A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: September 2013

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27 September 2013

The Five Minute Photoshoot ::: for infants

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Are you the mom that is fed up with long winded photographers taking all afternoon and evening to get fabulous photos of your kids? Sad that you only have a few great photos of your baby and wish you could have more? Are you the mom that is the complete opposite, spending hours trying to capture the memories from behind your lens? Wish it could be simpler?


It can be.

Instead of big, extended photo shoots, I do 5 minute shoots. ...and I do them often.


Whenever a child seems to be going through a growth spurt or there is a fun new phase in life I want to remember, I will set up a super quick 5 minute shoot. Quick enough that the kids don't get grumpy, but just enough time for me to capture 20-30 images with 3-5 "stunners". Want to learn my tricks?

Schedule and Infant Rotation Through Poses

1. Set up Shoot Before Baby Arrives -- This is vital!  Get everything completely ready and posed (props, backdrops, etc) before you even attempt to get baby uncomfortable.  You literally have 5 minutes or less with a newborn when you are working alone and cannot hold them AND shoot at the same time.  Don't waste those precious minutes on props.

2. Make Sure Baby is FED, WARM and CLEAN -- Makes sense, yes?  Comfy baby equals better photos.  After a nap, feed baby THEN change them so they are not sleepy for photos (or change THEN feed if you want baby to sleep, but goodness knows they will probably poop anyway, so I recommend feed THEN change.)

3. Start with Baby on Back -- Baby is happy on her back, so make sure you get a few good photos from straight down with baby looking up at you before you start experimenting to get a better shot.  This might be your only successful pose, so make sure you do it first!

4. Flip to Tummy Time -- Flip baby over on their tummy to try to get a few photos with them holding their head up.  Warning -- this just might not work.  Do not fret.  Allow baby to lay their head down, put their bum up in the air and get some good sleepy shots, detail shots and half grins this way.



5. Cuddle Baby in Lap -- Time for YOU to get in the picture!  Put your camera on self timer mode with at least 6-9 "clicks" or pictures that will snap.  Set baby in your lap, press the shutter and get ready to pose with baby.  This also gets baby happy again and if you are lucky, you can return baby to posing for a few more shots before she starts screaming at you to STOP TAKING PICTURES!


6. REPEAT -- If baby is happy, start over at step #1.  Baby on back, flip to tummy time, then cuddle.  It is a formula that WORKS!


TIPS for Baby


-- When baby is crying, get in detail shots like feet, hands and ears.


Prop Detail Shots too...



-- Quit while you are ahead. If you got a few pics and baby is screaming, quit.



TIPS for Posing and Adjusting Baby

-- Run a finger down the bridge of baby's nose to get a "sleeping" peaceful shot even when baby is awake.
-- Put your cheek next to baby's and quickly move away to get a faux "yawning" shot (baby will open their mouth to nurse).
-- Put a flat palm on baby's belly gently, then quickly pull your hand off belly to get baby to move their arms and legs.
-- To turn babies head, lightly rub your finger along the cheek on the side you would like them to look. Do not manually turn their head -- they will go right back.
-- In tummy time, push babies knees up under their bum for cuter angles.
-- In tummy time, put one arm straight out and allow baby to slightly rest their head on that arm. you will get less "forehead wrinkles" this way than when baby is focused on holding their head up fully.
-- If baby cannot hold their head up any longer, make sure you turn their head to the side so they can easily breathe.  This pose makes cute sleepy pictures (see tip #1 if baby refuses to close their eyes.
-- If baby will not open their eyes, change their diaper or give them a bath. Whistling, talking loudly to them, snapping -- none of that works on infants. At best you will get a scared baby, then a crying baby. #notgood


Favorite Infant Angles for the 5-Minute Shot


Vertical From Ground Straight On*
(Literally set your camera on the ground/bed/table vertically and SNAP)

Horizontal From Ground Baby Profile

Horizontal From Ground Baby Face Forward


Straight Down Vertical


Straight Down Horizontal


Tilted up on Self Timer

*Some photos are from this particular shoot, others are from OTHER 5 minute shoots.  Rest assured, I had no longer than 5 minutes for any of these!!

Edit Those Photos and Embrace the CROP!

You can do a lot in editing, but the most important thing I do for 5 minute photoshoots is crop.  You see, when I am doing one of these quickie shoots, I don't have time to sit behind the lens and compose photos like I do hen working with clients.  Rather, I have to pay very close attention to baby, baby's safety, baby's needs, my other child trying to climb my back and the bus that will be coming home in about...OH...5 minutes.  So I shoot from further back, allowing myself to crop in a little bit in editing where I have a bit more time.

Cropped Photo:

Uncropped:

Notice how the photo immediately looks more editorial once cropped in to focus your eye.  In the bottom photo, it just kind of looks like a bunch of stuff on the ground.  The "lines" don't finish, they just kind of abruptly end in the grass and the blanket looks awkward.  Crop it all in and the lines makes diagonals from one side of the frame to the other, the blanket becomes backdrop and the shot now works.

Questions??  What is still confusing when setting up angles/poses??

Are these posts helpful?  Want more photo posts on older children??  families?  self-timer?

Ready for the next installment?

CLICK HERE for my 5 minute photoshoot for three older, crazy active children!
CLICK HERE for even more tips photographing those CRAZY kids!

