My husband and I didn’t have an engagement shoot so I felt that he owed me a photoshoot. And I had zero guts for posing with my pregnant belly exposed and with a flower crown on my head as I usually saw in maternity portraits (kudos to all the lovely mommas who have the guts to do this!). So even when I was pregnant I had already planned on having a photoshoot with my baby and husband. After giving birth, both of us were zombie parents, so for the following weeks we concentrated on keeping our baby fed, clean, and happy and keeping each other sane that I forgot about photoshoots until our baby was a few months old already.
However, as time went on (and as many moms would know), life after baby is crazy busy and my photoshoot plans were again put on hold. I was beginning to think we will not be able to do a family photoshoot until one day I saw my friend’s IG feed (hi Gina!) and saw her lovely family portraits by Sunday Morning Studios. I therefore concluded: It’s a sign!
So we spent one rainy saturday afternoon with our new friends Belle and Aaron from Sunday Morning Studios. And I say friends because how can you not be friends with people whose jobs are to make your baby smile, laugh and cooperate?
If you ask me if it is worth it to spend time and money for a family photoshoot, the short answer is: YES! Here are a few of my thoughts on having these types of shoots:
Have your hair and makeup done
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but believe me, you’ll regret it if you don’t make yourself look pretty. These photos are going to be in your living room, your bedroom, you and your spouse’s phones, wallets, your parents’ and in-laws’ houses, your instagram, your facebook page, your clan’s viber groups, etc. You should look like the gorgeous supermom that you are! P.S. get your husband to have his haircut and shave as well!
It’s like having your wedding shoot again, but so much better!
You’ll hear the familiar “o kunwari usap-usap kayo” and the “tinginan kayo then smile!” that you’ve heard during your wedding day, but now it’s much more fun (and challenging) because you have your baby in the shoot as well. It’s a good type of interactive play and bonding time for the family.
It doesn’t have to be expensive
You don’t need to book a venue for this type of shoot. We did the shoot inside the bedroom in our house (we had a blank wall and a white linen on the bed) and it looks very good in the final photos! If you are thinking of venue, think comfort over aesthetic. For wardrobe styling, choose comfort over fashion also. Remember, you’re baby needs to be comfy to cooperate!
A great photographer is the key
One of the greatest advice that you received when planning your wedding was: book a great photographer. Well it’s the same for family portraits: you need to have a great photographer who has experience working with small children and who will make you and your baby feel comfortable as well. For us, we got a perfect match with Sunday Morning Studios! Their style is clean, fun, fresh. They’re very professional and easy to talk to, my baby really likes them, and of course, they take GREAT photos!
It takes a village!
As in all things baby, it takes a village! For that day, we had the photographers, me and my husband, and my baby’s yaya all with one goal: making my baby laugh and smile (and basically happy). Involve yaya as well because it takes a lot of “eat bulaga”’s, “dance dance dance”, and hanging baby’s favorite toys near the camera to get good pictures.
Here are some of the photos from our family portrait session with Sunday Morning Studios (looks like they were taken in a studio but that’s just in the bedroom of our house!)
I know you (like me) have a lot of questions about having family photoshoots. Fortunately, our photographer Belle of Sunday Morning Studios has graciously offered her thoughts and experience! (Btw, she based her answers to family portraits with 8 month old to 2 year-old babies since they can sit and walk a little).
What’s the ideal age for a family portrait?
Belle: Best if baby is safe to travel/bring outdoors and can atleast sit! Usual age to start doing family portraits is around 1 year old. If you plan to shoot baby as a newborn, best to get a professional newborn photographer.
What’s the ideal time (of day or year) for a family portrait with babies?
Belle: Any time of the year! If shoot location is outdoor, October to February is recommended so weather is more comfortable for the baby! If shoot is outdoor, early morning (6AM – 9AM) or late afternoon (4PM – 6PM) is best. If indoor, anytime of the day! Best to schedule when baby is in the mood and playful!
Where’s the best place (ex. with natural light, nature, etc)?
Belle: Anywhere with natural light. Natural light is better compared to studio lights/articificial light – it’s more flattering, personal, and candid. For Sunday Morning Studios, we usually recommend simple venues/set-up (garden, plain wall, bed, etc.) because we want to focus on the family. Your own home would be nice too! Comfort of the baby is top priority! 🙂
What preparations are needed if any?
Belle: Make sure baby slept well, fed, and is in good mood! The parents has to be well rested and fed too because you’ll be doing a lot of carrying and lifting! 😀 Pick outfits that complement (not necessarily matching) each other.
Any tips for making baby cooperate?
Belle: Bring favorite toy or favorite food! Better if toy is photogenic in case the baby wants to hold it. Do get a photographer that specializes in family portraits, they know how to make baby laugh and can adjust in different temperaments!
What’s the most challenging part of working with babies?
Belle: Not exactly a challenge, but maybe the difference between shooting family portraits with babies compared to no babies – we just really have to work faster to get as many quality shots in different “poses” habang good mood si baby. We also have to be extra patient so we can capture a baby’s genuine emotion! We have to understand that the baby’s comfort is very important.
Additional tips (if any)
Belle: Pick a location with both indoor and outdoor options. Just in case there’s no indoor option, do check the weather beforehand. Pick a professional photographer that specializes in family portraits with babies! A good photographer would know how to adjust to different temperaments of different babies. 🙂 Have fun! Not everything will go as planned so best to go with the flow!
So the next time you are browsing through the (hundreds of) pictures of your baby in your phone and realizing that time is flying by so fast and he’s not going to be so little anymore and you are now getting teary-eyed, consider having a family photoshoot to immortalize the moment! I know I’ll be looking at these pictures for years and years (and will probably be annoying my son with “look how cute you were!” comments from his teary-eyed mommy).
A big big THANK YOU to Sunday Morning Studios for taking care of us and taking such great photos!!! Please checkout Sunday Morning Studios!