Photographing Baby Toys in the Family History Keepsakes Collection

How to photograph baby toys
Photographing Baby Toys
(f/4.5; exposure time 1/20, ISO 100, exp bias +0.7, 16 mm focal length,
Center Weight Average metering, Manual white balance)
It is fun to see the objects that family members played with as kids. In the same box that contained my husband’s baby sweaters, a few baby toys were included. The funny thing is that his mother doesn’t exactly remember these toys. Perhaps these toys were given to him when he was hospitalized as an infant with pneumonia. All we know is that my mother-in-law saved items for each of her sons in specifically designated boxes. I applaud her efforts.
This elephant is a high pitched squeaky toy. It can get a bit annoying. It was cool enough for my kids to play with when I pulled it out of the box!
To photograph these objects, I placed them in my lightbox with a white cardboard background. I used natural light on the left side of the lightbox and set up for the shot.
How to photograph old baby toys
Interesting yellow baby toy from the 1970s
f/4.5; exposure time 1/25, ISO 100, exp bias +0.7, 16 mm focal length,
Center Weight Average metering, Manual white balance
After taking a few individual photos, the toys did not look super exciting. When I grouped them together, they looked a lot better. Separately they looked like items in a toy catalog. Together, they looked like items a child plays with. So, the take-home lesson is to group items together to tell a story with your historical artifacts. Sometimes you won’t need to. However, you’ll be glad you did for the times it really would have had a great impact.
How to photograph a group of old baby toys
Items groups together can better tell a story
f/4.5; exposure time 1/20, ISO 100, exp bias +0.7, 10 mm focal length,
Center Weight Average metering, Manual white balance.
FYI: I did lighten the colors by adjusting the levels in PaintShopPro after I took these photos. On camera, they looked exactly like I’ve shown. On the computer, they looked dull. With a little software magic, they were back to ‘Wow!’ again. I’ll post about this concept soon.
Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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