Making Money From Your Photography

How Much Is Your Photography Worth?

Once you’ve made the decision to go from amateur to professional, the first question you must answer is, “How much are my images worth?” Because each photograph and situation is unique, the idea of setting a fixed price would be downright dangerous from a business perspective. In order to attract and retain clients as well as give your abilities and skill the credit they’re due, it’s important to remember the following points: Continue reading “Making Money From Your Photography”

Creative Ideas for Must-Have Wedding Reception Photography

must have wedding shots-signing the marriage licenses_venson

As we mentioned in our previous article, it’s important to create a Wedding Photography Shot List before even attempting to photograph the big event.

If you want to avoid having your shots look “ho hum” (and thus avoid upsetting the bride and groom!), we’ve put together a fun montage of wedding reception photo ideas to spur you on to creative victory. Feel free to add your own spin on these ideas and enlist creative input from the bride and groom as well.

Signing the Marriage License– Experiment with your distance to capture this moment from every possible angle. If you have a second shooter, take turns photographing from different sides of the bride, groom and officiate.

Continue reading “Creative Ideas for Must-Have Wedding Reception Photography”

14 Charming Toddler Portrait Ideas

toddler portrait ideas ducklings-fabulousphotosbybrittany

Oh, the toddler years! It’s a time filled with endless discovery, curious exploration and growing independence. A toddler’s energy is a force to be reckoned with, matched only by their powerful self-will. Since capturing these pint-sized whirlwinds on camera can be (more than a bit) tricky, we’ve compiled 14 easy to re-create toddler portrait ideas that are sure to bring a smile to both the child’s and their parents’ faces!

Toddler Portrait Idea #1-3 – Close Up

Mommies, daddies and grandparents agree – there’s nothing better than a “close up” of their favorite little sweetheart! It doesn’t matter if the child is smiling or snoozing away, a close up is always a sure-fire hit.

toddler portrait ideas close up-jrishel
Flickr: jrishel
toddler portrait ideas close up bw-vivarin
Flickr: vivarin
toddler portrait ideas shh sleeping-oaspetele_de_piatra
Flickr: oaspetele_de_piatra

Toddler Portrait Idea #4-5 – Exploring the Great Outdoors

Little ones just love playing outside! Whether it’s a blooming meadow, a babbling brook or a park filled with playground equipment, each setting lends itself to the mood of adventure and discovery.

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Flickr: joelleim
toddler portrait ideas picking flowers-trebecca84
Flickr: trebecca84

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #6 – Peekaboo!

It’s the first game a child learns to play which also doubles as a great ice breaker for nervous children and their eager photographers. Playing peekaboo with your hands or with a prop is guaranteed to bring out the giggles in everyone – fast!

toddler portrait ideas playground-brandobean
Flickr: brandobean

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #7 – Off to the Side

There’s no rule that says a head shot must be taken…well…head-on. In fact, jazzing it up a bit by having part of the child’s face just out of view creates a winning artistic touch. Be sure to keep a framed sample copy nearby to showcase this idea to its fullest potential.

toddler portrait ideas peekaboo-beattys
Flickr: beattys

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #8-9 – Walking Hand in Hand

Those wobbly first steps are precious indeed! Experiment with this portrait idea by having the child walk holding their parents’ hands or fingers, or walking along with an older sibling to add perspective and a wisp of nostalgia.

toddler portrait ideas walking with parents-anvuela
Flickr: anvuela
toddler portrait ideas ducklings-fabulousphotosbybrittany
Flickr: fabulousphotosbybrittany

Toddler Portrait Idea #10-11 – Just Mommy (or Daddy) and Me

It’s time for your subjects to pucker up and snuggle in close with this classic parent & child pose. Frame the photo within a variety of settings such as a nearby park or a big cozy chair to kindle that familial bond. Include grandparents or a favorite aunt or uncle to create a beautiful family treasure in minutes!

toddler portrait ideas father and son-joelleim
Flickr: joelleim
toddler portrait ideas mommys kisses-lab2112
Flickr: lab2112

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #12 – One Small Step

When you’re less than 3 feet high, climbing the stairs is a monumental feat! Capture this proud-as-can-be moment with a photo of the wee one ascending that magical staircase of victory. Jazz up the scene a little bit with a sparkly crown, fairy wings or even a little super hero cape for added effect. (Be sure to have an adult or parent nearby for safety!)

toddler portrait ideas one big step-svenstorm
Flickr: svenstorm

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #13 – So Curious!

