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As I told my husband, (silly as this might seem!) I have often worried about having TOO many pictures of the babies. In this age of smart phone cameras hardly a moment goes by without being recorded. Which is a BEAUTIFUL thing, but I have literally worried about being able to choose pictures to use at events such as their future graduations because can you even imagine HOW many pictures I will have by that point?! How will I ever choose?! SO, my solution to this has been to religiously take month to month photos. No matter their mood or the weather, we take a photo every single month on their month birthday. While at first I just wanted to record their growth, this has also become my solution to how in the world I will choose photos one day! Haha!
At first I tried to use the same chair every time but I soon realized that would not be sustainable. So, I decided to go with a blank background and blanket (or similar) and try to have them sitting for at least one shot. Over the last sixteen months, I have done a lot of trial and error and these are a few things that have helped me get (mostly!) consistent, model and Pinterest worthy, professional looking photos even with just my iPhone.
1. Do it first thing in the morning, the light is normally best at this time as well as everyone’s attitudes! I typically take them right away when we all wake up.
2. Use outdoor light, even from a window. Make sure it is not direct sunlight or you will end up with squinty eyes and harshly lit photos.
3. Use a blank (as possible!) neutral colored background. Otherwise you have cute but visually confusing photos (see example!) If you don’t have a blank wall, a hung sheet works great, I use a board I spray painted and that has been working fantastically as well.
4. Distractions! Sometimes something as simple as a toy they don’t see often, or something ‘forbidden’ like strings of beads work wonders. (Obviously beads are not safe baby toys but they make amazing photo props!) They think they have something they’re not supposed to, and you get to click away! If you have family or friends nearby willing to jump and dance and sing to make them laugh, even better! If these methods fail, I have been known to play Veggietales on the iPad and hold it in the air to catch their attention while the other hand takes the photo.
5. Don’t expect perfection! One day you will laugh even more at the outtakes! Babies are unpredictable little beings and especially if you’re shooting multiple babies it’s rare both will smile perfectly at the same time.
With the twins, I’ve learned to just shoot the pics and be done, otherwise it becomes a huge production and everyone’s nerves get frazzled.
I hope these tips help, it’s a learning process every time so I will share more tips as I discover them! Happy picture taking!