Photography tips – setting up a photo shoot for your child

Well, now that Anya is getting to be the big THREE, it is time for the annual birthday photo shoot.  As I get more experienced, I like to have some actual photo shoots for my kids for their birthday’s instead of my normal take-the-picture-when-I-can-and-hope-for-the-best photo shoot.  We want these photos to look better than a glorified snapshot of them in their play clothes, correct?  I want these photos to look like they were taken by a high end professional, instead of just…well, their MOTHER.

In keeping with my tips posts, I thought I would walk y’all through my process for trying to get this type of shot.  I want it to look professional, but I also want it to be fun for her since that will translate into better pictures for mommy.  Wish me lots and lots of luck.

  1. Look at some of your favorite children’s photographers to decide on what you want to accomplish with this photo shoot…then be realistic.
  2. Set aside some time to take said child to a special location.  You don’t want to be rushed, so leave time to play a bit with your child so they will be more receptive to the camera.
  3. Decide on the location, and have an alternative if the weather is bad and the original shoot was supposed to be outdoors.
  4. Try to narrow it down and decide on the style of shoot, what clothes, props, etc. to have along.  Don’t be above bribing, begging and an insane amount of flattery to get your child to wear what you want them to wear.  It’s not like you are doing this everyday.
  5. Bring an assistant…or not.  Try to figure out your child’s temperment and if you are going to need help.  Do they get easily distracted?  You might want to go it alone.  Do they run off on you?  You might want to have help.

Here is my plan:

  • A and I are going to a beautiful little park by us – earlish in the morning so the sun  is lower in the sky and more golden.  I actually prefer evening light, but by then she is usually tired and a little bit cranky.  I prefer a good mood if possible.
  • I chose one of the dresses that I made her and the props are going to be a beautiful Chinese parasol and also a wooden fan that match the colors of the dress.  I ordered some parasols and fans for props for photography shoots and they were fairly cheap.  Not the highest quality, but they don’t need to withstand daily use.
  • I am also bringing a bubble machine, balloons that match her dress…and CANDY.

I hope to have some wonderful birthday pictures by next Thursday.  Wish me luck, because my timing is a bit tight here.  We are flying home today, so I either have to do it tomorrow or Monday.  Her b-day is next Saturday.  It just may not get done in time…

4 Replies to “Photography tips – setting up a photo shoot for your child”

  1. Something that worked for me last year…

    I told the boys that their birthday photos were the ones that I sent to Santa Claus so that he would be sure of who they were come Christmastime. And I warned them that he’d be able to tell by looking at them whether they’d been good or not. Worked like a charm!

    And then, just for good measure, when Santa came on Christmas Eve, he left for each of the boys a copy of their photo with a note saying how nice and good they looked and how he hoped he could count on them to be just as good all the next year.

  2. Fun – oooh that’s be a FUN theme! 😉
    You know, I have to admit I’ve never done a real official photo shoot with my girl. I guess I should change that. Can’t wait to see your results, I’m sure they’ll be fantastic!

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