1. Turn off your flash and use a fast shutter speed (1/250 sec or higher) to capture the action and produce sharper images. Newborns can move unexpectedly, and older infants and toddlers are always on the move. If the light is too low and you cannot use a fast shutter speed, try increasing your ISO.

2. Focus on the eyes, the eyes are the first place people look when viewing a portrait, so make sure the baby’s eyes are in focus in your image. To ensure sharpness, use the autofocus lock.

3.Use continuous shooting mode. Babies are often in constant movement. This is where you action photography skills come in handy. By using continuous drive mode you won’t miss any moments-between-the moments. Keep taking pictures even after you think the moment has passed.

4. Remember the details. A baby’s fingers and toes are tiny for only a short time, so don’t miss the opportunity to photograph these details. Set your camera to macro mode and get in close to fill the frame.

Adapted from Portrait and Candid Photography by Erin Manning (Wiley, 2007, $30)