Category Archives: Photos

More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

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This handsome little fella is already almost 3 weeks old (where did the time go?!) and he still has me totally heart-eyed. You guys were right, being an aunt is AH-MAZING!
newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-6When my sister asked if I could come over and get a few photos of Owen as a newborn, I was so excited for the opportunity excuse to play Auntie Paparazzi. I did however remind her that I’m not ((even CLOSE to)) a professional photographer and that she should definitely invest in a real photographer if she wanted professional quality photos. She insisted that my photos would be perfect for her. #awww

When Casey welcomed her nephew into the world with a newborn photo-shoot, she learned A LOT (and documented the tips in this post). That newborn photography post is actually one of our most popular posts, which is why I decided to build on that post with 10 MORE newborn photography tips. <– plus, any excuse to show off this cutie is okay in my playbook!

Disclaimer:

We don’t think our photos are close to professional quality, but we do feel that with enough practice (and lots of trial and error), new moms + friends can get some pretty amazing photos of their precious babies. And to us, that’s what it’s all about. We hope some of these tips help you capture the special baby in a stress-free environment <— we say that from experience. Newborn photos can be STRESSFUL, and to us, that stress defeats the whole purpose of these special photos.

1. Stay home! newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-13

If possible, we do encourage you to stay at home to take these pics… for a few different reasons.

  1. Taking these photos at home will ensure that mom and baby are comfortable, in a comfortable temperature, and have access to anything the baby needs (i.e. diaper, bottle, new blanket, pacifier, nap time, etc.)
  2. We know we’re a bit biased, but we do think it’s important to capture hints of the home when possible in these photos. The house that you bring your baby home to is SPECIAL and is now officially a significant part of your family’s “story”. On the parent’s bed, in the little one’s new nursery, with a pet, whatever the case… being home is the perfect backdrop in our opinion.
  3. New moms are just that — NEW to the mom game. It’s important to take this transition slowly and being able to capture these photos in the comfort of your own home (and at the pace you want) is extremely important to keep this experience as stress free as possible.

2. Have a general plan, but be flexiblenewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-5

I told Katie that I was there to take the photos, but I would take whatever photos she wanted to or do whatever she had planned. She made a very general plan of what she wanted the afternoon to look like, which helped me because I never felt like I was invading on her or Owen’s schedule. Plus it helped her because she had a few of the blankets, props, and “looks” ready for the photos before I came over. However, it is important to note that this plan should be very, very…. very flexible. Being flexible is key. If you don’t get to one of the “outfits” or one of your Pinterest ideas doesn’t work out, IT’S OKAY! There’s always tomorrow, right?!

3. Natural Light + Warmth = Winning combonewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-15

Casey mentioned this tip in the original newborn photography post, but it’s so important that it deserves to be re-emphasized. If you’re new to the photography game, the biggest piece of advice we can tell you is ALWAYS shoot in natural light. Never at night, never with a lamp on, and never when the light in your home is less than bright. Having a space that is full of natural light is important to capture gorgeous photos. <— That goes for all photos, not just newborn photos.

Keeping the baby nice and warm in this bright space is probably the biggest tip we have specifically for newborn photos. From our limited experience, keeping baby warm and cozy is key in keeping him comfortable and photo-ready! (More heating tricks here)

4. Go with what’s YOU not with what’s on Pinterestnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-7

Pinterest is a magical place, isn’t it? We love Pinterest and turn to it for inspiration all the time. However, Pinterest can become stressful and overwhelming when you are looking to replicate an EXACT look rather than using that look as inspiration.

Spoiler alert: you’re never, ever going to replicate an identical photo — and that’s OKAY! We want you to create your own gorgeous photos and feel proud, not look back at these same gorgeous photos and feel disappointed that they don’t look like photos on Pinterest. So use Pinterest for ideas, but get excited to put your own spin and style on them. Photos that reflect you, your style, and this adorable little baby are way more perfect anyway!!

5. Get your light right before adding babynewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-11

Super important. When you’re a rookie like me, getting the settings right on your camera may take an extra second… or 12. I find that it’s helpful to get your camera settings perfect before putting baby down to photograph. This way, you’re ready to shoot right away and you’re not wasting precious time. Let’s be honest here, every second counts when this adorable little guy in front of you cracks an unexpected smile. =)

6. Include mom, for more than the obvious reasonnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-18

Of course getting “mom” in the photo is important & so special to have for years and years to come. Plus we all know that moms are NEVER in photos because they’re always busy taking them! Not cool. So for obvious reasons we want mom to jump in the photo BUT we also think mom should be in the photo for some selfish photography reasons. Having mom in the photo almost immediately calms baby and provides that warmth that is so important to keep him calm and happy.

Owen was by far the calmest when he was being held by Katie, so getting her in the picture was a WIN-WIN!

