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Photographing Your Own Child with Professional Backdrops with Cassie Terwilliger

Photographing Your Own Child with Professional Backdrops with Cassie Terwilliger

Photographing Your Own Child with Professional Backdrops with Cassie Terwilliger

Hi friends, my name is Cassie Terwilliger and I’m the owner of Everlasting Impressions Photography in Upstate, NY. I specialize in newborns, cake smash, maternity and child fine art photography. I especially specialize in creating portraits of my own children! One of my favorite things to do is photograph my kids. I often get told my children are so lucky to have such amazing portraits taken of them that they will be able to have throughout their lives. Being professional photographer, naturally my children are going to be some of my main subjects. In all honesty, they also really love modeling for me too.    

When I plan shoots with my own children I always like to think of something fun we can do during the shoot; something that will engage them and get them to feel and act natural. Of course, when planning any photo session with my own little ones, having an amazing background is always a must because it's the focal point to any image. Intuition Backgrounds by Becky Gregory has an awesome selection. Some of my all-time favorite backdrops that I’ve used from them while photographing my children are Juliette Peach, Cotton Field, Wild and Free, Cocoa, and Rosewater. These are so much fun to shoot on and they really give each image a special and magical feel, which is something I always love to capture in my art work.

Backdrops from left to right: Peach Juliette, Cotton Field, Wild and Free, Cocoa, Rosewater.

You don’t need a huge studio space to take portraits of your kids. I have a smaller studio space and usually I’ll have one or two backdrops set up at a time. Here are some tips to help you create some amazing portraits of your own kids with professional backdrops:

Choosing Your Backdrop

When choosing your backdrop, make sure it’s something you and your child will both love. I like to think of it as a team effort. If my children are excited about the backdrop they’re about to be photographed on, then I know they are going to have some great smiles for me. Keep in mind the setting of your backdrop too. Here you can see in this backdrop there are teddy bears, so to make it all come together and feel more real, we used a few of our own teddy bears in a vintage carriage that really gave it a warm and magical feel.

Backdrop: Days Past

Adding Props to Use with Your Professional Backdrops

As mentioned above, props really help make your images come to life. It also helps your child open up and feel more connected to your scene or set, especially if you’re using a specific background. In my studio I have a swing I love to put up for my children. We have fun dressing up the swing according to the backgrounds we use, or we can leave it plain for a more natural but elegant look. Use any fun props that you have on hand and it will add to the overall look you’re going for. 


Backdrops from left to right: Whitebird with Dover Mat Floor & Rosewater

Creating Depth between Subject and Background

Another tip to keep in mind when photographing your own kids on professional backdrops is to pull your child from the backdrop a few feet. Keeping your child a good 3-4 feet from the backdrop will create a nice creaminess to the background which will help give the portrait more depth and realism. Doing this will also help keep shadows off the backdrop for a more flattering look overall. Lighting your subject properly will also help create a nice depth between subject and background.


Backdrop: Morning Breeze  

Lastly, always remember to have fun! Taking pictures of your own children can be fun and also a great bonding experience.  It’s also pretty cool when they get to watch you do what you love, and in return you get to watch each of their little personalities shine through your lens!

About the Author

Cassie Terwilliger is the owner of Everlasting Impressions Photography and is based in Waverly, NY.  She specializes in newborns, cake smash, maternity and child fine art portrait photography. 
Website: www.everlastingimpressionsphotography.com
Facebook: Everlasting Impressions Photography | Facebook
Instagram: www.instagram.com/everlastingimpressionsphotog


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