Easter is Right Around the Corner

Easter is April 5th. April. 5th. That’s like, two weeks away! Can you believe it? This year is almost 25% over…I digress.

All in favor of dressing up your kid, wrestling them into the car seat, driving to the packed mall, hoping your kid doesn’t puke/poo/pee/snot all over their outfit, then pay 1000% over cost for photos of your kid screaming and crying with a terrified bunny-man behind them, raise your hand!!!

*cricks*

Just as I suspected.

Easter photos don’t have to involve that nonsense. And if you are too far away to visit me at my home studio (click here for info), then here is a DIY for taking your own Easter photos.

1. The Backdrop. This is the most difficult part of the project, but don’t worry! It’s mostly just a little time consuming 🙂

Visit your local hardware store or crafts store. You need to purchase two thin sheets of plywood. I bought 3/8ths inch Baltic plywood from my local hardware shop. Then I bought a little can of wood stain and a few cheap paint samples. This is where the “hard” part starts. Sand down any rough spots on your plywood. Stain one of the boards with a stain of you choice. Then paint the other board with you paint choice. Voila! Backdrop.

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2. Get some cute props. I used plastic eggs, bunny ears, paper circles, a metal bunny, and a Happy Easter sign.

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3. Decorate! Woo hoo! Set up your area the way you’d like.

4. Now, find a room in your house that has a decent amount of natural light and set up shop. I set up in front of my dining room windows. This allows for ample natural light.

5. Camera settings. I always shoot in manual, which some people agree with and some don’t, but it works for me. What can I say, I like to have control. For these shots you will need a low-light or prime lens. I used a 50mm f1.8 lens. This is a wide aperture lens that will allow in a ton of light. And they are pretty affordable (bonus!). I shot with my aperture at f1.8, shutter speed at 1/100, and my ISO at 320. The higher the ISO, the brighter the photo, however the more grain it will have. I use a Nikon D600, which has amazing low-light capabilities. Other DSLRs are better, others aren’t as good. These were shot on a fairly cloudy day as well, so your results will vary depending on the amount of natural light. I did a tiny bit of editing and voila! Easter photos!

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No terrifying bunny-man. No screaming, crying children. No outfit changes in the middle of the crowded mall. And you can take as many shots as you want without paying an arm and a leg!

If you are in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia), and don’t feel like setting this all up, check out my Easter Mini Sessions currently being offered at Brittany Marie Photography.

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sensory activity textures

Sensory Activity – Feel the Fabrics

Activity #2 of our Snow Day adventure was a touch and feel activity. I am fairly certain these are his favorite activities. He definitely love to feel things in his hands and he loves petting the dog and feeling his fur. I figured this activity would be fun, easy, and keep him entertained for a while (and it was!)

#1. Gather up several different fabrics. I happened to have a bunch that I use for photography props like a white hairy pillow, blue microfiber fabric, white silky fabric, blue tulle, and a soft fluffy blanket where the ones I went with. Feel free to use anything you have around your house. A clean bath mat, a clean welcome mat, a shower curtain, silky bed sheets, a soft blouse or shirt, a towel, felt, a velvet skirt, corduroy pants, seriously anything with different textures will work! *Bonus points for throwback photos featuring velvet skirts or corduroy pants 😉

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#2. Next, place the different fabrics on babies lap one at a time and let them explore. Use as many descriptive words as you can and have lots of fun! (I love easy peasy activities). We did the hairy pillow first.

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This. This is new.

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Next, we tried the super soft microfiber fabric.

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He wasn’t really into this one as much, so we moved on to the silky white sheet.

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As you can see, that one spent most of the time in his mouth. We then tried the fluffy white blanket.

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This didn’t quite go over well in the mouth haha!

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Finally, we had the blue tulle. This was hands down his favorite and he spent most of the time playing with this fabric.

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Feel the Fabrics was a huge hit in our household! This easily kept him entertained for about 45 minutes. Serious. Whenever he started getting fussy, we changed to a different “feel” and it basically started the process all over again!

For more baby activities like this, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog and be sure to like me on Facebook and Instagram.

diy discovery bottle

DIY Discovery Bottle Activity

As you know, we were snowed in yesterday, so we got in a bunch of activities to keep little man occupied. The first activity of the day was a Do-It-Yourself Discovery Bottle. It was quick and easy and I am 99.99% sure you have everything you need to make this already in your house! Little Mark’s review follows below 😉

#1. Find an empty water bottle. It can be any clear, plastic bottle with a cap. Rinse it out and shake out all the water if necessary.

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#2. Using a funnel (I made one out of a scrap of paper), fill up your water bottle half way with rice. If you don’t have rice don’t worry! You can use dried beans, lentils, coffee beans, etc. Get creative!

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#3. Find small, colorful objects to put in your bottle. I had some red buttons left over from a Christmas craft, a box full of different beads, and ribbon, but you could really use anything. Different dried foods like beans and lentils, little foam letters, legos, barbie shoes, loose change. Really anything that they can look at and you can describe to them!

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#4. After you put your objects in screw the cap on super duper tight. If you want, I have seen people glue the caps on with super glue or a hot glue gun, just use extra caution and make sure the glue is completely dried before giving it to baby.diy discovery bottle activity

#5. Finally, hand it over and let them discover!

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What? What’s this?

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Okay, now what lady?

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I bet I can…yep…yep, I can definitely fit this in my mouth!

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Nom, nom, nom!

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Tinselman definitely enjoyed playing with his discovery bottle. He actually sat here next to me and played with it for a while after we were all done. I loved that it was so easy and I didn’t have to run out and get any supplies (which I couldn’t have done anyway thanks to the snow!)

For more baby activities like this, make sure you follow Momtog with a Blog and be sure to like me on Facebook and Instagram.