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Creating Your Own Baby Calendar: The Photo Shoot and More
Make sure there are at least two adults present, hopefully one is a parent of the child. Your baby can get really fussy and having a parent nearby makes a huge difference in the quality of the photo shoot. Make it one persons job to keep the baby happy and another persons job to take the pictures. To start, begin by deciding on a color background, which will be made simply by draping a sheet over the couch as shown in the first photo. If your baby likes to move around a lot, it may be safer to drape the sheet on the seat of the couch and the floor so your baby is not seated up high. We don't want your baby falling off the couch!
Tucking the sheet between the cushions will help keep the background steady. Make sure you have good lighting wherever you set up. Having a good quality camera will also make the resulting end photos all the more pleasant. Timing is also important: choose a time during the day your baby tends to not be as fussy; don't keep your baby up during his or her regular nap time to take the photos.
There are a lot of different options for making your baby calendar. For a more affordable route, go through what you already have lying around before deciding what approach to take. My little model, Ashton, had an adorable pumpkin costume that he still fit into. This would make a great photo for the month of October on my baby calendar. Some people may choose to do a different theme for each month of the year while others want to keep a consistent theme throughout the calendar, like doing a sports themed baby calendar.
A really easy and popular baby calendar theme is Christmas. There are endless options for creating a cute Christmas-themed calendar. I like to start out with adding Christmas lights, which always makes for an adorable photo. This is where having two people present will really come in handy- someone needs to be sure to watch the baby so he doesn't try putting the lights in his mouth! Also, be sure that if you decide to drape the lights around your baby to keep in mind that it only takes a few minutes before those bulbs get hot. You can also use the lights in the background. Other Christmas decorations can be used apart from Christmas lights to make lovely pictures: put your baby inside a Christmas stocking, let him play with a little nutcracker, or add a few Christmas ornaments to the scene. And I guarantee you have a cute little Christmas outfit lying around too!
Choosing the right outfits can make or break your baby calendar. Be cautions and avoid anything with detailed designs. Stick with solid colors, stripes, or polka dots. Detailed designs can get lost in the pictures and unintentionally blend in with the background.
So let's talk about themes...
There are so many options for your calendar. Here you can see a pirate photo, a baseball photo, and a cute picture of little Ashton holding his father's drumsticks. The ideas for these pictures didn't just fall out of the sky: I personally have a lot of pirate paraphernalia and so could not resist doing a pirate shoot. The baby's father and uncle both played baseball as kids. Think about what you could do with the sort of interests you and your family members have that could help you come up with fun theme ideas. Here are a few ideas you can draw from for doing a 12-month themed calendar:
-Sports (a different sport for each month)
-Pop Culture (walking dead anyone?)
- Animal themed (get some stuffed animals and have a blast)
-Monthly Holiday (January- new years, February- valentine's day, so on)
-Crafts (baby covered in finger paint? Be prepared to ruin the sheet)
Keep your mind open when deciding on a theme; you might be surprised at what you come up with!
Final Tips and Tricks
When it comes down to it you can plan and plan and plan, but sometimes your baby just isn't going to want to smile for the camera. Patience is the greatest resource for creating the best baby calendar you can make. Trying to get twenty different costumes with twenty different backgrounds and expecting to get this done in a couple of hours is unreasonable, and will be stressful on both you and the child. Be patience and let you and your baby take a break between shoots before changing outfits on him or her again. To keep baby happy and smiling, try having a toy that matches with the theme of each photo session; for instance, a baseball for your sport theme or a nutcracker in your Christmas photos. This will keep your baby fairly content. Make sure you have a pacifier or something that helps your baby calm down if he or she starts to get upset. And of course, a little love from Mom or Dad always helps between pictures. To get the most out of your pictures, try uploading them to your computer and playing around with different photo options. Black and white photos always look lovely, and there are many other photograph color adjustment that can make an enormous difference in picture quality. All I did for this cute ukulele picture was add a basic shadow effect. Finally, the best advice is to simply take a lot of pictures. Out of every fifty you take there are normally about three that are frame-able.
Once you have all your pictures taken, uploaded, and edited, it's time to create your calendar. You can choose to have the photos printed out and make the calendar by hand, but an easier option is to use websites like Shutterfly or Mixbook to simply upload your pictures and use one of their formatted options.
All that being said, make sure to have fun by making this a wonderful opportunity to make memories with your child. Enjoy and good luck everyone!
Have more theme ideas? Leave your comments bellow!