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Want more DIY Photoshoot Ideas?  I have a bunch!

5 Minute Photoshoot for Infants

5 Minute Photoshoot for Babies - 6 WEEKS

5 Minute Photoshoot for Babies - 6 MONTHS

5 Minute Photoshoot for Christmas Cards

5 Minute Photoshoot with Older, Active Children

5 Minute Photoshoot with a Preschooler

How to Photograph Your Family with a Self Timer

How to Survive a Photoshoot with Kids

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25 September 2013

Welcome to Penny [Letters]

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In case, you were wondering, YES, we are totally living in girly fantasyland over here...

...and that includes crowns...

In other unrelated, but as seriously obsessed trends in this household, 
the crock pot has been operating nonstop.  Today's recipe?  Yogurt.  
Did you know you could make yogurt in a crock pot?  Yeah, me neither.  
Will let you know how it goes!!

In the meantime, let's take a little peek into the "fiteverygirlprojectpossible" nursery, shall we?

Project Du Jour -- Penny Letters.


penny letters title  amy renea girl nursery a nest for all seasons


The very first craft I had in mind for our little girl's nursery were these "penny" letters.  I wanted to reference her nickname and also do a little play on materials.  The choice of copper pennies influenced the colors of this space from start to finish from the fading coppers and golds of the honeycomb wall to the more peach than pink color we chose for the walls.   The craft itself is very simple and is not that expensive.  The letters and paint will run you about $10 and you will spend around $5 in pennies for a 5 letter name.  (Though it would be a bit more expensive, I think this would be really fun with nickels for a "nick" too! :)

Penny Letters Amy Renea paper mache side

First things first, you need your PAPER MACHE LETTERS!  They are only $1.67 each on the consumercrafts.com website and are very lightweight.

You will also need paint, adhesive and your coin of choice to finish off the project.

Penny Letters Amy Renea edging

The trick to painting your letters and making them look like heavyweight typography is the blending of colors.

1.  Start with your base and coat the entire letter (I used copper).

Penny Letters Amy Renea

2.  Then add in a secondary metallic (I used a goldish silver) in random sections very slightly. 
 A spray paint works best for this second layer.

Penny Letters Amy Renea whole word

3. Finally, add in a darker accent along any edges to mimic the oil lines old metal letters get from being handled. 
 I used a dark grey metallic and dry brushed it onto the edges.  Less is MORE here folks!

Penny Letters Amy Renea black detailing

4.  After the paint has dried fully, add your coins in layers to the surface using hot glue or your favorite adhesive.

5.  Attach to the wall using nails (they are quite heavy if coins are added) or simply use
removable command strips or putty for letters without the added weight of metal coins.

penny wall  amy renea girl nursery a nest for all seasons


 Once I finished the penny letters, I knew I had one more little project for this side of the room.

Can you tell where it should go??


Is there something missing here???


Come back next week and find out!






Did you miss any of the posts in our baby girl's nursery?

Welcome to Penny [Letters]

Pin It

In case, you were wondering, YES, we are totally living in girly fantasyland over here...

...and that includes crowns...

In other unrelated, but as seriously obsessed trends in this household, 
the crock pot has been operating nonstop.  Today's recipe?  Yogurt.  
Did you know you could make yogurt in a crock pot?  Yeah, me neither.  
Will let you know how it goes!!

In the meantime, let's take a little peek into the "fiteverygirlprojectpossible" nursery, shall we?

Project Du Jour -- Penny Letters.


penny letters title  amy renea girl nursery a nest for all seasons


The very first craft I had in mind for our little girl's nursery were these "penny" letters.  I wanted to reference her nickname and also do a little play on materials.  The choice of copper pennies influenced the colors of this space from start to finish from the fading coppers and golds of the honeycomb wall to the more peach than pink color we chose for the walls.   The craft itself is very simple and is not that expensive.  The letters and paint will run you about $10 and you will spend around $5 in pennies for a 5 letter name.  (Though it would be a bit more expensive, I think this would be really fun with nickels for a "nick" too! :)

Penny Letters Amy Renea paper mache side

First things first, you need your PAPER MACHE LETTERS!  They are only $1.67 each on the consumercrafts.com website and are very lightweight.

You will also need paint, adhesive and your coin of choice to finish off the project.

Penny Letters Amy Renea edging

The trick to painting your letters and making them look like heavyweight typography is the blending of colors.

1.  Start with your base and coat the entire letter (I used copper).

Penny Letters Amy Renea

2.  Then add in a secondary metallic (I used a goldish silver) in random sections very slightly. 
 A spray paint works best for this second layer.

Penny Letters Amy Renea whole word

3. Finally, add in a darker accent along any edges to mimic the oil lines old metal letters get from being handled. 
 I used a dark grey metallic and dry brushed it onto the edges.  Less is MORE here folks!

Penny Letters Amy Renea black detailing

4.  After the paint has dried fully, add your coins in layers to the surface using hot glue or your favorite adhesive.

5.  Attach to the wall using nails (they are quite heavy if coins are added) or simply use
removable command strips or putty for letters without the added weight of metal coins.

penny wall  amy renea girl nursery a nest for all seasons


 Once I finished the penny letters, I knew I had one more little project for this side of the room.

Can you tell where it should go??


Is there something missing here???


Come back next week and find out!






Did you miss any of the posts in our baby girl's nursery?
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