We have our family photos taken every year before the holidays. Working with different bloggers and creative entreprenuers has put me in touch with so many wonderfully talented people. Unfortunately both photographers we’ve worked with for the past few years for our family photos have moved out of state. This year I truly had no idea where I would turn when it was time for photos of my sweet daughters. Instead of trying to develop a new relationship with a local photographer, I participated in a fun campaign with Portrait Innovations. In exchange for a studio session, complimentary prints and products, and compensation, our family spent a couple of hours in the studio having some fun with a very creative photographer. The experience felt easy and we were able to capture so many sweet family moments. Of course, without being fully prepared, our session with my daughters could have gone completely in a different direction.
Having a nice camera and a cute baby doesn’t mean you are going to be able to take perfect pictures of your baby at home. Each month I take a photo of my daughter in the same room with the same camera and lens, with the same lighting, and the same pink stuffed piggie. And every single month, as hard as I try to make them consistent, that photo looks different.
Taking pictures of babies is not easy. They are wiggly and usually aren’t very cooperative. They throw up, drool on their clothes, cry, and do all sorts of other things to make your photos anything but picture perfect. Of course those are the moments, as parents, we love to capture at home. But those usually don’t make frameable photos to share with family and friends.
As hard as I’ve tried to do it myself, I’m leaving those professional photos to the experts. Our photography session at Portrait Innovations felt easy, was fun, and perfectly captured my six year old daughter and her new baby sister loving each other. The photographer was wonderful and extremely patient with my daughters.
As easy as the session felt, we were completely prepared to be there. By following these tips, you can set yourself up to have a great photography studio session with a baby too.
Baby photography studio session tips
1) Bring a helper.
It might be your partner, relative, or even a friend but bringing a helper definitely makes your session better. My husband came along and helped with outfit changes, keeping track of all our stuff, and feeding the baby.
2) Bring extra bottles and food.
All babies are different, but for my four month old daughter, food usually solves all her problems. Be prepared to take a few short breaks for a bottle to soothe a fussy baby.
3) Plan for several different outfit changes and bring extras.
I really wanted a photo of my daughters wearing matching dresses but it made me nervous thinking about the baby spitting up on her pretty dress. Instead of worrying about it, I brought a few back up dresses that would still match my older daughter’s dress. I’m thrilled we were able to get some photos of them in their matching dresses but I had a back up plan in place in case that didn’t work.
4) Bring props.
Favorite toys, blankies, and other items are encouraged. My six year old daughter asks everyday if she can dress up her baby sister. At home dressing up the baby is not an activity mom usually approves of, but during our Portrait Innovations studio session, my daughter was so excited to take photos with her in dress up clothes! We brought a few different costumes, accessories, crowns, and wands for this adorable photo.
5) Pack extra bibs and actually use them.
Between photos make sure baby is wearing a bib. It might not be full on spit up but baby drool isn’t the perfect accessory in photos.
6) Bring hair accessories.
Both of my daughters had very little hair as infants. I really wanted them to wear matching hair bows but there was no way I could get a bow to stay in the baby’s fine fuzzy almost non-existent hair. Instead I attached the bow to a stretchy headband so they could still match. Sometimes you just need to get a little creative with your accessories.
7) Step back and let the photographer work.
I’ll admit it, with my first daughter, I was a super ultra helicopter mom. I’ve relaxed a little with baby #2 but it still takes an effort for me to completely step aside. We had a very successful photography studio session because I stepped back and let the photographer work. She was excellent with my girls and got some great shops because I wasn’t hovering the entire session.
8) Be honest during the selection process.
We took about 100 photos during our photography session so the selection process would have been very tedious if we weren’t honest from the beginning. If there are photos you don’t care for, tell your photographer and move on to the ones you love. You’re not going to hurt feelings; your honesty is genuinely appreciated because Portrait Innovations wants you to leave feeling excited about the photos you selected.
9) Print different sizes.
Portrait Innovations prints your selections immediately following your session so you leave just half an hour later with photos in hand. When making your selections, step outside the traditional photo packages to customize to your needs. With several different sets of grandparents, instead of too many wallets, I chose quite a few more 5″ x 7″s so we could share equally with everyone. During the selection process I also thought about how else we could creatively use the photos. My older daughter is the SeaWorld kid blogger and every visit we send thank you notes. This week we are sending photos of her with favorite marine animals instead of a traditional thank you card.
10) Share your photos!
I don’t share nearly enough photos with friends and family online of my daughters together. From my personal viewing studio online, I shared our photo album on Facebook. My mom came over and really enjoyed looking at all of our pretty pictures. She was happy to leave with a few copies to frame in her home and display at work. All other relatives are getting a surprise package in the mail with photos this week!
Overall we had a wonderful experience at Portrait Innovations and couldn’t be more happy with our photos. The studio was comfortable and our family was very relaxed during our photography session. With so many ways to photograph your children, making it feel easy is much appreciated!
Do you have any tips to make a baby photography studio session great?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary photography session, printed products, and compensation from Portrait Innovations to share our portrait experience. All thoughts and opinions are my own.