Celebrate the season of love this Valentine’s Day with adorable at home pictures of you and your little ones.
Not being much of a photographer myself, but having learned a few things from watching my partner do photography for his clients- and scrolling on Pinterest, but does that really count?
I decided to give at home photography a go. I didn’t want the holiday to pass without documenting it for the girls, plus who doesn’t love some pink and red in pictures?
If you're thinking about doing this yourself, here are some of my tips to get you started!
The 4 G’s of a Successful Photoshoot
If this is your first-time taking pictures, I always recommend spending a few minutes on Pinterest.
A quick search of "Valentine’s Day pictures" gave me more ideas than I'll ever be able to use. You can check out my Valentine's Day pictures inspiration board here.
I also recommend following a few different photographers on social media. They post holiday shoot pictures of past clients which often gives me ideas of things I’d like to try as well.
A few local (St. Thomas & London based) photographers that I recommend are:
Keep in mind, Pinterest and photography accounts can be dangerous! There are so many cute ideas and if you’re like me, you want to try them all!
Remember to keep it simple, I would suggest choosing 2-3 ideas max that require similar props or backgrounds especially if you’re taking pictures of kids. With their short attentions spans, you're only going to have 3-5 minutes to take pictures once you start, which doesn’t give you a lot of time to change props or clothes.
2. Go Shopping
I assume not everyone has a house full of holiday decor that can be used for photo props, so go shopping and pick up your supplies.
Make a list of the items you’re looking for and then hit up your local dollar stores, they're always full of holiday décor at low prices.
Thrift stores are great for random finds, but you have to go often and there’s no guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for, so they aren’t a good idea if you’re looking for something specific or are in a time crunch.
I use Amazon a lot too because of the fast-shipping option that comes with my Prime membership. I’ve linked a few of the photo props I ordered on Amazon below.
While you'd think this would be a very simple step, I find I tend to jump in headfirst without doing getting ready.
Simple things like making sure your cellphone is fully charged since your battery is going to die super quick!
Make sure that you are 100% ready, including yourself, your backdrop, and your props etc. are all organized and set up before you start getting your kids ready.
Test out your camera angles and make sure you can fit everyone in the frame, that you like the way your background and props are set up and that you don’t have household clutter in your picture. I’m notorious for forgetting this part. Can you see my sewing machine in the background of the mirror?
There’s a lot you can do with a tripod and a remote camera trigger, but I find having a second set of hands to grab props, check photo angles, and get kids to smile for the camera make the difference between a successful photo shoot and a stressful one.
Wall space is at a premium in our house so it’s difficult to find places to take pictures without getting artwork or furniture in the background, so I frequently take pictures on my bed. I picked up a set of neutral coloured sheets that worked well as a background. Alternatively, buy a duvet cover (even if you don’t have a duvet, throw it over your comforter) that you like.
Picking up a few neutral blankets also has the same effect to give your pictures a more photo studio like feel.
Now that you’ve got your picture ideas and location figured out, it’s time to get ready Here’s a list (and links!) of the supplies I used for my Valentine’s pictures.
Materials and Equipment
· Tripod – I purchased this one because it’s really tall which gives you lots of photo angle options. They say the most flattering photo angle is from above!
· Light (optional – I use it if I’m taking pictures at night but it’s great if you don’t have a lot of natural light in your house)
· Bluetooth remote camera trigger (there's a remote in the light package above, but this is a good option if you just want the trigger)
· Props (I picked up rose petals, hearts, and a few light strands from the dollar store)
· Sign board (optional)
· Outfits for all participants
Photo Tip: Like this shot? I angled my phone/tripod down and laid on the bed with my head close to the phone as if I'm upside down. Take your pictures and then use an app like Adobe Lightroom to crop your photo and make any other adjustments you want to.
For me, remembering to have fun, keep it simple, and not spend a lot of money are my three goals for a photo shoot and I tried to translate that to taking pictures at home as well.
Not going crazy and buying an entire house full of props was probably the hardest part...well that and trying to get Thalia to smile! I hope you found this useful and have as much fun taking pictures as I did! Share your pictures below, I’d love to see them!