Toddlerhood is a time for asking all sorts of questions from morning ‘til night. A sweet portrait depicting a little one’s ponderous expression captures both the innocence and wonder of this all too fleeting time in their lives.

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Flickr: 37115419@N02

 

Toddler Portrait Idea #14 – Angelic Profile

A little one’s profile is truly a thing of beauty – just as their mama! The contours of their faces are soft and rounded, from their sloping foreheads to their tiny button noses. Be sure to allow for plenty of light across the eyes to create a slightly ethereal look.

toddler portrait ideas angel eyes-foxtongue
Flickr: foxtongue

 

18 Pet Portrait Ideas

Pet Portrait Idea-Backyard BBQ-nick_lee

Whether it’s a dog, a cat or even something more exotic like say – a turtle or a guinea pig, the family pet is a cherished and often doted-upon member of the family. This is why, if you’re not already in the habit of photographing pets, you might want to give it a try. Pet portraiture has become extremely popular over the past few years, providing both the amateur and professional photographer a new outlet for their creativity and a strong conduit for reaching new clients.

We’ve rounded up some of the most adorable pet portrait ideas, complete with props. See how many of these suggestions you can incorporate into your next “fur baby” portrait special!

Pet Portrait Idea #1

Mirror, Mirror – A mirror or sunny window makes a great prop for the curious kitty or pup! Watch as the animal encounters the “stranger” and get ready to take that prize winning comical shot! Just be sure you’re positioned off to the side so as to not interrupt the shot with your own flash.

Pet Portrait Ideas-Mirror Mirror-nick_lee
Flickr: nick_lee

 

Pet Portrait Idea #2-3

Outdoor Chic – Bundle up that little fur ball and get ready to brave the great outdoors! To ensure optimal attention and safety, look for a location that is as free from other distractions as possible (read: other dogs, kids on bikes, cars, etc). Also, ask the owner to either stand nearby (just outside the frame) or directly behind you so the dog looks “up” toward the camera.

Pet Portrait Ideas-all dressed up-ellegphotography
Flickr: ellegphotography
Pet Portrait Ideas-Great Outdoors-plasticwool
Flickr: plasticwool

 

Pet Portrait Idea #4

Backyard BBQ – Nothing brings out the “canine” like a juicy burger or charbroiled steak! If the subject’s family is into camping, cookouts or tail-gate parties, a portrait featuring a cooler, picnic blanket, plastic food (ahem), and their beloved companion is a sure-fire hit.

Pet Portrait Ideas-Backyard BBQ-nick_lee
Flickr: nick_lee

 

Pet Portrait Idea #5-6

Shh! Baby’s Sleeping – If you’ve got a tired pooch or kitty on your hands, don’t fight against their internal snooze button. Instead, opt for a charming sleepy pose! You could wrap the little one up in a blanket or simply capture their afternoon siesta right where they landed.

Pet Portrait Ideas-Shh Baby Sleeping-wishymom
Flickr: wishymom
Pet Portrait Ideas-Nap Time-phlora
Flickr: phlora

 

Pet Portrait Idea #7-8

Play Time – Whether they’re chasing a ball, playing tug-o-war with a sock or batting a ball of yarn, dogs and cats of all ages love to play! These silly moments produce plenty of laughs on their own, so go for the candid and try not to “create” the scene too much. In fact, a playful scene like this would be great ice breaker as it eliminates the animal’s anxiety and helps them feel more relaxed.

Pet Portrait Ideas-Kitty Play-picturepurrfect685
Flickr: picturepurrfect685
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Flickr: 51710725@N08

 

Pet Portrait Idea #9

Santa Baby – “Dear Santa, I’ve been very good this year. Love, Fluffy” A portrait featuring the little critter decked out for the holidays not only makes a great gift idea but a fun holiday greeting card image as well. Just add a few glittering packages, a decorated tree and you’re in business! If your subject is a puppy or kitten, consider tucking them inside a stocking for a sweet-as-candy pose.

Pet-Portrait-Ideas-cturley

Pet Portrait Idea #10-12

Hugs & Kisses – Nothing could be more endearing than a portrait featuring the pet – and “his” child-master! But beware: certain factors, like maintaining both subjects’ attention and ensuring the child isn’t “squeezing” or holding on to their pet too hard, can suck the life out of a staged pet/child photo rather quickly. Instead, go for the candid to capture that, “You’re my best friend forever” moment.

