that lighting is not that favorable for photography (correct me if I'm wrong). I could only think of 2 options available for better photos

1) Use faster lens - I can loan 50mm f/1.4G from a friend.
2) Use flash - I can get hold of a SB900.

I personally prefer the 2nd option as I feel more comfortable working with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for such an event. What do you guys think?

I'm not familiar with flash photography (usually do shooting outdoors & only use built-in flash once in the blue moon). Would very much appreciate your valuable advise, especially shooting infant & other young babies using flash.

Do I put on the diffuser dome permanently, set the flash angle at 45% (or other angle) or use the white bouncer on the flash unit? Sorry for all these silly questions. I have never used an external flash before :embrass:.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Ben
 

Ouverture

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2009
2,195
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#2
Hi,

I'm planning for my baby girl's first birthday & it will definitely be an indoor event.

Being indoor simply means that lighting is not that favorable for photography (correct me if I'm wrong). I could only think of 2 options available for better photos

1) Use faster lens - I can loan 50mm f/1.4G from a friend.
2) Use flash - I can get hold of a SB900.

I personally prefer the 2nd option as I feel more comfortable working with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for such an event. What do you guys think?

I'm not familiar with flash photography (usually do shooting outdoors & only use built-in flash once in the blue moon). Would very much appreciate your valuable advise, especially shooting infant & other young babies using flash.

Do I put on the diffuser dome permanently, set the flash angle at 45% (or other angle) or use the white bouncer on the flash unit? Sorry for all these silly questions. I have never used an external flash before :embrass:.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Ben
Use flashgun for all indoor events.

Fast prime like 50mm will only be good for portraits and it won't be wide enough if group shots (which is mostly the case for events like baby birthday)

Furthermore, F8 and above is suitable for group photos which render your fast prime quite useless.

For flashgun, if ceiling is not too high (like HDB ones), then use 45' angle without diffuser while making sure your ceiling is white or close to white colour for a good bounce.

If high ceilings, then use diffuser and point the flashgun frontward.

Not an expert here, just giving my newbie's experience...
 

Living H2O

New Member
May 16, 2008
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#4
personally i don't agree with using flash on shooting babies,
don even talk about external flash gun.
babies have very big and sensitive eyes :bigeyes:
and i believe your baby will not feel comfortable with the 'flashing' in the room through out the birthday thought :sweat:
personally I'll go for fast lens than 'flash' for babies:sweatsm:
 

DrSpock

New Member
Mar 12, 2009
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Warp back to Simei
#5
Hi Ben,

Congrates on your fatherhood. Great work for the nation building:thumbsup:. 3 Cheers:cheers:

Back to the question at hand and my 2cents;

50f1.4 will work great especailly during the blowing out of candles and you do not want to ruin that mood with an intrusive flash!:eek: But being babies they will never keep still anytime so you need speed by a fast lens or using a flash is a good idea and better by bouncing it off something instead of direct into their face as you have suggested yourself. Try to on all the available lights and if daytime and have windows clear the curtains, if any. Nothing beats natural lights.

Go to this place wherever it is and take some sample test shots to mock up the actual day event and then learn from there. See how the photos turn out and reevaluate the f value and shuttle speed you need to use. Cos one the day you'l have NO time to think! No harm in spending time to learn & prepare cos 1st birthday is only once in a lifetime for your girl.

Good luck!:devil:
 

Ouverture

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2009
2,195
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#6
personally i don't agree with using flash on shooting babies,
don even talk about external flash gun.
babies have very big and sensitive eyes :bigeyes:
and i believe your baby will not feel comfortable with the 'flashing' in the room through out the birthday thought :sweat:
personally I'll go for fast lens than 'flash' for babies:sweatsm:

You are right to certain extent. Maybe not direct flash, but bounced flash is quite ok.

I have tried using my Sigma30F1.4 at a friend's baby birthday recently and most of the shots turned out disaster!!! It's like having only one or a few person's face is focused while the rest are out of focus as the aperture is too big and cannot go any smaller as ISO will hit max with slow shutter.

Thereafter, immediately took out flashgun (bounced of course) and I am able to take nice (all-focused) group shots with smaller aperture (F8) with ISO100-200 and everything turns out nicely.

One good observation if you notice by going to many of wedding events or celebrations of sort, do you ever any event photographer using a prime lens and without flash? I would say never....it seems a zoom lens and a flashgun is a certain must for such occasions.

Just some comments.

Other brothers may have different views and techniques.
 

Last edited:

B-setting

Senior Member
Jul 16, 2004
2,446
1
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Equator
#7
yeap, i would also go for a bounced flash setting, or alternatively, a flash with a diffuser.

but nothing beats a test run at the venue to check flash settings and the suitable aperture and shutter speed.

