My daughter Jillian and I recently did a newborn baby girl photo shoot for my new granddaughter, Madison Grace.
Have you priced photo shoots lately? I have and it's not pretty.
There is no reason you can't do your own and do it well.
The background in the above picture was the Jones' living room curtains. Maddie is laying on her crib quilt atop my DVD basket from my livingroom propped on my bigger basket that we use to store winter gloves and scarves that sits in my entry way.
There is nothing more fun than taking pictures of our new baby and being able to say, "I took that."
Our oldest daughter, April, had Madison a week ago. It's her home that I followed during their remodel in my series, "Keeping Up With the Joneses." See their posts below:
Madison is the reason we've not had their home reveal yet. She decided to join our family (by creating major fatigue and morning sickness) before they were able to finish their house details.
I used to be a photographer for hire, but not so much any more. It was too time consuming and to spend 10+ hours taking the photos and editing them takes a huge chunk of time out of my already swamped life – especially when I did it at a major discount or for FREE. It got old REAL FAST.
BUT when you're doing it for family every moment is F.U.N.
Jillian and I handed off the camera to each other all during our photo shoot. I'm not sure which ones are hers and which are mine, but it doesn't matter.
It's a family affair.
…a love affair between Madison and her family.
I highly recommend it. What's not to love?
You get to play with a baby.
You get to play with ribbons and bows, sparkly onesies and pink polka dotted diaper panties.
You Got This
Gather all your baskets wooden boxes and blankets, signs and flowers and whatever you think might be great props.
Then match up outfits and get creative using tables and chairs to prop your props.
Utilize everyone around you and think up some great ways to display that little bundle of newborn joy.
This basket usually holds toddler toys underneath my coffee table.
My 9 year old grandson, Isaac had my iPhone during our photo session. We have a budding photographer on our hands. I do believe his (below) is better than mine (above).
Have the mom take candids of you taking pictures of her baby. Not only will you want to save the memory with a photo, it helps to keep the mom from getting stressed.
Sometimes the candids can be real memory makers. Check out 3 year old big brother Myles being such a good helper.
We propped blankets on a coffee table and chairs.
The black blanket is the backside of a Duck Dynasty blanket – complete with larger than life bearded faces.
We sat 9 year old Isaac down and had him hold the baby while underneath a blanket.
We covered pillows, boppies and baskets.
We framed with flowers and tickled feet to get her to position them just right.
We waited till she was asleep so she was pliable as play dough (Now that was fun!)
It wasn't hard. It just took a bit of creativity and willingness to work with a tiny unpredictable doll baby.
It's the most fun I've had in a long time. And we made a memory.
We got some pretty great pics out of it too.
I use a Canon 40D SLR but you could just have easily used your iPhone. Isaac proved that with his black and white photo.
Experiment. Play with props. Use what you have.
Photoshop is a great tool. I used it to crop, color and fix the pictures. You can turn them black and white, desaturate and even erase parts of the picture. In the one below I painted out my hand that was holding up Maddie's head and cropped out my hands below, holding her hands cradling her face. I also painted out the little bit of finger that was showing below her hand.
You can crop your photos and cut them to the exact size for when you print them. This one didn't have enough margin to make it an 8×10 without cutting off her toes. I could have just used Photoshop and painted in more black on the sides.
But I chose to tilt Maddie with Photoshop's rotate tool to "fit her in."
The Hue/Saturation tool is easy to use too and you can desaturate the whole picture or individual colors.
I don't have any fancy lighting, though I will eventually when I have the $$. Don't be afraid to improvise. We used front door and front window natural lighting and moved lamps around as needed.
You can see Isaac in front of the door, dreaming up his own poses.
You might even catch a slight smile – IF you take 400 pictures like I did. There is no way that look was "just gas."
What winning photos have you taken recently?
Do you scrap online or use real hold in your hands and flip through it scrapbooks?
Do you take your own baby pictures or pay a "professional? You do realize that the label "professional" only means they get paid, right? Would you consider these professional photographs even though I wasn't paid for them?
You too can take photographs like a professional. "Professional" is only a label.
You can do this. Become your own professional.
I charge $200 for a several hour photo session with editing.
You can do this yourself – DIY and keep that $200 in your pocket.
Now go out and be be amazing.
Please don't print or download any of Maddie's pictures. They are property of ValMark Photography. Thanks!