10.08.2018

Kids Photo Book Tips, Ideas, and Cheat Sheet

Kids grow up so fast, don't they? It seems like just yesterday I was bringing our oldest child (now 11 years old) home from the hospital, earning what it was like to function on no sleep, take care of a newborn, and work (yes, I had to work too!). Back when I only had two kids, or even three kids, I had more time to spend with them and came up with some pretty creative ideas!

I was looking through some old photos the other day and found this mosaic of photos I had taken:





My now nearly 10 year old was only 3 years old when I did this with him. I had my camera out and I was taking photos for my Etsy shop. He came over and wanted me to take his picture too! So, I set him up in front of the back of our white sofa and starting snapping away. He was doing the funniest poses that I decided to see what I could get him to do.

I asked him to show me different faces: sad, mad, happy, silly, etc. Then I had him look up, look down, and hold up fingers for the numbers 1-5. We had the absolute best time with our little photo shoot.

After going through all the photos that day, I decided that I wanted to make a special book, just for him, using some of the fun pictures we took. So I created a photo book using Shutterfly. Since this is something I wanted to keep forever, I decided to get a larger book 8.5"x11" with a hard cover.

Using the different facial expressions in the photos he took, I labeled each photo with a simple word. When he started learning how to read it was easy for him to read this book all by himself. If he didn't know the word yet, he could look at the picture and remember what kind of face he was making.

Here's a look at a few pages from our photo book:


I included his full name (which I blurred out for the photo), the month the photos were taken, and the year on the spine of the photo book.


It was so fun seeing what poses he came up with for the different words I asked him to do.


This little pouty lip makes me smile. He isn't one to get sad very often, even now, so it was hard for him to actually make a sad face.


Anger is one of the emotions he's really good at. This cute little boy of mine has been diagnosed with both ADHD and Autism (he tends to fall into the spectrum the most on sensory processing and social cues). He gets angry a lot. I sometimes wish his angry face now would look more like the cute angry face in his photo here.


I didn't really have an emotion for this photo, but I still loved it, so I added it in as the last page of our photo book. It's so fun to go back and look at these fun pictures and remember how fun it was to sit with him and do a mini photo shoot. He loves going through his book and looking at all of his funny faces too!
So, here are a few tips if you want to make your own emotions photo book for your kid(dos):

1. Make sure they're in a good mood. This kind of goes without saying. The best, and most candid, photos will happen when you and your child are in a good mood. They will be more willing to cooperate, and both of you will have a lot more fun!

2. Keep your background simple. You don't need to go out and buy something awesome for your backdrop.A simple blank wall, a bed sheet, or the side of a building will work just fine. Like I said earlier, I drug our couch into a room that had good lighting, I put a blanket on the floor so he could sit on something comfy, and just went with it. If you don't have a good place in your home to take photos consider taking your photo shoot outside. Go to the park, a local farm, your backyard, or take photos in lots of different places! Make a day of it!

3. Think ahead. Our shoot was very spur of the moment, but if you aren't super creative on the fly, maybe jot down a few ideas ahead of time of what you want to take the photos of. Consider some of the following for your photo session: emotions, numbers, seasons, directions, colors, or shapes. Each of those could become their own photo book even. Think of all the possibilities!

4. Let go, and have fun! If your little one isn't wearing the perfect outfit, that's okay. My son was in a grungy t-shirt and I LOVE the way it turned out because it was true to HIM! If your little one has ideas for the kinds of pictures they want to do, let them. If they don't want to do exactly what you want them to do, that's okay. Take photos of them just playing or goofing around and turn it into a photo book about playing! Then, try again on another day if you are looking for something specific. If they remember their little photo shoot as a fun day with mom or dad taking photos they will be more likely to do it again!


But, you don't have to remember all of this. We put together a handy Kid Photo Book Cheat Sheet full of tips for holding your mini photo shoot as well as ideas for photo book themes you and your kid(dos) can put together!


You can download your cheat sheet here

P.S. Wouldn't a book like this make a fun present for grandparents or great-grandparents? I totally think so! Pin It now!

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