Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DIY Christmas Baby Photo Shoot

I'm pretty picky about my pictures, so I'd hate to spend a lot of money on a photographer and come out with something I'm not happy with.  The result it that I end up doing my own shoots most of the time. I did Lizzie's birth announcement a few months ago and decided to do a simple Christmas one this week with a few easy props in my house.  (Lucky we moved into the "new" housing on base and have a lot of natural light with some monster-size windows to help.)




My first shot was to do one of the typical Christmas lights in the background shots but I couldn't get the lights to where they looked just right. I hung a flat white sheet over our counter and floor and hung the lights on top.  I used a low aperture setting to focus in on Lizzie's face.  After several minutes of this however I wasn't satisfied and only managed to get one "tester" shot I liked which I converted to black and white with Photoshop.


My next attempt was to use one of my Christmas tablecloths in the background.  I wanted a more classic Christmas look so I made a quick King's Crown for Lizzie with some old Stampin' Up! scrapbook paper I had. I also added some beads to get a little shine.  I liked how these turned out a little better, but didn't think I wanted to use any for my Christmas card. 


My weird sheet/light setup.
Finally, I had a good idea. What I really wanted was some really, really great background light.  Unfortunately, all the windows have grids (is that the right word?) in them so I would have had odd criss-cross shadows in them. I also was not in a professional studio. The sun was low in the sky and at just the right angle to come in nicely through my front door. I decided to string the white sheet between two chairs just where the light hit. I had Andrew standing by in case of any baby tip-overs. I got Lizzie dressed, and I started snapping.  Success! (This all seems a little more epic in my head as I'm writing this with my Two Steps from Hell Pandora track.)

This was my most successful attempt. I got quite a few pictures I was happy with, all using a lower aperture on my digital SLR. 


"Wow. What a great idea using the sheets and sunlight Mom!"


I finally selected the picture I liked the best for our Christmas cards. Luckily, I didn't find that I had to use Photoshop other than to crop to the right dimensions for Shutterfly and add the text.  I drew from the colors in her dress and the lights for the text color.  Not your typical Christmas colors, but I am SO HAPPY with how they turned out. 


Whoo! Done! Ordered! And it's only December 4th...just 52 weeks to come up with next year's Christmas card.



Check out my more recent Christmas cards too!

2013 Toddler Pictures
2014 Toddler Pictures

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