Capturing Memories: DIY Photo Shoot

For many of you mamas out there, you probably realize that having your child’s pictures taken professionally can get pretty expensive.

When my daughter was born, we planned on having her pictures taken quarterly throughout her first year – so we’d have newborn photos, three month photos, six month photos, nine month photos and of course one year photos done.

We had her newborn photos taken at a chain portrait studio, but I found myself completely angered with them and their lack of professionalism.

Not to mention, we paid $175 for a horrible session where we were only happy with about three shots.

So, for our daughter’s three month photos, I decided to call a friend who takes photos on the side and she came right to our home. She did a wonderful job. She took many shots and gave us a full CD, complete with edits for only $60, which is an excellent price.

By the time her six month photos rolled around, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to spend much on pictures. We got our family shots last time, which was my biggest priority with that session, but this time it was just going to be pictures of our daughter.

I decided to take my own.

I went out and found three different fabrics at Walmart. I got a simple white fabric for $2.50, a black fabric with a drawn out white floral print for $4.44, and a pink damask fabric for $2.20. I already have a plain black curtain that I got when she was first born to take photos on (after that manic newborn session we had, I had to get some good newborn shots). I only got a yard of each, which I figured would be plenty. When I got home, I realized I should have gotten two yards, because I didn’t take into account using it in the background and to cover the floor for a seamless look. No biggie. I went to Big Lots and found a white furry rug; it’s kind of small, but it does the trick.

So I set up a little ‘photo shoot’ in my daughter’s bedroom using her changing table as the holder for the backdrop.

I picked out a few different outfits to coordinate with the backdrops: a pink dress to go with the black and white backdrop, a multi colored dress for the white backdrop, a few diaper shots on the pink fabric and a few tutu shots on the black curtain.

So, voila! A makeshift photo session for a good price… can’t beat that!

Now, to edit them, you don’t need a high-end photo editing program. I am completely aware that Photoshop is not an option for some people (if it is, great!).

A great program I did find is called Photoscape — you can download it online and best of all, it’s free! You can crop your photo, lighten it, darken it, make it black and white, etc. It’s a great, simple, easy to use program.

If you want something more similar to Photoshop for slightly more advanced editing, check out Gimp. It’s also free and you can actually do quite a bit with it. If it stumps you at first, you can easily Google for ways to use it.

One thing I should mention now is that once your child becomes more mobile, he/she may not want to cooperate with a studio-style photo shoot.

At that point, it is best to capture your child in his/her own element. If it’s nice out, take them to the park and let them run around and just grab some good shots like that. Don’t be afraid to zoom; close-ups are beautiful!

And don’t forget, you don’t need a high-end, expensive, professional style camera to get great shots. Although I do own a DSLR camera, these photos were taken with my trusty point and shoot!

Now get creative and have fun with it!

3 Responses to Capturing Memories: DIY Photo Shoot

  1. Such great pictures of a cutie little baby!

  2. I agree pro pics are crazy priced! (not saying i dont agree with the price) just saying pricey!!

  3. While i may be biased as i am a professional photographer, i do think you can lose some great memories by NOT hiring a professional. Lots of custom photographers offer baby plans that will save you TONS just by thinking ahead. Chain stores see you as a number. Maybe try a custom photographer. Your babies are only babies for a short period of time. And just like any other major investment, planning ahead and making sacrifices will help cover the cost. Think about how much women spend on things like Coach purses, nails, and hair! If they gave that up for even just a month they could have a custom session bought and paid for. Just one coach purse is sometimes 3-5 times my session fee. Just an opinion from the other side. But i think your pictures of your daughter are super cute!

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