Easter has come so early this year and while we’d love for you to bring your little cuties in for a professional family photo session for Easter, we realize you might just want some fun photo ideas that you can do at home.

So, we’ve gathered some fun photo ideas that you can recreate yourself.

Let’s start with the littlest ones. Babies are so fun to pose with colorful props, because let’s face it, they make everything look adorable. And as long as they’ve had a nap, they don’t usually protest. ;)

Little Bunnies

How about dressing up your little bunny and taking a photo of her sitting in the grass at your local park? This sweet,ruffly romper gives this little girl a beautiful Victorian touch for Easter.

This romper is available on Etsy.

Or if she’s younger, how about curled up on a fuzzy blankie?

Pro Tip: To make photo shoots easier with any baby or young child, make sure they’ve had their nap and have some favorite toys and silly faces at the ready. For newborns, it’s best to pose them while they’re still sound asleep.

This adorable crocheted bunny outfit is available on Etsy.

Easter Eggs and Baskets

Add some color and fun, by duplicating this adorable baby easter basket photo. All you need is a basket, plastic Easter eggs, and a bunny headband.

Pro Tip: To get baby in a good mood play with the eggs with her before you begin and have another adult handy who can entertain her with tickles or giggles while you take the pictures.

Have older kiddos? You can have even more fun with creative photo ideas! Check out some of these.

Ducklings

How about this Japanese cutie with her baby ducklings?

This picture doesn’t require a lot of props either: simply an umbrella, rain-boots and some rubber duckies.

Pro Tip: Get your child involved in the fun by having them help you arrange the duckies. You could even encourage them to come up with a story about the duckies to get them even more engaged in the game and photos.

little girl with duckies

Egg Art

Another way to get the kids in on the fun is to have them make the first letter of their name in the grass with Easter eggs! Then experiment with fun and silly poses in the grass until you get the right shots. Make the whole exercise silly and you’ll get some great candid pics like this one.

easter photo idea girl in grass with eggs

Tea Party

Host an Easter tea party with your kids and snap pictures while they play. Make some of their favorite treats and let them explore how they might have fun with their tea party.

Pro Tip: situate your play table under the open shade of a tree and experiment with different angles to get the lighting right.

Picnic in the Park

If your kids aren’t into tea parties, what about a picnic? This setting can easily be done with a cute old blanket and some yummy lunch. Pet bunny is optional, of course.

Springtime Blossoms

Take advantage of the beautiful trees blooming all around Orange County this time of year. While you’re playing in the park with the kids, take a moment to snap some photos! They don’t need to be as posed or color coordinated as this one, just have fun with it. Some of the best photos come from playing around.

Candid Confetti Egg Game Photos

Speaking of playing around, is one of your family traditions playing the confetti egg game? If not, maybe you should adopt this fun (yet messy) Easter tradition!

It makes for some great, silly and very candid photos.

Pro Tip: If you’re taking photos with your camera phone set your camera to “burst” to get multiple fast images with each click. This will help you to capture the action best. Click here to learn how to adjust your iPhone camera settings. And if you’re on an Android device, click here.

Click on the photo to get instructions on how to create and play the confetti Easter egg game.

easter confetti game

However you celebrate Easter or springtime, we hope you have fun and capture some great candid memories. And when you’re ready for some professional family photos we’ll be here too.

Orange County Family Photography– How to manage a two year old at a portrait session.   Everyone that knows me is totally aware that I am obsessed with toddlers.  I love the way they talk, I love the things that they say, I love to play games with them, they just totally crack me up.  So while lots of photographers shy away from photographing toddlers because it isn’t easy, I think as long as you have a good understanding of what will go on during a toddler session, everyone will remain calm and have fun!

Toddlers usually start out a little shy of the camera–  let’s face it, this is a new environment and most of the time the photographer is a stranger pointing a black box at their face while everyone is yelling at them to smile or say cheese. In my experience, this does not work.  At Blue Sky’s Studio we typically prep the Mom or Dad before the session and ask if they will just let us quietly talk with their child in the beginning with no expectations, no smiling, etc.  A typical reaction would be this, where the little one looks at their Mom or Dad for reassurance.

Orange-county-family-photography_0115Once a toddler starts to warm up, the best way to get great expressions is to play games with them.  I will often snort like a pig and tell them that is what my doggies say.  They will typically laugh and say noooooo, that is what a piggy says.  You get the point, they play along and they will usually give you an amazing huge smile like this.

 

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Now is when the real fun starts, I always tell the parents not to worry at this point because things are going to get a little crazy, but these are going to be a true representation of your child’s personality.  You know, something like this:

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Things to remember about toddlers-  You get about an hour to photograph them and then they are usually done.  You can bring multiple changes of clothing, but often times they will not tolerate more than three clothing changes.  I frequently have parents say to me, “I don’t think you got anything, my child wasn’t really cooperating.”  I smile and say, “we will see”.  Here is just a few of my favorites from a recent session.  When she got a little tired out, big brother was there to give some love and affection and then she was back to her camera ready self!

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We named her curl Fred!Orange-county-family-photography_0121Orange-county-family-photography_0123

We played tons of games with the hat.Orange-county-family-photography_0124Orange-county-family-photography_0125Orange-county-family-photography_0126Orange-county-family-photography_0127Orange-county-family-photography_0129

Had to give brother some affection while she took a break!Orange-county-family-photography_0130Orange-county-family-photography_0131Orange-county-family-photography_0132Orange-county-family-photography_0133Orange-county-family-photography_0134Orange-county-family-photography_0135Orange-county-family-photography_0136Orange-county-family-photography_0137

To book a family or kids session, click here!

