I’m a picture kinda person. I can never get enough of them and love looking back at moments, wether captured candid or perfectly posed. But, hiring a photographer can be expensive, and sadly sometimes may yield limited results that may not even have you satisfied.
Being on a budget leaves me with limited options as far as getting fancy photos of my adorable baby. But a budget can’t contain my desires… SO! I have decided to become a self proclaimed DIY photoshoot pro-ameture so to speak.
Aaaand I have a ways to go, but I do think I’ve learned some things along the way that may help other mommies capture some print worthy pics.
Here are a few tips to help you in your DIY adventure…
- Have a Theme
The best thing you can do for yourself is have some sort of theme or inspiration to guide your efforts. There are PILES of different style photoshoots you can use as inspiration, and everything from studio style to lifestyle feelings to work within.
Pinterest can be your best friend at this step, as you find things you like and different variations of the same idea, as well as all sorts of rabbit holes you can jump down from one image to the next…
There may be ideas that you will need to tweak a bit for your baby, whether by making some gender or age appropriate changes, but the world is your oyster and babies can make everything cute.
2. Over Prepare
Maybe this is not for everyone, but I tend to lean on the side of extra rather than “just enough.” You never know when in the middle of your photoshoot that switching the props or donning a new bow will be just what it needs to fulfill your dreams.
If you’ve got a broad enough theme, there are lots of extras you can be sure to have on hand to add in here or there. Some of the best little photoshoots involve lots of theme relevant props for variety.
3. Keep the Favorite Toys and People on Hand
When you’re working with babies (or kids,) one of the bigger challenges is to make sure you have a way to keep their attention and make them smile. A rattle, puppet or favorite Uncle or cousin can come in handy at this.
4. Natural Lighting
In my (limited) experience, attempting to DIY a “studio” lighting style always ends up looking subpar and shadow filled.
The best results I’ve gotten from a DIY shoot have always involved ample amounts of natural light, whether indoors or outdoors.
If you choose to do an outdoor photoshoot, timing and clouds are key to catching a good atmosphere for your shoot. Usually, you’ll want to plan for sometime in the morning or afternoon so the sun isn’t too high and bright, and if you are working in sunlight, indirect is the best idea- so clouds or tree shade or even parasol will help there.
If someone is trying to tell you that you can’t get good pictures without a fancy new expensive camera, they’re lying to you. For the most part, any ol’ point and shoot will do the trick. Most iPhones have pretty good cameras as well. It’s really all about the angle, setup and after editing.
Alright mamas, here’s the little secret so many have kept from you for who knows why.
There is an amazing app you can download for free to fulfill all your editing needs.
Another little tip- many professional photographers or bloggers have “presets” you can purchase, input in your Lightroom and apply to your pictures to give them that perfect look. And many of these presets are quite affordable.
Do take some time to play with edits to find what you think is just the right look for your pictures, and if you are using the Lightroom app you can even create your own preset once you’ve got everything shifted to what you like so as to easily apply those settings to the rest of your photoshoot.
7. More is Better
Last, but not least… keep shooting!
Keep those fingers going, make sure to get lots of shots. Don’t worry that all of them are going to look the same. The more you get, the more you can choose between to get it “just right.”
Don’t get discouraged by those first few pictures not being what you like. Keep shooting, and keep tweaking. With a baby, you’re going to want to get ample attempts at catching that cute smile or silly face. If her nap schedule is messed up or she is upset at you for dressing her fancy and is just not having it today, you can always try again tomorrow, mama.
Hope this helps with your DIY efforts. Remember, theres always tomorrow, and whether the pictures turn out amazingly or just okay, you will love looking back at them as baby grows.