So, I am opening this specifically int he Image Critique thread as I am looking for input as to how best take baby portraits. I had my first portrait session with my neice in November to get a few pictures for grandparents for the holidays. I am going to get another chance to shoot her when she turns 9 months and then hopefully 1 year. In addition, this next weekend, I am going to have a chance to shoot my 14 month old nephew.

So, I am interested in thoughts, suggestions and tips. I have recently added the ST-E3, 2x600 EX RT flashes, and 42" Westcott umbrellas. For lenses, I am primarily used the 50 f/1.4 at f/2-2.8 and the 100 mm f/2.8 L at f/2.8. I have recently added the 70-200 f/2.8 II, but have already noticed the MFD may limit its use.

Below are a few of my favorites from the first session:
Name:  TDP -8360.jpg
Views: 114
Size:  152.8 KB

Name:  TDP -8368.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  134.8 KB

Name:  TDP -8425.jpg
Views: 114
Size:  136.3 KB

From my least favorite shots, I am already noticing that I need good separation from a nice neutral background. I am wondering about:
  • My light placement, I tried to do 45 degrees on either side with a ~45 degree downward angle. The lights were placed about 3-4 ft from my niece.
  • The catch light in her eyes show the spines of the umbrellas. Maybe I should move to another diffuser?
  • Should I have tried f/2.8-f/4 a bit more, get a little more of her head in focus?
  • In post, I decreased clarity to -5 to -10. I also typically altered the red channel as she had very rosey cheeks. Anything else?

Any thoughts or tips are appreciated.