Your baby’s first year is an amazing time of first and of lasts. It goes by so quickly and we know you want to soak it in and remember how little they were, the way they crawled, their first teeth, and how long their eyelashes were when they were sleeping. Capturing this time can be daunting for many moms. You are so busy (and often tired!). Our hope is to give you a few ideas that helps you manage the first year in pictures in a very doable way.  After years of photographing babies (and having our own) these are our top five!

TOP FIVE FIRST YEAR PHOTO OPS

1. SCALE

As a mom the first thing I forgot was how little they were. It was hard to even imagine their size. It still always surprises me when I see a newborn diaper… I can’t believe my babies butts were ever that little. But they were. I think capturing scale is so important. To capture scale you just need something else that helps reference size. For example, capturing your baby in their crib. You can see how tiny there are when you first bring them home and then as they grow the crib stays the same but you see how big they are getting. Even a little baby finger around an adult finger will show scale (not to mention is totally sweet.)

2. DETAILS

They grow so fast and the details of today are replaced with new ones tomorrow. When we have a newborn in the studio we like to capture details like toes, fingers, pouty lips, and hair.     We also love capturing the details of life.  Things like favorite stuffed animal or blanket, first foods, or favorite books.  Even the parts of life you can’t imagine being important… will be amazing images for your baby when they are big.  I wish I took more pictures of our homes for our kids. We found ourselves moving for school and work every few years. I just wished I had more to show them about their history.

3. MOMENTS

Moments range from the everyday to the most special. I love pictures from the park, holidays, vacations, birthdays, and the seasons from their first year. I like to revisit these times though my images.

4. MILESTONES

Of course..the milestones. Babies have some amazing ones! First teeth, first steps, first foods, first Christmas, first birthday, first bath, and first smiles. They are so precious. Remember to ask someone to grab some of you with your little one during these milestones!

5. CONNECTIONS

Connections are the people in your baby’s life. People like your family or their siblings. Friends and pets also fall into the category. Capture your little one in their arms and playing with these people (and pets!)  Just like details our connections can come and go and it is important to show them the people who loved them when they were little. Please please please include you in this category. You are one of the most important people in this little person’s life. We know you are tired, you may not feel or look how you want want (especially right after you have the baby), but please insert yourself in to their history.
This year will go by fast….too fast. Don’t be so concerned about getting the perfect picture you miss out on the most precious moments. Honestly, the most precious pictures… the ones that you really really care about, rarely look perfect. You are capturing a history of growth, change, challenge, and people. Pick up your camera and enjoy capturing the moments of your babies first year…but also put your camera down… and soak up the mental images, smells, and sounds.

HIRING A PHOTOGRAPHER

We also hope you have your baby photographed by a photographer.  Photographers have spent years training to capture you in the best light.  They will take some of the work off of your shoulders, especially in these first first months.  You will know that you have amazing images for you little one. Make sure to do a little research about how your photographer photographs newborns. We are all about capturing babies in very natural poses or in mom and dad’s arms. Some photographers have more elaborate posing and props. Baby safety should also be paramount. If you know of other moms who have gone to a photographer ask  her about her experience and how she felt her baby was handled.  Look around at what photographers in your area offer and think about what kinds of images you want of your baby. These are tons of different kinds of styles and they can all be beautiful.

Many newborn photographers offer unique products for the first year. Often when you hire a photographer they may have a first year package. Our First Year consists of three sessions, portrait credit, and a first year video. We call it the Cherish Collection.  This is what we do and love seeing babies grow up. Again, while you are taking tons of pictures at home, a plan like this will ensure you are getting some of those milestones professionally.

DISPLAYING AND ARCHIVING IMAGES

Often for our clients we like to put together the first year as a wall grouping for the baby’s room. As a mom, I like to have images in albums. When it comes time for school, teachers are always asking for a baby picture or something of the sort. Having loose images on hand is really nice. I would suggest you do a display of a few of your favorite images and then keep of journal of the rest! Remember you have lots more years of pictures and you will quickly run out of wall space!

We also love the idea of uploading images to Instagram to create Chatbook albums. You an even just upload directly to the Chapbook app, but sometimes it is nice to share your babies pictures with friends and family over Instagram if they can’t be near. We both personally use Chatbooks for our personal images. They are really inexpensive and automatically come to our house when we have filled one up. They really make archiving and documenting life so easy…plus they are really cute and have some amazing baby album styles.

There is no right or wrong way to capture your baby’s first year. Honestly, your child as they grow up will only really need a few special pictures. You can use a cell phone or a real camera to capture these moments. It is easy to get sucked into Pinterest and the many MANY ideas of how to photograph your baby’s first year….some of which are way overboard. Our suggestion is to keep it simple. Keep it real. Keep it special.

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