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Flickr: bdwaydiva1
Pet Portrait Ideas-Best Friends-the_napkin
Flickr: the_napkin
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Flickr: 28045310@N08

 

Pet Portrait Idea #13-15

Am I Cute or What? – A close-up of their favorite companion is guaranteed to make any owner smile! Get to know the animal a bit first, so you can capture their unique personality in the shot. Portraits like these are great for framing and never go out of style.

Pet Portrait Ideas-Am I Cute or What-mims_art_of_life
Flickr: mims_art_of_life
Pet Portrait Ideas-Sweet Kitty-gideonvanderstelt
Flickr: gideonvanderstelt
Pet Portrait Ideas-happy_smile-kakissel
Flickr: kakissel

 

Pet Portrait Idea #16-18

Young ‘n Innocent – It’s hard to resist a sweet pair of kitten or puppy dog eyes staring back at you! Capturing those adorable first few weeks on camera is sure fire way to elicit plenty of “Awwww!’s” from your clients, both now and well into the future.

pet portrait ideas-angel eyes-brambleberries_photography
Flickr: brambleberries_photography
pet portrait ideas-baby face-vonschnauzer
Flickr: vonschnauzer
pet portrait ideas-wink-meaganjean
Flickr: meaganjean

13 Maternity Portrait Posing Ideas

classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity meadow_coreyann

A lovely set of maternity portraits not only captures the miracle of life growing within, but also allows the woman’s blossoming beauty to shine through. (Beauty in which the “mommy-to-be” might have a hard time seeing amidst the daily throes of pregnancy itself!) Therefore, it should be considered an honor to be asked to photograph a woman during this most special time in her life. Your skills, coupled with a few trusted techniques and posing ideas shown here, are sure to create a one-of-a-kind portrait session that will be cherished long after the little one is born.

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Ideas #1-3

Back to Nature – Incorporating nature into your shot is always a winning idea. Be sure to look for a location which provides plenty of character, such as a wooden glen on a fall day, a sandy beach, or a flowery meadow.

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Flickr: rsmith4321
classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity meadow_coreyann
Flickr: coreyann
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Flickr: happylizzz

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Ideas #4-6

Silhouette & Light – There’s nothing quite like a shot of a new mom in silhouette – either by herself or with the proud daddy! The look is not only soft, but provides a glimpse into the sacred bond between mother and child. Experiment with time of day and location, and be mindful of your position. If you’re seated too low or too close, mom will come out looking a lot larger than she would like!

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Flickr: kristaphoto
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Flickr: gmunroe
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Flickr: jcaputo4

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Ideas #7-8

Hands & Hearts – A classic photo of loving hands cradling the “baby bump” is both charming and endearing. Incorporating big brother or sister into the photo allows siblings to feel special and connected to this magical event.

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Flickr: kristaphoto
classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity hands family_kiermacz
Flickr: kiermacz

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Idea #9

Daddy Snuggle – Give the daddy-to-be a moment “alone” with his little one! A portrait highlighting daddy’s love – whether through a kiss or a cuddle on the belly, or perhaps reading a bedtime story to the little bundle – provides a feeling of protection and tender strength. (This idea is especially great around Father’s Day!)

classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity daddy snuggle_kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto

 

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Idea #10

Side of the Frame Embrace – Keeping your subjects positioned off to the side of the frame is a great way to take advantage of your natural surroundings and keep things aesthetically intriguing for your viewer.

classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity embrace off to side_kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto

 

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Idea #11-12

Name that Belly – Using a set of alphabet blocks to spell out the baby’s name or initials provides a fun twist to your portrait session! Consider using the blocks exclusively on mom’s tummy or have both mom and dad hold a few blocks to spell out the baby’s name (or just his/her initials). Either way, this personalized look is sure to secure a prominent place on the child’s nursery wall!

classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity blocks_blogjunkie
Flickr: blogjunkie
classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity block single_djonesphoto
Flickr: djonesphoto

 

Classy Maternity Portrait Posing Idea #13

Maternal Profile – Few things in life are more beautiful than a pregnant woman in profile. Just remember – location, as well as position, for a shot like this is critical. Therefore, look for a space that has minimal distractions such as the beach, a beautiful tree, the family’s back yard – you get the idea. And as for position, having the mother stand with her belly angled a few degrees toward you is often more flattering than a full profile shot. However, it doesn’t hurts to shoot from both angles, just in case.

classy maternity portrait posing idea-maternity profile_caharley72
Flickr: caharley72

 

 

10 Traditional Engagement Photo Ideas

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As we’ve previously discussed, today’s modern engagement photos can take on a variety of shapes, styles and themes. But as great as these shots are, the thought of doing something “out of the ordinary” may leave the more traditional bride and groom feeling distinctly uncomfortable and unwilling to proceed with the session. (Yikes!)

