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Temporary photo backdrops using what you already have

Want to take gorgeous photos in the comfort of your own home? We asked the experts to share their favorite backdrops, using what you already have on hand.

Simple baby backdrops
Image: Terese Condella/Sheknows


babies in a bucket
Photo credit: the letter b. photography

If you appreciate the beauty of natural light photography, then head out to your backyard. Shoot the kids directly on the grass or get creative and give them a big colorful bucket to play in. Photographer Jade Brookbank says, “My children were acquainted with grass from a very early age!”


Babies on a blanket
Photo credit: the letter b. photography

A soft blanket or quilt is the perfect backdrop for family or baby photos. Brookbank suggests placing a blanket in some soft shade with the sun to your baby’s back.

Floor by the window

window photo
Photo credit: the letter b. photography

If heading outside just isn’t an option, try taking photos in some soft window light and letting the little ones play with their toys or nibble on fingers and toes.


Baby in Bed
Photo credit: the letter b. photography

Photographer Johanna McShan of Hanna Mac Photography recommends using your bed. “I always hang quilts and blankets on my headboard,” she says. If you don’t have good light in your bedroom and you still want it to appear as if your baby is on the bed, she says you can fake a bed background by throwing your bed blanket on the ground.


fabric photo backdrop
Photo credit: Young House Love

Lay out a piece of fabric on the floor or tape it up on the wall with painter’s tape for an instant photo backdrop. If you’re an overachiever, take photos of your babies weekly on a different fabric each time -like our favorite DIY couple Sherry and John from the popular blog Young House Love. Just make sure you avoid using a sheet as a temporary backdrop, says photographer Sarah Hebenstreit, as the sags and wrinkles can be distracting. Instead, she recommends using either a stiff fabric you may have lying around (like burlap) or canvas taped to a wall, with all the creases and wrinkles ironed out.


mirro backdrop
Photo credit: Hanna Mac Photography

McShan says you don’t always have to stand right in front of your baby for every shot. She likes using different perspectives, like standing behind things and pointing her camera through things. “Don’t be afraid to place yourself in the most awkward position,” she says. “A lot of my shots include me smashing myself and my camera right up against the wall.” Try pointing your camera at a wall-mounted mirror and capturing baby’s reflection.

Expert Tip: If you’re using a fabric backdrop, make sure your child is several feet away from the wall,” says photographer Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids Co. That way, when you focus on them, the backdrop will be soft and slightly out of focus, creating more of a seamless look.”

More photography tips:

Expert tips for photographing newborns
Tips for photographing your baby’s first year
Picture perfect: How to get the most from your camera

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