In my years as an Orange County photographer I have more than a handful of amazing locations up my sleeve. So here’s part two of my best Orange County Photography Locations. (The first 10 locations are here.)

Rancho Las Lomas

  1. Rancho Las Lomas 

This resort and zoological garden is a little known Orange County setting for great photography. Located in Silvarado Canyon, it’s lush setting is perfect for family photos.

San Clemente Beach photography

  1. San Clemente State Beach 

Traveling a little further down the coast San Clemente State Beach is a less crowded, more varied seaside backdrop for a stunning photography session.

Nellie Gail photography

  1. Nellie Gail Trails 

Nestled in south Orange County are the 26 miles of trails of the Nellie Gail Ranch. The native California greenery gives way to beautiful grasses and trees, making this an especially unique photography location.

in home photography

  1. Your Home

Sometimes you don’t need to travel at all to find the perfect setting for your family photos. Sometimes you need only stay at home. At home photo shoots can be especially fun as they not only show your family’s story, but your home as well, adding an especially unique element to look back on.

Laguna Beach photography

  1. Downtown Laguna Beach

I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful beach communities in Southern California and my studio, in Laguna Canyon is just minutes from one of the best “downtowns” in the county as well. This location is a treasure trove for a variety of shooting possibilities. (Read even more in this recent post about Laguna Beach Photography)

San Juan Capistrano photography

  1. Los Rios Historic District 

San Juan Capistrano boast several great photography locations, but one of the most fun is the Los Rios District, just across the train tracks from the Capistrano Depot. You can even stop for a bite to eat or tea time after your shoot.

The right photography location sets the tone for your photos. Here are just a few of the best Orange County locations I use.

Let’s start with these fun family photos at the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach.

Best Orange County Location, The Fun Zone1. The Balboa Fun Zone

Since it’s opening in 1936 the FunZone has been a popular place to have some old fashioned fun. This is a great Orange County photography location for family photos because there are some many fun spots to take photos, plus you can entice the kids to cooperate with games, treats and rides! Win, Win, Win! 

Best Orange County Location: Blue Sky's Studio2.  The Studio (Blue Sky’s, that is)

If the weather is rainy, or maybe too hot, or if you just want that polished look, Blue Sky’s Studio “studio” is a perfect location for a photoshoot. Clean white backgrounds, props and different furniture options can give your photos a clean, classic look. Plus it’s located in the heart of Laguna Canyon, our next photo shoot location.

Location: Laguna Canyon3.  Laguna Canyon

Just a hop, skip and a jump from our studio is the beatific countryside of Laguna Canyon. It’s hard to believe this photo location is in Orange County, but it’s the perfect little break from the hustle and bustle. And it makes for lovely natural photos. 

Newport Pier photography location4. The Newport Pier

This quintessential Orange County photography spot is perfect for family portraits with a casual, fun feel. The wooden pier reminds me an older time when surfers shot the curl and woodies dotted the coast. Check out this brother and sister photo at Newport Pier.

photo shoot location Upper Newport Back Bay5.  Upper Newport Back Bay

An oasis between the ocean and the wilds of Newport Beach, Irvine and Costa Mesa, this swath of nature is a great spot for outdoor photography. The smell of sagebrush welcomes you to this beautiful Orange County photography location.

SOCO photo shoot

6.  SOCO

The South Coast Collection (& The OC Mix) is no just a great place to shop. It’s blend of clean industrial meets trendy water-friendly succulents and greenery makes this photography location the perfect ciy/nature mix.

Mission San Juan Capistrano photo shoot

7.  Mission San Juan Capistrano

Step back in time to Old California. This unique photography location gives your photos a rustic charm of an original mission.

Photo Shoot Location San Onofre Beach

8.  San Onofre State Beach

What could be more Orange County than a surf inspired family photo location. If your family loves the beach this photography location is a perfect vintage-inspired location.

Orange County Photography Location Red Barn9.  The Red Horse Barn

This Orange County photography location is an unlikely dose of western culture right in Huntington Beach. This rustic, elegant setting has beautiful landscaping and as you can see is a great format for stunning family portraits or children’s portraits.

orange county photography location Table Rock Beach

10. Table Rock Beach

This Laguna Beach location is a gem, unlike many beaches, it offers so much more than the typical sand and seascape. It has lovely rushes, a nice staircase and interesting sandstone cliffs. It’s a great place for a family photo session.

I’m having so much fun shooting Valentine’s Day themed photos this season. These kids (most of them are kids anyway) are just too adorable. It makes you realize how precious and pure the love of a child is. Below is some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day photos.

Check out these ideas (and photos) by yours truly. And get ready for cuteness overload. ;)

Kisses & Hugs

It’s so fun to get siblings to show some love, their character shows through in wonderful candid shots. These first two are my babies.

hugs-kisses-valentines-photo1hugs-kisses-valentines-photo2hugs-kisses-valentines-photo3

You’ve got my heart on a string…

The beautiful sisters above are a great segway to “hearts!” Hanging some glittering hearts all around in the studio gives Valentine’s photos a fun, whimsical feel. 

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Props

Props and accessories are so much fun for Valentine’s Day photos. Let’s start with some X’s and O’s!

xoxo-valentines-photo

Okay, we just can’t get enough of hearts–how about these different takes on the lovely shape?

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How about some fun glasses, and maybe just the right book?

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A family’s home decor can be a nice touch, especially with babies–this wall art provides the perfect scale for baby and carries the theme of love.

baby

Let’s play…dress up!

These little cuties look so adorable, in these fun, candid photos because they were having fun playing while we shot.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas and photos. That’s all I have for now, but we’ll blow you one last kiss, goodbye!

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