I love sending Valentine’s Day cards. And I love taking photos. So, we decided to have an office Valentine’s Day photo shoot with our own kids. Fun day in the office, right? Then, we decided it’d be fun to make a video to share the results with you—not just our cute Valentine’s Day photos, but also a few photography tips on achieving some of those big smiles we all love. For added fun, we threw in some behind-the-scenes video footage because, as a photographer, I always wonder what the real ‘set’ looks like! So check out the video and the tips below to make your Valentine’s Day cards sparkle. 🙂
Now here are some photography tips and ideas to help you achieve the actual photos you saw in the video.
For our main background, we painted a 4×4 section of plywood with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint wasn’t entirely necessary since we didn’t write on it, we just liked the black background against our garland. And speaking of the garland, you can get it as a free printable! It’s easy to cut out and a fun activity to do with your kids.
Photography Tip: Try placing something on your head and asking the child to blow it off. Just about anything works. I used a paper heart. It should either be something the child will physically be able to blow off, or that with a slight tilt of your head, they’ll think they did! Also setting the child on a box or a crate typically keeps them in one spot, long enough at least for a few quick photos!
For this background, we used two sets of gold metallic curtains, right on top of each other. Inexpensive, and they come in many colors!
Photography Tip: Giving kids a prop like sunglasses allows them to interact and play with something, which keeps them occupied long enough for photos. And even the motions of taking off the glasses can be really cute!
Insert our trusty chalk background again. (Highly recommend creating one of these! You’ll be able to use it over and over, and you can also actually write messages on the chalk and then take the picture!) For this shot we cut out the letters XOXO in a variety of papers and strung them on ribbon. You could do any word, use any type of ribbon, add your own style to this project and let your kids help!
Photography Tip: We know your kids faces are absolutely adorable, but feel free to have some fun with cropping!
Here we used a rug that is popular lately and can be found at places like West Elm, TJMaxx and others. Kids love the texture and softness! They also come in a variety of colors.
Photography Tip: Who can get away with uncontrollably tickling your child, whether it’s you, your spouse or a sibling? These photos are fun because you can tickle and tickle. You’re really just aiming for an upper body/head photo, and they can keep tickling away on those little legs and feet!
This Valentine photo idea can work with any solid or patterned background. We were just going for simple to let the kids really shine. We also used our free valentine printable and instead of cutting it in strips for a paper chain, we punched out 2” circles and then sewed them into a garland. Even if you barely know how to sew, this is an incredibly easy and fun project that doesn’t take much time!
Photography Tip: Candy, cupcakes, treats! If your children are anything like mine, treats of any sort definitely get their attention and allow for a little bribery for good behavior (ahem, not that I’m promoting bribery). Regardless, especially for Valentine’s Day, treats make great props!
For this shot, we used the same chalk background from previous sets, but your choice will depend on the color of your glitter or confetti. We recommend using a contrasting color to the confetti. Our confetti was white, therefore we used a black background to make sure you’d see the confetti in the photo. Notice our garbage bags on the floor in the video footage? Made for very easy cleanup! After realizing how little confetti we actually used (it doesn’t take much!) we decided just to toss it, however it would have been pretty easy to collect in the garbage bags and dump it back into the original bag!
Photography Tip: This was actually the first time I had photographed this, and it was so fun! At first, I cautioned the girls to blow very softly (was expecting a massive amount of confetti to come my way!) but we ended up needing a bit more power! The girls had a blast!
We can’t wait to see how these photos work in the Valentine’s Day cards we picked out! And, hopefully, these Valentine’s Day photo ideas inspire you to try your own photo session with your kids this week. Then, don’t forget to shop for the perfect Valentine’s Day photo cards that will have family and friends ohhing and ahhing over their adorable valentine!
We’d love to see your photo ideas on our Facebook wall!
LOVE these ideas! I’m a real estate photographer and want to learn more about portrait work. Can you share your lighting setup on these? Did you use a softbox, etc? Thank you so much!
Thanks for your comment, Jeanine! We had a lot of fun with this project! We actually didn’t use a softbox, flash or other form of additional lighting. We absolutely could have, but we wanted to make sure we were offering suggestions and ideas that our viewers could replicate at home as much as possible!
I’m curious where you found your glittery confetti. I want to do this with my little boy, but I don’t know what exactly I’m looking for. Thanks!
And I LOVE these ideas! I can’t wait to try some of them out!
We purchased it at Party City, I’ve included the link below (we found it at the store). It worked really well because of how light it was!
Have fun taking your photos, we’d love to see what you come up with!