As I'm writing this, the whole world has basically been put on quarantine. Restaurants are closed, drive thru and carry out only, salons are closed, schools are shut down, and the majority of people are working from home.
So, while you're on "lock down" why not spend some time playing with a camera? And if you don't have a camera, your phone!
Step 1: Find Your Light
Before the world shut down I had the opportunity to do a little session with a friend's baby boy. I got to the house and the first thing I did was walk around to find the room with the best natural light. They actually have a sunroom... so it was a pretty easy decision.
In your home the best lighting might depend on the time of day. In my home, my bedroom has beautiful morning light coming in, but in the afternoon my kitchen is flooded with light. So, think about what rooms will provide you with the most natural light and when. We don't want to have to rely on overhead room lighting. In fact, I would make sure all the lights are off in the room so you're only using sunlight.
If you're struggling to find a room with plenty of natural light in your home, you might have to rely on some lamps or other lights that you have around. I still wouldn't use any overhead lighting, but instead get creative! Gather three or four lamps (with the same temperature lightbulb) and place them on the floor or a bedside table. This will create some soft shadows and behave almost like the sun shining in one side of the room. You might have to experiment with this a little bit, move things around a bit, change your "shooting position" and camera settings around until you get a look that you're happy with.
Step 2: Dress Your Model
I found something solid and timeless for the baby to wear, a blue onesie, and a blue blanket to give the shoot a monochromatic "New Baby Boy" feel.
A lot of times I'll see people's "DIY" baby photos with an outfit with the latest Disney movie on it, or a blanket with a trendy pattern. I would recommend simple, classic patterns and nothing that will make the photo look "out of date" as the years pass. A baby boy surrounded in solid blues is a pretty classic look. That's just something to keep in mind...
That's not a rule, I also took some pictures of a four-year-old in her Elsa Princess dress... so I'll instantly contradict myself in just a second. For the "infant portraits" I wanted a timeless look... but every shoot will have a different goal/purpose. So, when dressing your subject just keep the goal/purpose in mind.
Are you taking these for keepsakes, just for fun, headshots, online dating profile?! Thinking about where these images will end up will impact how you want them to be styled.
Step 3: Set Up Your Studio
For the baby photos I covered a floral pattern chair with a blanket, and even had some pillows under the blanket around him to make sure he didn't roll off of the chair... #safetyfirst Remember, when you crop in with your camera no one will see that you tacked a sheet to the wall for a backdrop, no one will know that you have a huge pile of laundry in the corner, they will just see what you show them.
For my Elsa photos, I knew I wanted a white backdrop. Snow... all that... I found a fluffy white blanket and threw it over a door. Boom, instant backdrop. After a few minutes, when she got bored she started hiding behind the blanket (and it was super cute).
Maybe you have a really cool sheet set with a bright pattern, you could hang the fitted sheet on the wall and then look on Pinterest for a quick sheet wrap dress idea (yes, that's on Pinterest) ... the model wearing the same pattern as the backdrop could make some really fun photos.
But mainly, just be creative! We're all stuck in the house on quarantine, it's the perfect time to see what you can work with around the house, have a little fun, and keep yourself from getting stir crazy. I hope these little tips come in handy and inspire you to have some fun. In this time of worry and fear I think it's important that we focus on the good, the beautiful, and try to put a little of that back into the world.
Praying for you and our world.