My father once said that Henry will be the most photographed baby ever born. Since we live in the day of digital photography, cell phone cameras, mini point and shoot cameras, and SLR cameras, that statement is definitely coming true. We take pictures of our little guy pretty much every day – usually it’s just a snapshot to send to daddy at work or to say hi to his auntie and his grandmas who live far away.
But I like to have nice photos too. I am not, however, a professional photographer (I’d like to be one day, but that’s another story) and I can’t afford to hire a professional every time I want some good shots. So I decided early on that we would create our own photoshoots right in our own home.
It started when Henry was two weeks old. Now I did hire my friend Melissa to take these photos since I was still out of it after giving birth just 16 days before.
It’s funny because at the time I still looked like I was pregnant and nothing fit and the last thing I wanted was to be included in photos for the whole world to see.
But Melissa assured me that they would be fine and they are now some of my favorite pictures ever taken.
Fast forward a few weeks to when Henry was two months old. I was on my own this time and since I didn’t have any fancy props or drop cloths, I headed to JoAnn’s fabric store. There I purchased five or six yards of cloth in basic colors: brown, white, gray, black, etc.
Then I chose the same spot in my bedroom where we had had the previous photos taken. Again, nothing fancy, just a spot by the window so that there was plenty of light. A couple of pillows placed under the fabric to prop up the baby, and we were good to go.
We did the same thing at five months.
And then again at six months when cousin Drew was visiting. Same bed, same window, same fabric drop cloth.
My point is, it was relatively easy to create my own photoshoots with these simple tools. Admittedly Photoshop helps a bit after the pictures are taken, but I’m still able to get some good shots with a few basic items.
For Henry’s seven month photoshoot, however, I decided to spice things up a bit. So we headed to Old Town in Alexandria, VA and went to the Potomac River Waterfront. It was a beautiful day which made the lighting ideal, the temperature was nice, and Henry was in a decent mood (definitely key). I sat him on a blanket and started snapping.
I found that the most important tool was the lighting. As long as there was enough light, I was able to use my auto settings on the camera and then concentrate on getting Henry to smile. Easier said than done, of course.
For our eight month session two weeks ago, Henry was able to sit up which gave us more options as to the location. So we headed downtown to the U.S. Botanic Gardens and met up with daddy during his lunch break.
Again, nothing fancy… no props other than the park benches and the surrounding flowers.
And since the CPA was there, I even got to be in a shot or two.
Granted, by then Henry was pretty much done with the whole photoshoot concept so getting a good picture was almost impossible. But hey – beggars can’t be choosers and I’ll take what I can get!
Do you create “photoshoots” at home? What props do you use? What’s your technique?