Tinybeans Takeover is a weekly series on our Instagram where we feature Tinybeans parents from all stages taking us through their day and sharing lessons they learned on their parenting journey (and how they get the most out of Tinybeans!).
Taking decent photos of your kids is hard. They never sit still, and even if they do, getting them to look at the camera for more than 3 seconds is challenging. We sat down with Brooklyn lifestyle photographer Ana Gambuto, mama and photographer extraordinaire, who gives us the scoop on how to take the perfect photo of your baby (right from your living room). Don’t forget to watch her Tinybeans Takeover on our Instagram page on November 19!
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in California and now live with my husband and daughter Colette (18 months) in Brooklyn. I try to keep an enthusiastic, playful outlook to create make lifestyle photos and content for brands, entrepreneurs and families. This month you can find my work on the cover of New York Family, of Hatch founder Ariane Goldman. My work has also been featured in Parents, Cup of Jo, Goop and on the IG pages of countless influencers. For more on my work, visit anagambuto.com
What are some tips for parents who want to take better photos of their children at home?
1. Back your subject up to a blank wall! A clean backdrop will make your subject pop out!
2. Daylight is always best – find a big window and position your subject nearby it! If you can’t use daylight or it’s at night – use a black and white filter to counter the icky yellow light you often get at night.
3. Fire off as many photos as you can while your kids pose – they will never be perfectly still, so give yourself as many shots at the perfect photo as you can!
But my child REALLY never stands still!
Back the kid up to a wall… eliminating the amount of ways they can escape! Then quickly sing an aggressively loud song. Ta-da!
What's your favorite photo editing app?
What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when taking photos with their phone?
The biggest mistake is not clicking enough photos to give you options! You can always delete them later if you’re stressed about filling up your phone’s memory.
What is the most common fix people can do to their photos to make them shine?
Most photos just need a little brightening and a crop in to see faces better… you can use basic iPhone or Android photo editing for that! Quick and easy.
What are the 3 must-haves for a great DIY home photo shoot?
A window, a blank wall, and patience!
I heard you're a major Tinybeans fan! Tell us about your experience.
I’ve been using Tinybeans since my first child was born! I have lots of family members who don’t use social media, and while it was a no brainer for me to be posting daily to Instagram, I realized that I had many loved ones who would never see those updates. Tinybeans has been a hit! It’s hard to live far away from your loved ones, and getting to see updates that make you feel a part of the child’s life is an incredible gift. I’ve gotten many emails from family saying how grateful they are for the effort we put into uploading the photos each day (which of course, is no effort at all when you take a zillion every day!)
Now with my second child on the way, I’m excited to keep up the TB calendar. It’s so satisfying to scroll up and realize I haven’t missed a single day of our child’s life! That makes the flashbacks extra fun – little every day moments you’ve forgotten about, from when they were so little!
As a parent, what are 5 products you absolutely can't live without?
They actually work to remove poo, don’t smell crazy and don’t go dry if you accidentally leave the package open for days. They work for everything. They get stains out of couches, get chia pudding off toddler faces, crayons off upholstery (ask me how I know) – they are everything.
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
My baby and ALL BABIES are obsessed with this thing. MUST HAVE (from age 6 months – 2 years!) It is hideously ugly – get over it. You’ll be so pumped to have allllll the stretches of free time this thing gives you!
Crinkly Baby Paper
When my daughter was little, this fascinated her! It’s also a great photo prop for getting a baby or toddler’s attention by waving it above your head… and folds up super small to always have on hand!
Amazon – $6.49
Organic Motherlove Nipple Cream
If you breastfeed, you need this stuff. You can put it on when your skin is cracked, but you also put it in the inside of the pumping flange to prevent ouchy chafing when you pump! One little pot lasts forever.
Amazon – $10.95
What's next for you?
Every Friday in my @anagambuto Instagram Stories, you can see a new tip on using your iPhone to take BETTER photos of your family every single day. You can even ask me your own phone-camera questions and I’ll give answers either immediately, or in a future photo tip!
Overwhelmed by a Camera Roll that’s in the thousands? Stay tuned for my Online Photo Course, launching in 2020, where I give you ten lessons on photographing your children with your phone in new and creative ways, PLUS managing your overwhelming camera roll and getting those photos printed and into your life, IRL!