Nothing irritates the moms at Pear Tree more than having to buy boxed valentines off the shelf for our kids’ classmates. What, we ask, do Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have to do with Valentine’s Day?
Those of us who work for Pear Tree, of course, like to get creative and make our valentines a little more personal—even if they’re just for kids. Because if we do it right, the kids have really cool cards to hand out at school, and we might just have an adorable greeting to send to friends and relatives.
I love sending Valentine’s Day cards. And I love taking photos. So, we decided to have an office Valentine’s Day photo shoot with our own kids. Fun day in the office, right? Then, we decided it’d be fun to make a video to share the results with you—not just our cute Valentine’s Day photos, but also a few photography tips on achieving some of those big smiles we all love. For added fun, we threw in some behind-the-scenes video footage because, as a photographer, I always wonder what the real ‘set’ looks like! So check out the video and the tips below to make your Valentine’s Day cards sparkle.
Now here are some photography tips and ideas to help you achieve the actual photos you saw in the video.
For our main background, we painted a 4×4 section of plywood with chalkboard paint. Chalkboard paint wasn’t entirely necessary since we didn’t write on it, we just liked the black background against our garland. And speaking of the garland, you can get it as a free printable! It’s easy to cut out and a fun activity to do with your kids.
Photography Tip: Try placing something on your head and asking the child to blow it off. Just about anything works. I used a paper heart. It should either be something the child will physically be able to blow off, or that with a slight tilt of your head, they’ll think they did! Also setting the child on a box or a crate typically keeps them in one spot, long enough at least for a few quick photos!
For this background, we used two sets of gold metallic curtains, right on top of each other. Inexpensive, and they come in many colors!
Photography Tip: Giving kids a prop like sunglasses allows them to interact and play with something, which keeps them occupied long enough for photos. And even the motions of taking off the glasses can be really cute!
It’s true that, for kids, Valentine’s Day is not much more than a chance to exchange silly cards with friends at school and score a few candy treats. But for the moms at Pear Tree, it’s a chance to show loved ones that we are thinking of them. When kids are in the picture, you can get creative with your Valentine’s Day card ideas, and do both.
We like to customize our kids’ valentines with a silly or adorable photo. That way the kids’ have a unique and personal card to hand out at school, and we can use them to send to friends and relatives. For inspiration, watch our video on photo ideas for Valentine’s Day!
We all know what to do on Valentine’s Day for our spouses or significant others. But moms love to make the day special for our kids, too, just to let them know they’re loved. We’ve come up with ten Valentine’s Day ideas for kids that say, “Be my Valentine,” in a creative way!
10. Heart-shaped breakfast
Start the day right with heart-shaped pancakes, toast, or waffles. Make first, then use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut them into a heart shape. (Or pack their lunch with a heart-shaped sandwich!)
9. Make it pink
Use red food coloring to make any light-colored food or drink pink. Whether it’s pink milk, oatmeal, or cream cheese on their bagels, making it pink makes it fun!
This Valentine’s Day photo card will be a big surprise for the family and friends of this soon-to-be family of four. They decided to use one of our heart-filled Valentine photo card ideas to announce a new baby on the way.
Jennifer, the expectant mom, explains, “I decided to do a Valentine’s Day photo card because giving valentines out as a child was always something I looked forward to doing. I have done it often as an adult for coworkers, friends and family, though a photo valentine will be a first. I think this will be my best ever! What could define love better than a growing family?”