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Tips and Ideas for Your Very Own Photoshoot
I have three children and to be honest my two eldest were still born in a time when cameras needed film to be developed. Memory cards and digital cameras were not around at least in the small world that I lived in... yet.
Don't get me wrong... pictures developed from old fashioned film has its points but with the digital age you can have endless shots and software to help you "fix" those pictures.
When the baby of the family came along I decided to arrange a photoshoot for all three children. By this time my two eldest were already approaching teendom.
With the help of my good friends Roly and Waya Rabanillo we endeavored to make a day of photo shots galore.
Here are some concepts and ideas that you can use for your own family photo shoots or personal photo trips.
What to Prepare
You'll need to prepare the following so that you stay on track and lessen the waiting around moments. If you're working with young children you'll need these even more.
- schedule of concepts including break times (this includes feedings and nap time)
- plain white blanket or sheet
- different colored and patterned cloths
- everyday items that your subject can use in his shots
- bubbles, balloons, ribbons and other materials to give more color and effects to your picture (remember this was all done on a budget)
- change of clothing per concept and shoes to go with it
All White Background and Clothing
I love the crisp clean look that the color white can bring to almost anything. Our baby Jael is wearing an all white ensemble. Basically a white tank top and shorts. For this shot I covered our mattress with a plain white blanket. I then tacked onto the wall another plain white blanket. Since space was tight I thought it would be a good idea to have the corner of the room as the center of the shot. It worked out fine and we got a lot of great shots.
As budget conscious as ever I wanted to have grand photographs but needed to use the simplest materials I could find. I got my imagination going by examining every small thing that I could find around the house.
I also went online and got ideas for poses and materials that were used. I got the idea to use balloons from a photograph that I saw. So I went to the mall and to my surprise balloons turned out to cost a fortune. Well, we happened to go to Market Market and I came across a big pack of water balloons. I thought it was perfect for the photoshoot in keeping with Jael's size and the fact that the purpose of the balloons was to add color.
If you'll notice in the shot, Waya made some changes to the photo to bring out the color of the balloons. They're defined enough to be noticed but not take away from Jael and his beautiful smile.
Spur of the Moment Shots
Spontaneity and resourcefulness come in handy when doing a photoshoot. At best you can have a guide for your ideas but most of the time it'll depend on your subject. In this case it was an 8th month old baby. Luckily, Jael is easy to distract and he loves the attention.
Of course with his short attention span he would quickly lose interest and we would need to move on to another shot.
Often you'll find that the simplest things will give you a great picture. As I mentioned earlier, take a look around your house and gather items that you can use. It'll be his smile that'll make the shot. You can use a pair of headphones or sunglasses, toys and even ribbons.
A great photo idea is the use of a mirror. Have your subject (or yourself) sit or stand in front of a mirror. This was a good idea to use for Jael because he was at that age where he was fascinated with reflections especially that of his own!
An often popular concept when taking pictures of a baby is a natural shot. I saw a great shot of a baby to his back in the photograph. Waya had a bit of a challenge with this photo and tried to capture a natural yet endearing shot of Jael.
As a distraction I gave my cellphone to Jael for him to play with. You don't see it in the shot but it's there. A lot of encouragement and smiles are needed so make sure to stock up on energy.
Jael has some birthmarks on his lower back and this is where software can come in to touch up certain areas of the picture. Depending on you, it can be left as is or you can even change the lighting of a photograph.
We decided to take the photo session outside. This was done during summer so we had perfect weather and took a few hours break before we resumed. When working with babies you'll need to cut the photoshoot into parts so your little one doesn't get cranky.
The outside shot was perfect for my idea of bubbles. Jael is actually wearing his baptismal suit and I wanted to take more pictures of him in it since it was a bit big for him when he wore it during his baptismal.
This shot was taken in one of the gardens in our compound. I had a foam mattress ready (white side up for photo editing) for Jael to keep him off the grass and away from insects like ants and such.
It was my older kids' turn and Bastian and Kianna happily allowed me to have them be included in the photo shoot. Since they were already 10 and 9 respectively, they didn't need as many props. Their photoshoot was focused more on their poses and angles.
The green scenery gives this shot a wonderful pop in color.
It's hard to get good shots so your subjects must enjoy themselves to get natural smiles and facial expressions.
Our princess in the family loves the camera and the camera loves her!
This shot was taken in the late afternoon and Waya took advantage of the gleaming sun to capture this rare moment.
Kianna wore a magenta colored dress with accordion accents. The garden was abundant with flowers and the added flower behind her ear ties the whole shot together.
Children's shots are often better when they're smiling or showing a happy emotion. It's what we want for all our children. Like they say a smile says a thousand words.
Before I let the kids off for an afternoon of fun I asked for one last shot of the three of them. This picture says it all. Three gorgeous kids and one lucky mom!
I'd like to give special thanks to Waya Rabanillo for his patience and perseverance of getting the best shot for each concept. I'd also like to thank his wife Roly, Jael's Godmother for the support and great ideas she shared with me.
If you'd like to have a photoshoot scheduled you can contact us through the comments box.