DIY Kid’s Picture Ideas for the Terrible Twos.

young boy baby blue against #2 newspaper date for birthday backdrop terrible two photo session with danielle jacqueline in olive branch ms

Do you have a son or daughter turning TWO!? Whether you’re looking for birthday party announcements or a fun-filled way to remember your child on this special occasion, I’ve got you covered! DIY kid’s picture ideas for the terrible twos is something I’ve spent a lot of time looking into over the years. There are so many cute ideas worth trying. But no matter what you decide on, simple is always better. Kids are a little high maintenance at this age.

Preparing For This Life’s Season.

Our terrible twos are a lot of fun. Sadly, it’s only a once-in-a-lifetime experience we’ll never get back. The good news is, we get to enjoy them again with each of our children! Yay! As a mom, I’ve always enjoyed putting together birthday themes. But when each of my littles turned two, all I could think about was the additional steps required! Even though the age of independence can make a momma sweat, it’s the best time to capture your little guy or gal in their element.

Although many parents hire a professional photographer to help with their toddler, it’s not always necessary. Being a mom of 6, I understand how priorities work. You learn to make it work! At the same time, there are some major benefits to doing-it-yourself. In my opinion, the most rewarding aspect is an opportunity to identify your children’s current likes, personalities, and everything else going on in the world around them.

If you’re worried or intimidated by the thought of taking your toddler’s pictures, just relax. The final product doesn’t  have to be perfect. It’s the memories that last so have some fun! In the meantime, here are some DIY kid’s picture ideas for the terrible twos to get you started. 

clapping little boy in baby blue long blonde hair smiling in front of two year old birthday celebration display behind him on bike by danielle jacqueline photography in olive branch ms
touching the letter "t" on birthday sign for diy kid's picture ideas for the terrible twos customer background creations by danielle jacqueline photography in olive branch mississippi

Be Creative With Your Kid’s Picture Ideas.

When I photographed my son for his second birthday, I thought it would be neat to create a background that included his date of birth. In fact, I had been planning this idea since his first birthday. Although plenty of materials had accumulated over the year, I still had to wait until the day of to pick up a few local, state and national papers. You can get as creative as you want with this but a wide variety of articles and a few numbers usually does the trick.

Finding the Right Place in the House.

First, you’ll need to find an area in the home that is lit up well by natural light. However, you don’t want to set up your DIY photoshoot in direct sunlight. This will cause your child to squint and create harsh shadows on their face. Our living room had a nice big window on the east side of the house. So this was perfect for an early morning session with a soft golden glow. Anything after 10am would have been too bright.

jadynn daughter stringing happy birthday stream across newspaper backdrop for photo session indoors with danielle jacqueline photography diy kids picture ideas in olive branch ms
little boy seated on blue chair in front of diy photography display created at home by parents of toddler in olive branch mississippi
terrible twos photographer in olive branch mississippi capturing son on black stool in front of custom backdrop with newspaper dates and bday signage for blog

Backdrop Selection and Installation.

Once you’ve chosen an area, begin taping the newspaper to the wall. You can even use a big piece of cardboard if you’d like. Just make sure it’s tall and wide enough to capture an active child and not the bare wall. You can tape up your newspapers in a row, diagonally, or even scattered as a collage. Creating a design really adds to the effects of the photo. I chose to fold mine up in squares, making sure I had the important stories visible.

Even though “the date” was my primary focus, I also wanted to take a snap shot of this moment-in-time. So I taped up the weather page, price of gas, the cost of a gallon of milk, the top music charts and other happenings to round out the theme. If the newspaper or birthday supplies aren’t cutting it, feel free to print off something to use! There’s no reason to limit yourself when coming up with DIY kid’s picture ideas for the terrible twos.

Ways to Decorate Your Birthday Theme.

Now that you have your newspaper backdrop complete, it’s time to add a few wall decorations that indicate it’s your child’s birthday. Otherwise, it might be kind of confusing. 🙂 This is where you can add a little color without causing too much of a distraction. I ended up streaming a “Happy Birthday Banner”.

If you don’t have a big “2” cutout available, you can always create your own. The cardboard from a clothing box usually works just fine. Draw the number, cut it out and paint it any color you’d like. For my background, I added a large “YOU” next to the number two. This made the display read: “Happy Birthday 2 YOU!” Now, how cute is that?!

Even if you’re going to use someone else’s DIY kid’s picture ideas for the terrible twos, try to add your own personal touches. Not only does this give you something to work on as a family but it’s something you can be proud of!

big smiling toddler boy on black stool in front of birthday theme settings by danielle jacqueline photography in olive branch ms
my son in long thought holding little kid's football for terrible two themed portraits by danielle jacqueline photography in olive branch ms
toddler escaping his baby chair with a little football in front of his birthday display by professional photographer studio in olive branch ms blue theme
young boy pointing behind him as if he's going to run away during terrible twos birthday themed photoshoot in olive branch mississippi by danielle jacqueline

Props for Kid’s Picture Ideas are Crucial.

While props do add to the picture, their main function is to keep your toddler entertained – for the time being. But keep it simple. If you add a lot of stuff to the portrait it can make it too busy. I started our session by using a black stool my husband refurnished. My son’s short attention span made it difficult to keep him in the stool, but he lasted long enough for some cute pictures. Most parents with a terrible 2 year old will understand this epidemic.

When selecting your DIY birthday props, try to choose meaningful items that define your child at this specific age. What does he/she like to do or play with? Sometimes, giving them a stuffed animal to love on is enough. At the time, my son was learning how to ride his tricycle. So we set him on it for a few shots. He also loves to throw balls around the house. So we tossed the football into some of his photos.

Instead of trying to capture that perfect moment, do more to engage your child and keep their attention. Even though we all want that adorable moment, candid captures really highlight a child’s cuteness.

terrible two boy on tricycle at home for diy photo session with mommy at danielle jacqueline photography studio
seated on tricycle uncomfortable face talking to photographer in olive branch ms who specializes in young kids at indoor studio blue theme with today's newspaper in background to signify date ideas

Enjoy Your Own Photo Shoot.

There are plenty ways to use a photographer’s picture ideas and turn them into you own. All you need is a little bit of creativity and some of your child’s favorite toys and games. Find ways to create reactions or even a distraction that captures different facial expressions. Let it be a time for you to bond with your child. It’ll definitely be precious.

Photography in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

It’s always a blast to capture the memories the milestones of your little ones. I hope my DIY kid’s picture ideas for the terrible two’s gave you some inspiration to tackle family photography on your own. If you end up following through with it, I would love to see how your photos turn out!

If you don’t have the time or want the help, just let me know. My studio is located in Olive Branch, Mississippi – but I provide on-location services from Hernando to Memphis, Tennessee. I absolutely love discussing and planning creative portraits and look forward to possibly capturing your toddler’s smile!

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