Thankfully there are a number of classic poses that will allow the couple to express their love with all the elegance and sophistication they crave. Once you show them a few examples like the ones below, they’ll be breathing a happy sigh of relief – and so will you!

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #1

The Happy Couple – A close up of the doting pair smiling and sitting side by side (or sitting on the other’s lap), is always a hit! This pose works especially well for newspaper announcements, as well as on display near the couple’s guest book.

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-traditional_smiles_jtography
Flickr: jtography

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #2-4

Protective and Loving – Whether he’s got his arms wrapped around his beloved or vice versa, this pose can be played up or down to fit a variety of moods. Just be sure to take their personalities into consideration as you explore the different facets of this pose. (Example: Some may prefer to look up at each other as opposed to directly into the camera.)

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Flickr: rsmith4321
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Flickr: leegonzalez
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Flickr: ritaquinn

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #5

Beautiful from the Back – Photographing the couple from behind evokes a sweet sense of privacy – as if the couple is lost in their own little world and you just happened to stumble on in. You can turn the “sweet factor” up a notch by having the bride rest her head on her groom’s shoulder, or have them wrap one arm around each other’s waists.

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-backshot-kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #6-7

Sweet Silhouettes – A portrait of a loving couple in silhouette is always breathtaking! Some of the most cherished poses include: holding hands, kissing, or a tender embrace.

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-doorway_silhouette-kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto
traditional-engagement-photo-idea-sunset-vincentkashatphotography
Flickr: vincentkashatphotography

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #8

You May Now Kiss Your Bride (To Be) – Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. And what could be more fun than practicing for their first kiss as husband and wife? (Ooh la la!) From a sweet peck on the cheek to a gentle lip-lock under the stars, there’s nothing like a little pucker power to spice things up.

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-kiss-47166549@N00
Flickr: 47166549@N00

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #9

Piggy Back – Although not entirely traditional, this fun twist on the classic “side-by-side” pose adds a charming splash of whimsy to your growing engagement portfolio.

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-piggy_back-kimncris
Flickr: kimncris

 

Traditional Engagement Photo Idea #10

Romantic Dip – Because every girl loves being swept off her feet, the romantic dip is by far one of the most re-created poses of all time! Of course, if a full exuberant dip isn’t their thing, leaning back half-way is also acceptable and still quite fun. However, if the subjects are feeling especially frisky, consider having them dip each other!

traditional-engagement-photo-idea-romantic_dip-jtography
Flickr: jtography

 

 

The Best Outdoor Photography Portrait Poses: 20 Ideas

best-outdoor-photography-portrait-poses-Handstand-Contest-photosavvy

Now that you understand how to shoot based on various weather conditions, it’s time to zero in on the type of poses that will be most flattering to your subjects.

Outdoor portraits tend to take on a very relaxed, easy-going tone even if you’re the one directing the shot. Shooting among the great outdoors is also beneficial when it comes to children. Let’s face it – some kids can be the cutest, most outgoing thing on two legs – until they get into a photography studio! Suddenly it’s wooden smiles, stiff posture, and obvious disinterest.

To make the most of your next outdoor shutterfest, check out these outdoor photography portrait posing ideas for a fresh perspective…

Outdoor Photography Portrait Pose Idea #1

Off Center – Keeping the lush surroundings in focus is always a good idea, especially when in a gorgeous natural setting like near a river, lake or atop a mountain.

best-outdoor-photography-portrait-poses-OffCenter-ellegphotography
Flickr: ellegphotography

Continue reading “The Best Outdoor Photography Portrait Poses: 20 Ideas”

9 Unique Engagement Portait Photo Ideas

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If the idea of paying for a set of staid and boring engagement photos gives you a case of “cold feet”, have no fear. From location to lighting to props, today’s modern engagement photography allows for greater artistic expression, making it easy to illustrate the couple’s unique love story in a fresh, beautiful way.

Take a peek at the collection of stunning engagement portrait ideas we’ve rounded up just for you!

