How to get amazing baby photos with your new SLR - Aperture

Welcome back to your Introduction to your SLR.

If you’re new here, this is the fourth in a 6 part blog series, introducing you to the basic controls on your camera.

  1. Shooting Modes

  2. ISO

  3. Shutter Speed

  4. Aperture

  5. Focus Points

  6. White Balance


Want those soft dreamy backgrounds?  Then this is what you're after! 

The Aperture controls the amount that is in focus in a photo.

As with all the settings I have mentioned in the previous blogs, the aperture also effects the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor as well. 

When you press the button to take a photo, a hole opens up to let light onto your camera sensor.  The Aperture is what controls the size of that hole. 

It's measured in 'f stops' and depending on your lens or camera can range all the way from f1.2 to f22.

It may seem a bit weird at first because the lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light that gets in.   For example, f2.8 opens a big hole and lets in lots of light,  f16 opens a small hole and lets in less light. 

Now, what I know you've been waiting for - depth of field - those soft dreamy backgrounds. 

The aperture controls how much of an image will be in focus - NOT where you focus, but how much in front and behind where you have focused will be in focus.  Confused?  Me to.
In the photos above I have focused on the smiley face in front. As the fstop number increases, the amount in focus behind the smiley face increases. In the photo labelled 1.8, the balls behind are very blurry. In the photo labelled F11, everything is in focus.

At an aperture of 1.8 if you take a picture of a mum holding a baby and focus on the mum, the baby may not be in focus as well. 

TOP TIP - If you've got a subject that's moving around a lot and you have a small number Aperture (f2.8 for example) it can be hard to keep them inside the area that is in focus.


Need more Help?

If you have any questions at all about anything in this or any other blog in this series, just ask below or send me an email and I’ll do my best to explain things further.



Becki Williams is a Hemel Hempstead photographer who specialises in Newborn & Baby Photo Shoots.
With Red Cross Child Safety training and Newborn posing training with Emma Jane Photography, Becki has been photographing newborns since 2014 and loves meeting new families and cuddling lots of babies!