My daughter turned three months old this week. I’ve had a professional photoshoot scheduled since shortly after she was born, but obviously we had to cancel. My state is under a safer-at-home order, and even if it wasn’t, I am personally committed to following CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. That means nobody comes into our house who doesn’t live here, and we don’t make any non-essential trips outside our four walls.
Professional photos are important to me, but they are not vital to our survival, so unfortunately, they have to wait.
Since I can’t bring in a pro, I took matters into my own hands. I scoured Pinterest and Instagram for tips, downloaded a few apps, set up a makeshift background with home décor items I already had on hand, and took a few photos myself.
They’re not what I’m used to, and they’re not what her brothers had, but we got the job done.
And it was fun! When I was done with the baby, I grabbed my boys and took a few shots of the three kids together.
I think photoshoots might be our new favorite way to pass the time at home. It’s not about getting professional shots– it’s just about having a good time and making memories.
Here are a few fun ideas I’ve collected that I can’t wait to try.
1. Recreate works of art!
During this COVID-19 quarantine, one amazingly creative Dutch woman and her roommates decided to recreate Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl earring with household objects. The idea took off, and lots of other people have followed suit, reenacting a work of art using three household objects and posting it to Instagram. The account dedicated to this project is amazing. People are so creative! If fine art isn’t your jam, you could try an iconic album cover (Abbey Road: Driveway Edition, anyone?) or even a movie poster.
I’m still working on narrowing down the piece I want to replicate. Is there a famous painting of a harried mother doling out endless fruit snacks? Will research.
2. Turn your kids into famous historical figures.
Well, now is your chance to give it a try! Choose your favorite figures from history, and use things you have on hand to transform your kiddos into influential people. I’m itching to turn my baby girl into Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Anyone know if Amazon sells dissenting collars in size 0-3 months?
Don’t forget athletes, actors, musicians and artists. Parents can get in on this, too. Everyone can have their own photo!
Bonus: You can totally count it as homeschool hours. Grab a printable, spend a few minutes teaching your kid about the person, then the fun can begin. Boom. History lesson.
3. Take a Quarantine 2020 photo.
COVID-19 is no joke. This is likely to become a defining moment in our children’s history. They might not remember, but we can give them something to look back on. Give yourself a few moments of levity by taking a quarantine memory photo. Gather up some of the most coveted quarantine supplies that you already have on hand and take a photo with them. Toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand soap or sanitizer, a stuffed tiger…anything you will associate with this time down the road. Make sure you’re not wasting resources– especially anything that is still in short supply. Include a message encouraging other people to stay home.
4. Go outside and get messy!
A couple years ago, my family dressed in white clothes and played in the mud during our family photoshoot. It was the most fun we have ever had taking pictures, and we still have those photos hanging all over our home. Make the most of your next rainy, dreary day by going outside to romp and play without worrying about getting dirty. Bring your camera or your phone and snap a few messy, adorable shots. If it’s a little chilly, rainboots, raincoats and umbrellas are adorable in pictures. If you have a partner, take turns getting in the messy photo. Use a timer or selfie stick to get the whole fam in a shot.
Remember: If everyone isn’t filthy, you didn’t have enough fun!
Since we have mud covered, I’m thinking paint is next for us. Or maybe a water balloon fight! I’m in for anything outdoors and fun where I can capture my kids’ candid laughs and smiles.
5. Make time for a “Parent and Me” photoshoot.
Since parents are almost always the ones taking the photos, we are often not in very many. This is the perfect time to do a “parent and me” photoshoot. Maybe you want to document a sweet moment nursing your baby. You might want to put on matching clothes and really showcase your mini-me.
Even just cooking dinner or making the bed can be a cute time for photos with your kiddo. If you have a partner, enlist their help. Multiple kids? Ask them to take turns being the photographer. If you’re the only person in your household who can take the photo, a selfie marathon is just as fun.
6. Capture their most peaceful moments.
Getting kids to participate in photoshoots isn’t always easy. Sometimes it feels like they’re only cooperating when they’re asleep. Why not take advantage of that time to get some beautiful shots of their precious little faces? Every parent has looked at their kid after bedtime and marveled at their innocence and beauty. Their tousled hair on their pillow, their pursed lips, their long, dark lashes…nothing is sweeter than a sleeping child.
If you’re hashtag blessed with a really deep sleeper, or you’re just ambitious and brave, you could even get props involved.
The possibilities are endless! Let your imagination run wild. As parents, part of our job is to make this time less scary for our kids. Fun is how we can do that. Playing dress-up, splashing in puddles, and spending time with dad are activities that a lot of kids already love. Why not capture the moments in a fun, intentional way?
This article was originally published on