If you're here, I'm going to guess that you already understand the value of professional family photography. I believe you should invest in professional photographs as often as you can afford. But the reality is that the vast majority of people can't afford to hire a photographer for each monthly milestone. So, I'm here to give you some practical budget friendly ways to make the most out of your DIY home photoshoots with your little ones.

The Equipment

  1. Camera: If you've got access to a camera great, use it! But less assume you're using your phone camera for these photos, as nearly everyone's got one of those.
  2. Milestone cards/discs: There are so many beautiful options out there, but in true form of keeping it budget friendly I love these Kmart wooden discs for $15.
  3. Blankets/bedsheet/Muslin cloths: having some plain linens to drape creates a beautiful simple and easy backdrop. Don't have anything plain (I love a simple white bed sheet) then check out your local op shop! you can soak it in some bleach if needed and use it just for photos. Using the same backdrop every time will give you a more cohesive look.
  4. Baby outfit: I'm a sucker for cute little overalls and head bows, but you really don't need it. Naked babies are just the sweetest! Put your baby in whatever you love!
  5. Milk Bath: I just adore bubbly milk bath photos! Pop in a bit of your preferred milk until you get the desired colour and add bubbles. Prop up little babies with a bath support covered in a white towel (so you can't really see it in the photos).
  6. Props: fresh flowers, babies' favourite food, a special gift or item? Add it in! I love sliced citrus, strawberries or fresh flowers added to a milk bath for a pop of colour.

The Set Up

Bath: If you're doing your shoot in the bath make sure to use a bath support to keep little babies safe. Run the bath nice and warm to keep them happy and use a washcloth to cover private areas if you're planning on sharing your images. Prepare your bath as much as you can in advance (cutting fruit or trimming flowers) so baby doesn't have to wait for you to get ready. Let as much light into the room as possible by opening windows but avoid turning on indoor lights as this may cast funny shadows on baby. Pick a time when your bathroom is bright but not with harsh sun beaming in.

Backdrop: If you're planning on using a sheet as a backdrop you can drape it over pretty much anything, back of a couch, dining table, cot, anywhere really. try to run the drape along the floor as this will create a really polished look. Alternatively, use two similar fabrics, one for the background and one for the floor. If you're working with a newborn, try using a nursing pillow or other support underneath them (and underneath the blanket/sheet on the floor) to keep them supported. Remember to never leave a baby unsupervised in a baby positioner as they can be unsafe. Again, try to pick a brightly lit area without harsh sunlight.

On a flat surface such as a bed or on the floor: Experiment with layering and roughly draping different coloured and textured blankets to lay your baby on top of. Same as before, don't forget about lighting, open those blinds and let the sunshine in. Ideally you want to have your little one facing towards the light.

How to Get the Best Shot

  • Use songs, noises or a rattle toy to gain your baby's attention (that's if you're not going for sleepy newborn photos).
  • Shoot straight on (eye level) or slightly from above for the most flattering angle.
  • If shooting a baby who is lying down, experiment with taking a few photos from directly above. Same rule applies, angle the phone/camera so you're looking down the nose for the most flattering images.
  • Don't use flash! Your little ones probably won't like it and it will make the lighting in your pictures harsh. Open the blinds and pick a bright time of day instead.
  • If your phone has a portrait mode, try it out. Don't forget to take some with this setting turned off as well though.
  • Capture some close ups as well as face and full body. You don't want to forget those tiny toes and gummy smiles.
  • Take loads of pictures, you can always delete any bad ones later.

Feeling Inspired?

You don't have to wait until your baby reaches their next milestone for a DIY photoshoot. Any day is a good day to capture beautiful moments. Or if your baby is already a few months old and you're yet to try this out, give it a go, it's not too late to start. If you give this a try, I'd love for you to share your photos with me.