When I started taking pictures, I spent a while looking for backdrops I could use in my kitchen, where I get great window light. I painted one side of one white, using paint I had left over from painting ceilings in my house. I painted another side blue, using an 8 oz sample size can of paint from Home Depot ($3 in any color you want). I like to pair the blue backdrop with a 4 ft piece of white trim at the bottom, to get a more professional look.
I often use these backdrops in conjunction with my 4 ft x 6 ft bamboo floor mat, which I found on sale for less than $40 shipped from Natural Area Rugs.
Could there possibly be new pictures of your baby girl that her grandma has not received yet? I just have to say great marketing with the little boys picture that shows up on pintrest when you are searching around. All posts and pictures are copyrighted by Autumn Baldwin and blog content may not be reposted elsewhere. Etta and I collaborated on a couple of newborn photo sessions a few weeks ago and I thought I’d pass along some tips I picked up along the way. I’ve read that the best age to take newborn photos is in the first 14 days, while the baby is still very sleepy.
Choose a spot in your house that gets good natural light, then open the blinds, curtains, etc.
I also turned on the white noise machine we have in the bedroom to dampen the noise of the house and keep her calm.
My favorite part of this entire photoshoot, though, was the heart-shaped bokeh in the background (those fuzzy Christmas-light-hearts). And even though I am 100% certain that these photos would be better if Jordan had been around for a photo shoot, we got enough acceptable shots in our DIY photoshoot for a fabulous photo Valentine. During yesterday's early evening, sis and I dressed in our sweetest Fall best, and drove to the park and had ourselves a little photoshoot. This week I have report cards to fill out, progress reports to complete, IEPs to construct, loads of lessons to pull out of my butt, and a new student to prepare for who supposedly enters my classroom in a week from today. Not to mention: a PL week to finish, a blog to maintain, and Halloween costume embellishments to breathe into life. Elise did a post of this format a few days ago, and this here is my version to encapsulate all the things from my summer twenty.twelve. I want to remember the feeling I had on the last day of school of my super rough first year, and the dress I wore. I want to remember that it was the first summer in about 10 years that I didn't work or school. I want to remember that I went to the beach with friends about a handful of times, and each time was magical. I want to remember how fun learning Photoshop was for me, and how this summer's PS play has made me hungry to learn more. I want to remember that big 4th of July BBQs are fun, but casual at-home 4th of Julys with close family and fireworks in your backyard are fun too. I want to remember my mint Anthropologie watch that I bought myself for completing my first year.
I want to remember that a few key items can makeover a room and make it feel more like home.
I want to remember my chubby cat iPhone case, and how I finagled the guy to give it to me for $9 and not $20. I want to remember the long bouts of time in the car with Tomas, seeing actual chickens cross the road, random highway forest fires, singing and napping and laughing and goofing and thinking.
I want to remember my reawakened appreciation for cute mugs and my participation in the #mugswap. I want to remember how August became silent and sad, and even still, gave me room and space to think and grow.
I want to remember Jamina's pool-visit with the kids, because every year they get so much bigger!