7. Edit in black and white if you have an “oops!”newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-10

Like I said, I’m a rookie when it comes to newborn photography so there were times my camera wasn’t on the perfect setting or the shadows/colors were a bit off. Because of those minor issues, the photos of these super cute moments were less than perfect (to say it nicely). However, editing the photos and converting them to black and white helped make-up for some of these rookie mistakes.

If you LOVE the photo but don’t love the photography skills behind it, try converting it into black and white and you may be surprised with the outcome! <— maybe not the answer for the entire batch, but an option for at least a few! #ourlittlesecret

8. NO pressure… newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-14

If we’re being completely honest here, all you need out of this “photoshoot” are 5-10 photos you love. So forget having to do 12 outfit changes at 5 different locations — that’s too much and totally unnecessary to put this newborn through at this point!

Allow me to personally reassure you that if you take ENOUGH photos (even just with one blanket!), you WILL get 5-10 amazing ones (how could you NOT, these babies are so darn cute!?). So don’t feel pressure to get the “perfect” shot. You only need 5… let’s keep that in perspective. Five amazing photos of this perfect little human?! Forget the pressure… you’ve got this!

9. Don’t overlook the detailsnewborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-8

Don’t overlook the details! Mini toes, fingers, nose, hair…. all of these details are adorable and can be a fun touch to the scrapbook, photo stream, or baby announcement. So while you’re shooting away, don’t forget to snap a few pics of these tiny details that won’t always be so darn tiny.

10.  Embrace the imperfections! newborn_photography_tips_baby_owen-17

^ ^ ^ This picture… can you even?! I feel like Owen is saying, “MOM!! Ewwwww…. don’t kiss me in front of my friends!”. Is he 16 already?!

These imperfect faces and funny “mishaps” are actually the best part of some of these photos, so embrace the not-so perfect pictures! These moments are the ones that you’ll be extra grateful you have documented years and years from now.

So last but not least, when baby faces, baby postures, or ideas aren’t going exactly how you envisioned, just keep going with it because you may be surprised at how special these photos really turn out to be. Imperfect is the new perfect. 😉

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Our Photography Favorites

For your information, here is our all-time favorite photo equipment & what we use to take all of our pictures (affiliate links used):

Bridget Signature

PS. Have you seen Owen’s adorable “Happy Camper” Nursery?! Take the full tour here!happy_camper_nursery_reveal_gender_neutral

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One thought on “More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

  1. Dinky Feet Photography

    Definitely safety first, agree. The problem I have with most newborn photography, especially with props is that they all look alike. I could take photos from 20 different photographers and put them up and I couldn’t tell you which one is the signature look, their style. I am not sure I found the solution, but I just focus on the baby interacting with the parents, and if props are brought it in, they have meaning to that family, not some basket or luggage I brought. Still am working on my own style for that, but just a point I wanted to share and see other folks’ take. Thanks.
    Dinky Feet Photography

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One thought on “More Newborn Photography Tips for Rookies

  1. Dinky Feet Photography

    Definitely safety first, agree. The problem I have with most newborn photography, especially with props is that they all look alike. I could take photos from 20 different photographers and put them up and I couldn’t tell you which one is the signature look, their style. I am not sure I found the solution, but I just focus on the baby interacting with the parents, and if props are brought it in, they have meaning to that family, not some basket or luggage I brought. Still am working on my own style for that, but just a point I wanted to share and see other folks’ take. Thanks.
    Dinky Feet Photography

    Reply

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Photo Catalog

So, I’m a bit of a picture nut.

I’m always printing pictures out and updating the pictures in our frames and on our bulletin boards. I just love having wonderful memories with family and friends all around our home. It makes me realize what a happy and full life we are blessed to have.

But, even though I’m a “picture nut” I’m not exactly the best at keeping all of my pics organized and in chronological order.

Here’s the system I’ve been using for quite some time.  Whenever I print out pictures, I just put them in the photo box that sits on our bookshelf.

Sure, it’s a cute little box.

Photo Box

But the scary part happens when you open it up.

See…I told you it was scary.

I’m constantly taking all of the photos out, and I dig and dig looking for a specific picture. It’s a mess.

So when I saw this card catalog at my favorite antique mall, I knew it would be a great solution to my picture problem.

Plus with a $10 price tag…who could pass this bad boy up? (Yes, that is my coffee on top. Is there any other way to shop?!)

Once I got it home, I cleaned it up with hot water mixed with some vinegar. I wiped it down, inside and out, to get rid of all of those years of neglect #holyspiderwebs

There were also some pieces of tape on the exterior, so I used some Goo Gone to get them off.

After it was all dry, it was time to get organizing.

I hit up OfficeMax and got some labels and plastic 4×6 tabs.

