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Gap wants your baby

September 22, 2009 |  6:00 am


Yes, we know. Your kid is the cutest. And now you'll have the chance to prove it to the world.

Gap -- which is famous for featuring freakishly adorable babies in its ad campaigns -- is launching its annual national Casting Call contest Tuesday at Stage moms (and dads) can enter their offspring -- babies 4 and under and kids aged 5 to 10 -- for a chance at being featured in Gap's store windows in February.

Competition is steep (according to the Gap, the contest lured nearly a million contestants last year), but if you think your bambino is a cover-baby in the making, here's how it all goes down:

* Upload a photo of your cutie-pie spawn to anytime from Sept. 22 through Oct. 22.

* Gap’s judges will narrow the field to 20 finalists.

* Then the public will vote online to determine the winners (one boy and one girl in each category) who will be featured in the babyGap and GapKids 2010 campaign.

Want to narrow your odds? Take a killer picture. Stefano Azario, a well-known child photographer, offered these tips:

Get close: Zoom in to get as close as possible to your subject’s face so it’s clearly visible. If your subject’s too far away, they’ll get lost against the background.

Watch the background: Shoot the photo against a simple background so your subject really stands out. Don’t forget to move anything nearby that might be distracting.

Try different angles: Try angling the camera or shooting from different perspectives to make your photos more memorable. It’s also important to photograph kids at their eye level rather than standing over them.

Use natural lighting: Sunlight is much more flattering than indoor lighting. Use filtered, natural light to enhance colors and skin tones. Try not to shoot with the sun behind the camera as it will probably make the subject squint and will also cast strong shadows.

--Emili Vesilind

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Photo credit: Courtesy of the Gap