I want to remember the Friday morning Claude and I spent crafting the backdrop for the photoshoot.
I want to remember Claudia's Sweet 16 Photoshoot that I planned, orchestrated, shot, edited, and was theMOSTfun. I want to remember my complete addiction to instagram and the recording of the above events. I'm counting down the days until the new season of The Walking Dead starts up in October.
There are lots of example photos coming up – so many that I had to split this post into two parts, so be sure to click here for the rest of the post. One more thing before we get to the photos: you WILL NOT get good photos unless you pay attention to the light. The curtain I used was found in the as-is section at IKEA for a few dollars, half of a Mariam curtain pair, and made a great background in a pretty color (imagine how great this would look if your child has bright green eyes!). Blankets are usually not quite as tall as curtain panels, but their main advantage is that they don’t show wrinkles. Here I used the gorgeous Gurli turquoise throw that’s only $13 and draped it over the back of a chair that I turned around so it would be facing a large window. When babies are awake it can be extremely hard to get them to stay still and happy for a photo. For a very professional look, a wide roller blind can be hung behind a child and then draped onto the ground he’ll stand on. The Tuppler blackout roller blind (47 wide at $25) gives a great, flat background (I used the back of it).
Remember check out part 2 of this post for five more DIY home photo studio setups, including more setups that accommodate older children.
All the photos used only natural light – I tried to show in the pullback shots show where the window (or open door) was in relation to the subject. As a professional and specialized newborn photographer I urge you to remove the couch newborn recommendation.
I found lots of options, but most were fairly expensive (upwards of $100 each), and many would take too much space to store.
If you are going to use sample size paints I’d recommend priming the wood first to make sure the sample size amount of paint is enough to cover the entire surface. Generally if you are using window light on a sunny day, the auto or sunny white balance setting will be great, but on an overcast day you may want to switch to the cloudy setting.
I generally prop the boards against two kitchen chairs that are turned backward, then use clamps at the top to secure them to the chairs.
I would love it if you would share it at the Pinworthy Project Party tomorrow on Planned in Pencil, regardless I’m pinning now but I would love to share it with others there too! Thanks ?? I am so excited to try this out I would love to share my pictures with you once I get them taken probably tomorrow because she will be 10 days tomorrow!!!! I keep mine out in my garage, but under the bed would be even easier – thanks for the idea! But if you’re like me and are comfortable with your DSLR, kind of a cheapskate (ahem… raises hand) and your baby is (somewhat) cooperative, give it a go! I put two of our dining room chairs on the side of the bed, with the backs of the chairs facing the side of the bed.
Yes, I think people don’t realize what goes on behind the scenes at professional photo shoots and how much effort and editing those perfectly posed photos must take! I have a newborn and was trying to take some pics of her on just a blanket on the floor the other day. I was a first timer for my daughters newborn shots (with my other two we had professional shots). I have one shot of my two daughters together (not shared here) that is among my most favorite photos of all time. Taking pictures of these Smooches is no easy feat (those of you who do this for a living- hats off to you!). I willelaborate in the near future, but it's beenall kinds of awesome which I guessties in with this motive.


We had a whole unexpected week off because of Sandy, and quite frankly going back felt like coming back from Summer vacation.
Please read this post for an explanation of what you’re looking for when it comes to using natural light inside your house. You can use curtain panels with a DIY PVC backdrop stand or an adjustable backdrop stand from amazon (affiliate link). You might have to iron a curtain panel before use (or toss in the dryer), but blankets, especially those with some texture, can generally be taken straight from the couch or basement and used immediately. Set the baby in the crook of her elbow (make sure baby is not sinking into her elbow, but propped on top), then wrap part of the blanket around baby to make it appear she’s swaddled. You’ll need to be quite careful not to wrinkle it while using, but since it rolls up it stores beautifully. I just want everyone to know that with practice and some basic background options you can get great photos of your own kids at home. I shot in rooms with large windows (and my garage with the door open), so there was plenty of light. I am on a budget and truly, I don’t have the money to get all the photography equipment for my business.
I sometimes used blankets as inexpensive backdrops, but I really just wanted a flat surface in a couple of different colors that I could set up easily behind a child to take portraits with. I wanted to sneak them in before her skin started peeling or she got a weepy blocked tear duct or cradle cap or all that other ugly stuff.
It definitely gives you a sense of pride doing it yourself, especially when people ask you what studio you got them done at. Did you know that we do lovey bundles (like stockings, but for Valentines Day) around here?
However, I hope to have the ones that I will be selling listed in the shop somewhere in between Black Friday and December 1st. I approached IKEA about using their products in this post because their stuff is good quality at a great price, and they have just about anything you’d ever need. The adult will be able to hold baby’s arms and legs tight and keep her calm without being visible in the photo. It’s large enough to use for full-length shots for kids up to 5 years old, and can be used for closeups or half-body shots for older kids or adults. Someday I’d love to get a studio lighting setup, but we don’t really have room in our house right now, so I just make do with the windows! Newborn photography is not to be taken lightly and posed portraits are not suited for DIY remedies. When I want to use them I simply bring them into the kitchen and lean one against the backs of two chairs and position my subject in front of them.
She was in a onesie, but she was just crying for most of it (I was the only one home, so no helpers). The natural lighting was best in our living room, so I used the couch to hold up the white sheet and used the boppy on the floor under it for positioning.
Each setup uses a different backdrop or background, giving you lots of variety, but all of them are quick and easy to set up and use items you can store in a closet or your basement. She’ll be out of that 2-week window tomorrow, but hoping day 15 or 16 is still okay over here.
At least put a disclaimer to always have a spotter (someone other than the person taking the pictures).
I just use my on-camera flash (still very much an amateur here), but I use a product called a Light Scoop.
It’s just a piece of plastic and a mirror, but it bounces the flash onto the ceiling allowing the light to diffuse over the whole room. If you’ve ever struggled to get well lit photos indoors, the Light Scoop will be nothing short of a revelation.



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