:)
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#9
personally i don't agree with using flash on shooting babies,
don even talk about external flash gun.
babies have very big and sensitive eyes :bigeyes:
and i believe your baby will not feel comfortable with the 'flashing' in the room through out the birthday thought :sweat:
personally I'll go for fast lens than 'flash' for babies:sweatsm:

can baby take flash photography??

[vid]W4sOH9_M6Io[/vid]

[vid]dUIZssZyMdI[/vid]

[vid]mL4bH6O3qGo[/vid]
 

Nenjia

Senior Member
Sep 19, 2007
3,521
0
0
#11
Hi,

I'm planning for my baby girl's first birthday & it will definitely be an indoor event.

Being indoor simply means that lighting is not that favorable for photography (correct me if I'm wrong). I could only think of 2 options available for better photos

1) Use faster lens - I can loan 50mm f/1.4G from a friend.
2) Use flash - I can get hold of a SB900.

I personally prefer the 2nd option as I feel more comfortable working with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for such an event. What do you guys think?

I'm not familiar with flash photography (usually do shooting outdoors & only use built-in flash once in the blue moon). Would very much appreciate your valuable advise, especially shooting infant & other young babies using flash.

Do I put on the diffuser dome permanently, set the flash angle at 45% (or other angle) or use the white bouncer on the flash unit? Sorry for all these silly questions. I have never used an external flash before :embrass:.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Ben
my suggestion is NOT to use flash for baby --- it might harm the eye sight of babies!!!!! please consult your doctor ( eye specialist)
 

Last edited:

bomby929

Senior Member
Feb 18, 2008
595
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16
#12
It not recommended to use flash on babies (see the flash manual).. but do bounce/diffuse the flash and dun do direct.
 

Octarine

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Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#13
my suggest is NOT to use flash for baby --- it might harm the eye sight of babies!!!!! please consult your doctor ( eye specialist)
Can you please bring up any proofs for your claim? The topic is hot discussed but there's too much rumour and hearsay in it. If there is any scientific point in your claim please enlighten us to bring more substance into this discussion.
 

Astin

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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Astin Studio
astin.clubsnap.org
#14
I think the worst case is when the room is dark, baby needs to open up the retina wide and big in order to see, then out of sudden the flash "BANG" and fire. If there is some ambient light in the room and not so dark, it is probably ok.

I do wonder if the photographers are willing to shoot their own babies when they tell clients that its ok to do so on other ppl's babies.
 

bomby929

Senior Member
Feb 18, 2008
595
0
16
#15
Can you please bring up any proofs for your claim? The topic is hot discussed but there's too much rumour and hearsay in it. If there is any scientific point in your claim please enlighten us to bring more substance into this discussion.
Please read the flash manual. It is stated that should not use flash on infant directly.... End of the day, it is better to be save than sorry, you can subject your kid to direct flash, then its your call.. when i comes to mine.. then it mine decision.
 

tokrot

New Member
Jun 2, 2003
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#16
It's better not to use flash. It's your own child anyway. Do whatever best in your interest to protect your kid not just having a good photo. Good luck...
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#17
Maybe I should said flash light is fine for baby, under the hands of professional photographers.. :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:

[vid]oMMU3IPcQ74[/vid]

[vid]51giwHAq-90[/vid]

if it is not safe, all the lawyers in US should be very happy, cos make a huge fortune by suing all the photographers using flash for baby portrait, and all the studio flash manufactures.


anyway, being studying this subject for very long time, and notice those who insist 100% no flash on babies, whether is big flash small flash studio flash hotshoe flash whatever flash are not advance or professional photographers, and pretty sure that this question will pop up every now and than.

here are many discussions of the same topic taken for photo.net

and here is an answer by a Doctor

Hope this clear the doubts.
 

UncleBen

New Member
Aug 24, 2008
117
0
0
Toa Payoh
#18
Hi folks,

Thank you very much for your valuable inputs.

Some of you even picked up what was in my mind (which I failed to indicate in my first post :embrass:), which is the fear of whether flash photography goes well with infants. I remembered when I first brought her for passport photo shooting when she was about 2 months old, she was doing fine at the studio but that night, she cried like nobody's business :sweat:.

I guess the best approach is to find a balance. Too much of anything is not good ;).

Once again, thanks for the fruitful discussions :lovegrin:. Keep it rolling :).

Cheers,
Ben
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
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48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#19
there many reasons for baby to cry at night, most of the time is over stimulating during the day (aka play too much), but sometime you will never know what is the real reason. speaking from a father of four.
 

ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
23,694
10
38
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#20
if you die die dowan to use flash (i would and did) they buy more lights to brighten up the room
+ high ISO + fast lens + steady hands

good luck and congratulations
 

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