As a first time mom, I can’t go a day without taking a picture of my little guy. If you were to follow me on social media, you would see my entire Instagram filled with him, and he is always the star of my Snapchat Story. Sorry I’m so not sorry that I love to share the cuteness.
And while my amateur photography skills and iPhone gets the job done for day-to-day shots, of course I have gone to the pros for newborn photos, family portraits, and holidays.
Even though I have been extremely happy with all the work done by the professional photographers (with some I worked with also being so affordable), when on budget sometimes DIY photo shoots are the way to go.
Not only will you save money, but DIY photo shoots are so much fun. You get to be the creative director, setting up props and playing with lighting or post-production effects. You can even play dress up yourself and join in on the shoot (with help from a third-party or tripod), something I did for my shoot.
I have to admit that I did minor in photography, but it has been years since I have really been behind the lens. But today, everyone takes photos even if it’s just on their phones, so you don’t need to have “real” photography experience to pull it off.
Here’s everything you need to know about a DIY baby photo shoot.
Things You Will Need:
- A theme
Planning Your Photo Shoot
For my DIY shoot, I wanted to celebrate my son turning 6 months old. But no matter what your theme is (a holiday, birthday, milestone, or just every day), make sure you plan in advance so you can buy any props you might need. It’s also important to have a back up date if you want to shoot outdoors in case it rains or is a bit cool.
Need ideas on poses, themes, or what kind of props to get? Look no further than Pinterest. I seriously searched for “6 month baby photo shoot ideas” and got many of ideas from looking at other pictures. Best part is many are posted by professional photographers, so all you have to do is recreate what they captured.
Know How To Work A Camera
While most smartphones have cameras that can get the job done, I prefer using a DSLR camera. In this case, I borrowed a Nikon from my sister, so if you don’t have a professional camera ask around and I’m sure you will know someone who does.
You might want to take a day or two to learn how to use the camera, like how to manually focus, how to zoom, and the various settings like Portrait mode. However, just leave it on Auto and point and shoot when in doubt.
Know Your Angles..And Your Subject
While you can crop later, keep in mind what makes interesting shots. For a six month shot, your baby may or may not be able to sit up on their own. While my son can, he often gets lazy about it or prefers to stand or lay back. This means have props like a Boppy or basket ready with a blanket or rug to cover it in case this happens.
When capturing babies, also think of getting them from all angles like from up ahead, on their bellies, from behind, or close-ups of their tiny hands or feet.
How I Pulled Of My Six Month Shoot
I opted for an outdoor shoot, taking advantage of the spring weather, natural sunlight and mainly because I haven’t used the green screen I have at home yet.
I created a Pinterest board beforehand and referred back to the images during the shoot.
I made sure to bring toys to make my son laugh, and also tried to shoot as quickly as possible while he was in a good mood.
Here are the props I used:
- 1/2 Birthday Crown & Bowtie Hat made by SprinklePartyCo in Pale Gold + Mint found on Etsy
- Newborn Photography Props Faux Animal Fur sold by Custom Photo Props on Amazon
- Star Gray Picnic Blanket from Amazon
- Half Sign 1/2 Baby Photo Prop for 6 Month Birthday by ZCreateDesign on Amazon
- Basket I had at home
- Balloon & bubbles from Party City
I enlisted the help from my sister to act as my assistant for the day and help to set up the scene and make my little guy laugh or look at me, hence the camera. Afterward, I uploaded the photos on my Mac and then chose the best ones to be Airdropped to my iPhone where I used editing apps like Photoshop Fix and Facetune 2 for small fixes like editing out a sheet we used underneath to not get wet, crop, enhance color, blur the background and other filter effects.
Here’s how it came out!
Would you try doing your own photo shoot for your baby instead of heading to the pros? Have you done it before? Let me know in the comments!