The tabs had letters on them, but I just flipped them over and used the backside.

I then dumped all our pics on the table. #holycow

I then made some paper scraps to decide on my groupings. Childhood pictures, High School, College, etc.
Now, I don’t want to give away all of my secrets…but I’m gonna tell you something. 
Whenever we have a guest come for the weekend, I like to make sure that I have at least a couple pictures of them up in our place. I just think it makes that person feel more comfortable and I like to think it makes them feel good too. So, I’ll sometimes swap out a few pictures in our frames to accommodate our guests. (Sorry future guests…you now know my secret! Don’t feel sad next time you come over!)
Anyways, I made a few groupings of photos for our family and friends. I chose the best pictures of everyone and they’re now all grouped by name. 
It definitely took me a lot less time than expected to get everything in order. 
It makes me feel pretty cool (like I’m a librarian or something!) whenever I flip through the different sections. 
I put awkwardly shaped photos in the back behind the 4×6 pictures. 
There is still TONS of room left for pictures. The entire right drawer is empty.
The photo catalog’s final resting place (for now) is in the guest room by the desk.
I’m pretty much in love with it. It’s cute, functional, and makes me feel so darn organized. #triplethreat
Photo Catalog Organizing Pictures
How do you keep your pictures organized? Are you a hoarder like me with a big box full o’ pics? Or do you have an organized filing system? 
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2 thoughts on “Photo Catalog

  1. clare @ fitting it all in

    Would it be rude to email a link to this post to my mom….? We have literally THOUSANDS of pictures in our basement.

    Also can you do a version of this for my computer? I need to organized my computer photos so badly!! And I just don’t know what is the best way or where to start.

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  2. DIY Playbook

    Clare, you are too funny! A small nudge never hurt anyone right? I’ve seen more card catalogs like this one at the Antique Mall on Big Bend if she wants to check it out!

    Also, yes I totally need to organize pics on my computer too. With blogging there are soooooooo many pics! Once I figure out some sort of organization system I’ll post it!

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2 thoughts on “Photo Catalog

  1. clare @ fitting it all in

    Would it be rude to email a link to this post to my mom….? We have literally THOUSANDS of pictures in our basement.

    Also can you do a version of this for my computer? I need to organized my computer photos so badly!! And I just don’t know what is the best way or where to start.

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Clare, you are too funny! A small nudge never hurt anyone right? I’ve seen more card catalogs like this one at the Antique Mall on Big Bend if she wants to check it out!

    Also, yes I totally need to organize pics on my computer too. With blogging there are soooooooo many pics! Once I figure out some sort of organization system I’ll post it!

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Wall of Love

With Valentine’s Day only a few days away, I thought I might do something a bit romantic in our little love nest.

Our master bedroom has a nook with nothing on the wall, and I figured it would be the perfect spot to display some sentimental and personal “art.”

Here’s what I’m affectionately calling our “Wall of Love.”

Personal Wall Art Romantic

Let’s first take a look at the white special dates frame.

Special Dates Art
Those 4 dates are very special to Finn and I. They represent when we first started dating, when we moved in together, when he proposed, and our future wedding date!
I just created them in a word document on my computer, and printed it out on card stock.
I then got out my colored pencils, and drew some hearts after each number. I tried to do a bit of an ombre color scheme..with the green hearts subtly getting darker from top to bottom.

We all know I have a certain love for geography (like the vintage globe in this post). So, I thought the map would add some flair to the simple white frame mat.

I had a $4 wall map left over from a DIY project gone wrong (it happens…often!) With this project, I was finally able to put my map purchase to good use! I just took out the frame map, traced it, cut out the map, and glued it onto the frame. #DIYdoesntgeteasierthanthis

Map Frame Mat

Moving onto the other sections of the “Wall of Love.”

This love quote from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 was a gift for our engagement. #sosweet

How about this adorable chicken wire frame? My mom found it at the Kane County Flea Market (If you live in the Chicagoland area…go! You will love it)

Clothes pins hold some sentimental items from our engagement night.

Here is the key card from the hotel where we stayed the night we got engaged.

This is Finn’s hospital bracelet.

Funny story…my man was in the hospital for 3 days and got out just in time to keep the Christmas plans with our families. (More on that day here)  We kept his bracelet to remember that love can conquer all!

Here is a card from the restaurant where he popped the question.

Rounding out the “Wall of Love” is this large canvas photograph.

Canvas

Finn’s mom bought us a Groupon for a canvas print from Canvas on Demand (Thanks Kathy!) We decided to use a picture from our engagement night of our large group of family and friends. It is very special to have such a nice picture where we’re surrounded by everyone we love.

I heart this new little area of our bedroom.

So what about you…do you have an area in your love nest to display ooey-gooey sentimental stuff?
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