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #1

Sweet Serenade – Whether he’s a vocal virtuoso or an American Idol reject, no girl can resist a sweet song played just for her! Grab a guitar and look for a location that offers plenty of interesting contrast such as a colorful wall, an old building, a set of railroad tracks or the beach.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-sweet_serenade-jtography
Flickr: jtography

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #2

Putting Our Heads Together – Break away from the traditional “seated side by side” portrait and opt for a slightly different approach. Experiment with pressing your foreheads together or laying down in opposite directions, allowing you to stare deeply into each other’s eyes.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-heads_together-ohsohappytogether
Flickr: ohsohappytogether

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #3

Brand New Family – If the bride or groom is a single parent, you should consider incorporating their children in the photo session. Doing so not only allows little ones to share in your excitement, but helps them understand that your love and commitment extends to them as well.

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Flickr: ohsohappytogether

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #4

She Said Yes  – Looking for a fun way to surprise your friends and family? Play up that magical moment with a poster board featuring the words, “She Said Yes!” or “Save the Date”. Just be prepared for the onslaught of phone calls. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-she_said_yes-jtography
Flickr: jtography

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #5

Text Me – “Do u want 2 grab coffee w/ me?” Did your relationship begin with a chance encounter followed by endless text or Facebook messages? Incorporate those “technological trysts” into your portrait session. Standing side by side or photographed several feet apart, a photo like this featuring your noses buried in your phones is sure to bring back fond memories during your future wedding anniversaries.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-Text_Me-kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #6

City Slickers – Take advantage of your urban surroundings and get ready for some high contrast, beautifully eye-catching shots! Whether you’re a city planner, construction worker, high rise developer or a city slicker, you should never underestimate the photographic power of scaffolding and cross-beams when paired against two smartly dressed lovebirds.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-city_slickers-kristaphoto
Flickr: kristaphoto

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #7

Hands & Feet – For a fun twist, take a few photos of just your hands, feet or even your torsos! Sure, you want a few shots of your happy, smiling faces but after awhile, that gets a bit boring. Spice things up with different lighting techniques, locations, props and time of day to capture that frame-worthy shot.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-torsos-jtography
Flickr: jtography
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Flickr: jcaputo4
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Flickr: renawgraphy
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Flickr: allegrophotography
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Flickr: djonesphoto

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #8

Missed Encounter – Did you ever wonder where you would be today if you hadn’t met your true love? What if you hadn’t walked that way to work? What if you hadn’t stopped in that particular coffee shop? Capitalize on those “What if..?” thoughts with a fun “missed encounter” shot. Experiment with both depth of field and location. Two ideas to consider: walking along the road in opposite directions or have one person sitting on a bus bench while the other sits in their car at a stop sign.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-missed_encounter-vivarin
Flickr: vivarin

Unique Engagement Photo Idea #9

Hold On  – An ornate set of door handles does double duty as a charming prop and conversation starter. Consider this look for a “Hold on tight! You’re on the ride of a lifetime!”shot, or a visual expression of the two of you opening the door to your new future.

unique-engagement-photo-ideas-hold_on-amanky
Flickr: amanky

6 Food Photography Tips

Whether professional chef or amateur “Cake Boss”, all cooks of varying “degrees” enjoy sharing photos of their prize winning dishes with others. While these dishes may be downright mouthwatering our shots oftentimes come out looking anything but appetizing. Here are six tips to turn your next culinary photo spread into a delicious work of art!

Food Photography Tip #1

Use Natural Lighting – Shooting under natural lighting conditions makes for a superior and less frustrating experience. Experiment with different times of the day, distance from the window, curtains for light diffusing effects, etc. Last but not least, avoid using flash. Flash has a bad habit of turning “succulent” into “slimy” in a nanosecond.

Flickr: windysydney

Continue reading “6 Food Photography Tips”

Newborn Baby Photography Prop Ideas

Now that your baby’s first portrait session is planned and ready to go, it’s time to consider incorporating a few props to bump up the cute factor. For this article, we’ve compiled an assortment of some of the most adorable newborn prop ideas for your consideration.

These photography props for newborns range in style from your basic “sweet and innocent” look, to the more dramatic “future child model” pose. We hope that they will provide a springboard, if you will, to help further and hone your own artistic vision.

Newborn Baby Photography Prop Idea #1

Angel Wings – Everyone knows that little bundle of joy was sent straight from heaven. (Just ask Grandma!) Accentuate your little cherub’s innocence with a pair of feathery angel wings. Experiment with different wing sizes and colors, and try photographing the child sleeping, sitting up or supported by a few soft pillows to create a “sitting amongst the clouds” look.

Flickr: bigpinkcookie

Continue reading “Newborn Baby Photography Prop Ideas”