Tutorial: Baby Cupid Valentine Shoot

by jessicaturner on February 3, 2012

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Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it – the sentiment, the heart decor, everything. When I had Elias, I wanted to come up with a creative Valentine to send to our family. I came up with the idea of making him a little cupid. I bought some wings on eBay, set up a sheet and a red pillow from our couch and got some great shots.

Of course, I wanted to do the same thing with Adeline and I must say, the pictures turned out every bit as cute. This mini shoot is so easy and the pictures are so darn adorable.

I hope this post will inspire you to do a similar session with your little cupid. Your pictures will be treasured for years to come.

Supplies needed:

  • Something pink or red for the background (I used a large couch pillow)
  • A sheet for the floor
  • Wings (I bought these on eBay, but you could also make them – see below)
  • Optional: props (I cut a stiff red felt heart for Elias and used a pink heart pillow for Adeline)
  • Optional: A white diaper cover (for Elias, he just wore a white diaper. Of course, you could have your baby be naked.)
  • Optional: A pink, red, or white headband for your baby girl

Background

You want your background to be a solid color so it doesn’t distract from your child’s cuteness. However, don’t make the mistake of using white, like I did the first time I did the shoot with Adeline. While the pictures were adorable, the wings didn’t pop well. After looking back at Elias’s pictures and talking with Matthew, I decided to do another shoot and was so happy that I did. The color made a huge difference!

Lighting

I prefer to use natural light. I made my little “set” right by our deck’s french doors so that I had beautiful natural light. (Because I know someone will ask, I shoot with a Canon 40D and a 50 mm 1.4 lens).

Props

You could have a lot of fun with props for this little shoot. For both of my kids I kept it simple – hearts. With Elias I used a stiffened felt heart that I cut out myself and for Adeline I used a heart pillow that I found in the dollar section at Target. Other options:

  • A mini bow and arrow
  • Love letters
  • Confetti
  • Mini hearts
  • Candles (not lit – obviously)
  • Chocolate

Wings

The wings are very critical to this shoot. I found my wings on ebay for $2.99 – NICE! However, after inspecting them, I realized I could have made them using these steps (although, honestly, you can’t beat the ebay price):

Step 1: Cut a half moon shaped piece of cardboard

Step 2: Spray paint it white

Step 3: Piece two holes in it – for the arm elastic

 Step 4: Loop a piece of elastic through each hole, making arm bands

Step 5: Glue white feathers all over the cardboard

DONE!

To Get a Happy Cupid

Be sure to choose a time a day when your baby is happy. The first time around, I did the shoot right before nap time because it was convenient for ME. Wrong idea. While I got cute shots of Adeline, her eyes just didn’t dance like they do when she is wide awake. Elias (my photo assistant) and I had to really work to get her to smile, too.

The second time I did the shoot just after a nap. She was bright-eyed and getting her to smile was a breeze. Almost every picture she was smiling.

I also found it helpful to have some of Adeline’s favorite toys to shake and get her attention. In fact, many of my favorite shots were taken without me looking through the camera. I simply held it in position and snapped while focusing my attention on looking, talking and smiling at Adeline.

Despite all the smiles, this is the photo that takes our breath away. It is so Adeline. I plan to create Valentines from Adeline using this photo. I know they will be a hit.

Enjoying Your Pictures- FREE canvas

Because I want to enjoy these pictures for years to come, I am going to have canvases made using this free 8×10 canvas deal! Then, every Valentine’s, I will hang up the canvases – one with each child’s cupid picture.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.

Happy Valentine’s Day! xo

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica February 3, 2012 at 6:22 am

I love it! My baby isn’t sitting up yet, so it might be tough, but I do have some large wings (feathered angel wings from a Christmas pageant) that I could lay her down on, with a red blanket under that.

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Claire February 3, 2012 at 6:52 am

Oh what sweet photos! You are so full of ideas, sweetie!

Cxx

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Nana February 3, 2012 at 7:09 am

Everyone is darling…..I’m in love !!!

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Emily Sutherland February 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

This is so precious! Wish I had been following a blog like this when my kids were young like yours.

I wonder if my 14-year-old son might dress up like a cupid for me since I missed my chance when he was a curly-haired 2-year-old cherub. Ok, maybe not.

I love what you’re doing for moms.

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Melissa February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Oh my goodness. These are some of the cutest, happiest baby pictures I have ever seen! :) Looooove them. :)

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Sharon O February 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm

ADORABLE. Just the sweetest.

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Coby February 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Those are just beautiful. All her roly-poly-ness and her sweet expressions are just heart-melting!

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MamaBear February 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm

So cute! I think I have some white tag board around here somewhere…..now to find the feathers and elastic so I can try this with Elsa. I already have her cards designed (her in a tutu on top of a white board with a conversation bubble that says “Happy Valentine’s Day Tutu yoy!” But I’m going to give this photo a try too.

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Cori February 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Oh my gosh, I can’t get over how adorable she is! Great photos!

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Gina February 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

This pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this idea.

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Lis February 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Oh, this is just precious! She is sooo adorable!

I never thought about taking holiday-themed photos to hang specifically for that time of year. What a neat idea!

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Erin R. February 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm

THANK YOU! for the wing tutorial. I really want to do this with my daughter, but couldn’t find the wings. Super easy. Thanks for the tutorial on the shoot as well.

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Nikki February 6, 2012 at 3:37 am

I don’t have a little one anymore (sniff sniff) but I absolutely enjoyed your tutorial. Those photos are precious.

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MamaBear February 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Well we didn’t have any poster board but I did find some foam core that worked. Here’s our version: http://campgroundcubs.blogspot.com/2012/02/elsa-louise-at-32-weeks.html Thanks again for the inspiration! I will treasure these photos forever!

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sona February 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Beautiful.

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Lois February 2, 2013 at 10:56 pm

What a great idea I have to do this! Just a thought for the arm bands, I think I may try using the adjustable clear bra straps. If anyone has tried that I would love your feedback.

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jessicaturner February 4, 2013 at 6:57 am

The bands come sewn to the wings, though I guess adjustible bra straps would work if you are making your own. :)

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