Before having a baby, I used to take the camera out occasionally, but since N was born, I’ve wanted to capture more of the little moments. That doesn’t always mean huge expensive baby photo shoots though.
The camera has been on overdrive recording every smile and action over the weeks. And not only my camera. If you want to get the pros to take formal photos, then here some tips to getting photo shoots and inexpensive photos.
Local baby competitions
N was never going to be a child model, but local newspapers often run baby competitions. Usually it means you take your baby along and they’ll take a few photos. Then you can come back and buy photos at a reasonable price. Obviously not suitable if you don’t want your baby and their first name in the local press.
We had photos taken as part of our local paper’s Baby of the Year contest which got me a couple of gorgeous photo sets.
Baby shows or fayres
Often baby shows or fayres are cheap or free to enter. You can obviously buy lots of baby stuff, but there’s usually a photographer doing shots. Again, you’ll probably get to order photos much cheaper, although they can mean long queues if it’s a large show.
We had nice photos taken of N and myself, and N alone at the Baby Show after a very long queue, despite him being grouchy from the wait. Ours was for a competition to be the face of the brand, but for us it just meant a couple of extremely cheap photos at the end. A local bumps n babies fayre had a photographer although she didn’t interact well enough to get a good photo.
Baby and children’s photo companies
Specific baby photo companies can be expensive. Often they’ll charge for a shoot and then you’ll get cajoled into buying more photos and spending a lot more money than you want to. Keep a watch out for any doing special offers in shopping centres. Supermarkets often have photo printing companies in them, so check out whether they also do photography, because they sometimes have good deals (our local Tesco has Max Spielman where you can have photos taken). Some will be straight photos, others will have props.
For about 4 years in a row I took N to have Pixifoto shots taken when I bumped into one of their mobile studios at a local baby shop. Generally the photographers were brilliant. He got up close, knew the type of noises which made N look and smile. One we saw even made friends with the babies and toddlers in the short queue so they were more comfortable with the photographer. For a bargain £3.99 we got a gorgeous head and shoulders shot, and ended up buying one of the smaller shots too. Even the silly ones taken with props came out much better and less ridiculous than I expected.
Tips for inexpensive baby photo shoots:
- Sign up on photography websites to get deals. Every year we had a free birthday shoot and photo for under £5.
- Visit photographers when they’re set up in shopping centres or shops. It’s more expensive and you feel more pressured to buy if you’re at one of the studios one to one, compared with lots of parents turning up to view their photos at the same time.
- Don’t feel obliged to buy more than you want or can afford.
For us the only problem with all the photos is where to put them all.
If you’re going to take photos yourself:
- Get a good clear background
- Ensure you’ve got good natural light
- Get a decent camera (i loved my Panasonic Lumix point and shoot and now my mirrorless one) and know how to use it,
- Get up close while they play
- Use props and find what makes the baby smile
- Take lots of pictures til you find the good ones.
For further tips check out my post on taking photos of children of all ages.
Have you done baby photo shoots with your children? What tips do you have?