Aside from COVID-19, doing your own photo shoots at home with your baby, toddler, or kids can be a great cost saving measure. When they’re old enough to understand what you’re trying to do, it’s a lot easier. They’re a lot more likely to sit still and work with you.
But how can you do this with unwilling babies and spirited toddlers?
There’s a lot of ways to go about this and still get some great looking photos. I’ve been doing my own photo shoots at home with my kids for years (my first at-home photo shoot was when my first born was only a month old!) I’ve been through it all, from newborn to 4 years old, from kids to pets to costumes to props.
So here’s tips from me, a mom of 3 littles, who has done multiple photoshoots with my babies, toddlers, and little kids in my home and developed a few hacks along the way to make it easier to accomplish.
Timing is Everything
Timing is key to getting the right prop in the right spot when your little one is in the right position with the right lighting. Sure, that seems like a lot, that’s why timing is key, why you need to work quickly, and why rapid firing photos is so important (more on that later).
Try Lots of Different Positions
Try and get as much done as quickly as you can because little one’s patience is waning and there’s plenty of options to try out. You can always weed out what you don’t like later on during naptime.
Prep Everything in Advance
Don’t bring in the baby/toddler/kids until you’re ready, and I mean COMPLETELY ready. Have everything you will need (and everything you think you may end up needing) on hand in your space before bringing in your model(s). Any outfits, props, toys, distractions, helpers, and anything else should be ready to be used before you need them.
If you have to run off to grab a specific onesie, you risk your infant falling asleep or getting hungry and halting your photoshoot. If you realize you need something in hand to grab your toddler’s attention because they’ve realized that you calling their name is boring (nothing happens when they look!) but don’t have a squeaky toy or noise maker ready to be used, you risk your toddler’s patience running out earlier than it would have costing you precious photo shoot time.
Ready Your Distractions Beforehand
Grab a noisy toy or a favorite stuffy before you start to grab their attention. Have it in your hand, clip it to your belt loop, put it on a lanyard and hang it around you neck, whatever you can think of so that it’s easily accessible when you need to quickly grab your child’s attention because the props are finally in the right place, the lighting is perfect, and everyone is sitting still.
This is my saving grace. I hammer the shutter button as quickly as I can and then weed out the bad shots, or what I call “Blur Baby”, later.
Outfits and Props
You can go many directions with this. The outfit could be the focus (aside from the child of course). You could also use a basic outfit, like just a cute shirt, with props being the big draw. Props are your friend.
When To Do Photoshoots
So when can you do photoshoots like this aside from births and family get-togethers? For holidays of course! The big ones, the little ones, the one’s that mean so much to your family, whatever sparks your interest. Here are some examples:
- Santa’s elf
- Chimney with a bag of presents
- A plain colored blanket with Christmas candy scattered around
- Sitting in a present (on own for sitters or propped up for littles)
- Stealing cookies from Santa
- Surrounded by snow (real or an effect)
- Naked baby butt with Santa hat (just work fast if your child isn’t potty trained yet)
- Plain background with fairy lights (sitting and holding the lights for bigger babies and kids or laying on a Boppy covered with a white blanket with the lights laid around baby)
- Sitting with a favorite Christmas book (you can prop the book up for babies to make it look like they’re reading the book)
- Dressed as a bunny
- Sitting in a basket
- Surrounded by fillable, plastic eggs
- Naked baby butt with bunny ears (,again, work fast)
- Turkey costume!
- With some food
- In a pie pan? Or is that weird?
- With a football or a jersey if your fav team is playing
- On a cart like a parade float
St Patty’s Day
- With shamrocks
- Leprechaun costume
- In a field
- In an all green outfit
- Their Halloween costume
- In a hollowed out pumpkin
- With their carved pumpkin
- With Halloween decorations
- Plain background with purple, black, or orange fairy lights (sitting and holding the lights for bigger babies and kids or laying on a Boppy covered with a blanket with the lights laid around baby)
October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month)
- With pink ribbons
- In all pink
- Something about strength
- Pink fairy lights