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Choosing Photo Backdrops for Baby Portraits

Do-It-Yourself Home Photo Studio


Updated June 18, 2014

photo backdrops

Plain photo backdrops are best for baby portraits.

Dana Hinders

Professional baby photos can be very expensive, even if you get pictures taken at a department store studio. Getting the right shot can also be time consuming, since babies aren't known for their predictability. To save time and money, consider setting up your own home photo studio to take portraits of your little one.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have a top-of-the line digital SLR camera in order to capture great baby portraits. You can get sweet baby photos with a simple point and shoot camera. Even the lower end digital cameras available today have a resolution of 10 mega pixels, which is enough to easily print a quality 8x10 portrait. All you need to do is keep in mind a few basic tips for setting up a great shot.

Selecting Photo Backdrops

A backdrop is a key part of setting up a home photo studio because it provides the scene for your shots. The best backdrops for baby photos are simple. You want to choose a background that has enough color and texture to add interest your photo, but isn't so busy that it overwhelms your little bundle of joy. If you're trying to do a themed portrait, such as a shot for your Christmas card, it's better to use props to reinforce the theme instead of choosing a distracting background. A picture of your baby in a Santa hat is festive enough without a large display of snowmen in the background.

Some possible photo studio backdrops to consider for your baby pictures include:

  • Black velvet fabric
  • A white fuzzy blanket
  • A satin sheet in a soft pastel color
  • Knitted or crocheted blankets with interesting textures
  • Sheer voile curtains

When choosing photo backdrops for baby portraits, remember that its best to stick with neutral colors or colors that will coordinate well with the outfit your baby will be wearing. It's also a good idea to consider how formal of a portrait you want to take. For example, black velvet photo studio backdrops tend to produce very formal looking shots. In comparison, a fuzzy blanket gives your baby photo a much more relaxed look.

Look around your home to see what types of materials you might have available to use as a backdrop for your baby portraits. If you can't find anything suitable, head to a craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels Crafts to see what catches your eye in the fabric department. Another good source of cheap photo backdrops is your local thrift shop or consignment store, as these places are likely to have a large selection of sheets and blankets available for just a few dollars.

Setting Up Your Home Photo Studio

When you're setting up your home photo studio, make sure no mirrors or windows will create unwanted reflections in your baby portraits. Place your fabric backdrop far enough away from your baby that wrinkles and other imperfections won't be easily visible in the final shot. Clothespins or safety pins work well for hanging photo shoot backdrops.

If your baby is too young to sit up on his own, cover his car seat or bouncy seat with the fabric, then use your camera's zoom lens to take a close up portrait. To photograph your baby with his siblings or other family members, drape the fabric over your couch and use throw pillows to create spaces for positioning.

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