At-Home Photo Shoots With Baby

baby holding iPhone

Celebrating Baby and family with photos you can take and share yourself may be more important than ever this year. We’re here to help with fun facts and pro tips for successful at-home photo shoots with Baby… and big brothers and sisters, too.

10 Tips for At-Home Photo Shoots

Zulily’s Seattle headquarters is home to our Creative Studio complete with multiple photo studios and fashion shoot pros. So, of course, we reached out to our team for advice. Here’s what Zulily’s own photography expert Elisa C. and stylist Renee F. had to say.

Prepare Your Scene

1 Leverage the sun: Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when taking photos. Pick a room that has the best natural light and turn off overhead lights to avoid any unwanted shadows.

2 Get creative with backdrops: Colorful blankets and patterned play mats that you already have at home double as great backgrounds that don’t cost a penny. Focus the dressing up on the star of the show – your baby!

3 Dress rehearse: Kids’ and especially babies’ attention spans are limited. Set up your lighting and props before bringing your kids in the room; you can practice with a doll first to ensure everything is ready for the final shot.

4 Consider colors, patterns and themes: There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to at-home photo sessions. You can go all-in on dressy baby outfits, matching pajamas or a color or seasonal theme. Or you can keep it casual. For informal shoots with more than one child, don’t fret about conflicting outfit or background colors. Those handy sepia tone or black-and-white phone or editing apps can transform mismatched hues into timeless photos.

baby in suit looking in mirror

Why dress up your darling? When Zulily asked moms with kids under five, we got some truly pandemic-centric answers*!

  • 57% for a virtual gathering
  • 53% for an at-home photoshoot
  • 47% for a trip to the grocery store
  • 38% for milestone dates
  • 24% for a daily walk  

Camera Time!

5 Tuck in your talent: When doing an at-home photo shoot with babies, make sure they’re comfortable! Placing them in a bassinet or swaddle blanket is not only cozy but comforting to baby as well.

6 Add noise and toys: Entertaining your kids is important when doing a photoshoot at home. You can grab attention with squeaky or stuffed toys above the camera. Additionally, get the whole family in on the action to make silly faces off camera to encourage smiles and giggles.

7 Take five: Children need lots of breaks so be sure to add that time to your at-home photo shoot. Having a few favorite snacks around helps too!

8 Blow some bubbles: For kids who are shy, help them focus on something else other than photos for a few minutes. Bubbles are a great way to direct eyes and attention to something fun and exciting.

Get Creative

9 Try tunes: The right soundtrack sets a positive vibe for photography subjects of any age. Cue up a few baby or toddler favorites. Invite older kids to help plan a playlist. This may help them feel more engaged and positive about a photo session.

10 Gamify it: Simple games such as “Simon Says” and “I Spy” (even simply asking how many fingers you are holding up on your hand) will encourage children to interact with you (and the camera). And the right answers will likely yield a happy expression or satisfied smile!

children in candid photos

At-home photo shoots mean you’re not on the clock. Remember to have fun. You can always decide to take a break and try more pictures another day. Or you might find you’ve captured that perfect holiday card picture in a surprising setting, like the kitchen or even the car! Look closely at those “imperfect” pictures, too. Sometimes the moment Baby yawns or Toddler turns away captures something very special, spontaneous and worth saving, too.

Up late with Baby? Get back-to-sleep tips here.

Visit Zulily’s The Late Night Shop for Mom for deals on all things baby.

*Methodology (1) Zulily surveyed 500 parents, users on websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network, aged 18 to 64 years old. The survey was conducted online through Google Surveys (complete methodology can be found here) from August 10 – 14, 2020.  The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.