DIY Kids Photos — Hudson Valley Kids Photographer

What Mom doesn’t love filling her home with artwork featuring the most beautiful human beings in all the world?? AKA, her children (of course!).

Here’s a quick and easy way to get some really stylish and cute photos of your little ones up on the wall. Isn’t this sooooo cute?? …

photo via pinterest


You could definitely enlist the help of your family photographer when you have your next photo session. Or, this is a SUPER fun project you can try and tackle all by yourself. It’s minimum work with maximum impact!

If you have a DSLR, that would be best. But even your camera phone can create stunning photos … especially if you work with the right light (more on that below.)

photo via ruby+rye

What you need for this easy DIY family photo shoot:

  • Cute kids. (DONE! Easy.)
  • A white wall. (Easiest option.) Or a freshly ironed white sheet (second easiest option).
  • A camera. Even your phone would work for these photos.
  • Good, flat light. (Not always as easy to find … but be patient. You’ll find it!)

Here’s what to do:

  1. Get to know your natural light in or around your home. Really, light matters most when it comes to taking good photos. So, spend a few days paying attention to how the light comes into certain rooms at different times of the day. If you have a white wall that you think would be good for photos, pay attention to the shadows that objects near the wall cast onto the wall at different times of day. (Bonus winter tip: Snowy days make for AMAZING indoor light. All that bright white outside is bouncing into your home and can create really stunning light for photos.)
  2. Pick the right time of day for lighting and the right spot. Whether this is inside or outside, all you need is that white wall (or a sheet hung in a great spot) and nice clean, flat light. The goal is to not have harsh shadows bouncing onto the wall (unless you want them!). The more you pay attention to the light, the more you’ll start to know instinctively what time of day would be good.
  3. Take test shots to nail the ideal spot for your child to stand. Use an object like a big teddy bear and try photographing it in a few different spots until you figure out what looks best. (Teddy bears are muuuuuch more patient than little people!) Test it out farther away from the wall … and closer. See which looks best to your eye. Once you find the spot, mark the spot with an X in tape.
  4. Have a shooting game plan in mind. Do you want tons of white space in your photo with your child taking up a small portion of the photo? Or do you want him to be large and centered? Use the teddybear to figure out what you like best. Knowing this ahead of your “shoot” helps you to be prepared to be QUICK … which is always good with kids ; )
  5. Let the games begin! Plop your baby on the X. Or have your toddler stand on the X and sing you a song while you grab some shots. I like to trick kids by saying, “bet you can’t stand on one foot on that X for 30 seconds!!!” Employ whatever trick works best with your little one. You won’t need too much shooting time anyway. If it just doesn’t happen that day, no worries, leave the X there and try again at the same time another day. (Just a personal tip: avoid having your child say “cheeeeeeeese.” Instead engage him in a conversation, or have him sing or tell you a story while you photograph him. This will produce natural expressions that are perfect for this project.)
  6. Shoot in the largest image setting your camera or phone allows. This is important for print quality.
  7. Shoot your photos in color. You can convert them to b/w later. If you were to shoot them in b/w originally, you wouldn’t have the option of having that same photo in color should you ever want it.
  8. Convert your photo to b/w. If you have a photo editing software, choose a filter that creates a strong contrast between black and white. This helps the photo to stand out and be noticed even from a distance in your home.
  9. Print large. If you think 8×10 is large on the wall, think again! 20×24 is usually a good size for making a large(ish) impact … though even larger can be amazing, too! But don’t leave it up to chance. Measure off the size you want to cover with your print on the wall with tape before placing your order. Don’t be scared to go LARGE!
  10. Frame, hang, and smile.



Kate Callahan is an on-location photographer who LOVES to capture authentic memories for families. She’s available for weddings, senior photos, child photo sessions, and family photography. Kate works with clients throughout the Hudson Valley, NYC,  Delaware (and the tri-state area), and beyond. 

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