Over the last few months, I have spoken with lots of new moms or expecting moms, and they all had the same question for me. What pictures do I take in my babies first year? Or should I say….what milestones do I get documented during my baby’s first year? I wanted to blog my opinion on the subject since I just went through a babies first year myself! 🙂 (More pics from Lucy’s first year and birthday coming soon! Promise!)
It all starts with the pregnancy pictures. Personally….I am really happy I got them done. About a week after Lucy was born, I literally forgot what I looked like pregnant, and I was super grateful that Chris took a few of me so that I could look back at the belly. I ended up printing some out and putting them up in Lucy’s room. The best time to get pregnancy pictures done is in the 7th month.
During a babies first year, they change A LOT. Lucy doesn’t even look like the same baby that I brought home from the hospital one year ago. If you want to knock it out of the park, the first year of pictures can include newborn, 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 1 year. Whoa! I know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of sessions in a year.
So here is what I suggest:
Newborn, 6 month, and 1 year.
Newborn sessions are so important because they are only tiny for this short amount of time. Like a blink of an eye. The best time to get newborn portraits done is within the first 10 days. They are sleepy and mold-able at this point, and you can change hats and headbands to your hearts content. I found all of the headbands I used for Lucy on etsy. Love that website! I bring a few blankets for the baby to lay on, but I really love using what my clients already have for the baby. A blanket a grandma may have knitted, or a quilt that somebody gave as a gift at the baby shower. It’s so much more personal that way. Newborn sessions are done right in my clients home. We will schedule the session shortly after the due date, but the date can definitely be moved as we cannot always predict when they will make an appearance!
At 6 months, they are really growing into their own person. Exploring everything around them. They have grown by leaps and bounds from the tiny newborn stage. Usually they are sitting up at this point, which changes the dynamic of the pictures a ton from the newborn stage. (or even the 3 month stage). They are smiley, laughing, and it really makes for some great interaction between baby and the rest of the family. 2-3 outfit changes is normal, and I ask that you bring a few items to the session that are of importance to the baby at this point. Books, stuffed animals, etc. 6 months can be done at my clients home again, but can also be at another location. Sometimes for this session, I think less is more. I tend to be drawn to the baby in just a diaper, or a plain white onesie if it’s warm and we can get away with it being one of their “outfits.”
The 1 year is the big one. They might be walking, or cruising the furniture at least. They are definitely mobile, and if they are not walking…then probably speed crawling all over the place. Again, 2-3 outfits is normal. We usually end the session with a cake/cupcake smash for their one year if the parents allow. I usually photograph the 1 year session at a park, or somewhere with some open space so the baby can walk around or at least have a big area to explore.
Some additional things I did that I loved. The hospital I delivered at offered newborn pictures during my stay. I am not sure how it is at all hospitals, but the service they offered was they came to the room and took pictures for about 10 minutes. For me, they came on day two. I didn’t pay for the session, and was offered to only purchase what I liked. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after a c-section to do them myself right away, but I ended up loving the photos and purchased a few. Another thing I did was every month I took pictures of Lucy with the sticker on her belly saying how old she was. I took it in the same place every month as well. (on the chair) That is a great way to document the changes. Looking back now…it’s crazy to see how much they change every few weeks. Incredible, really. Around 8-12 weeks they start smiling, which is seriously the greatest thing ever. The first time Lucy looked at me and smiled (and it was for real, not gas)…tears of joy ran down my cheeks. So awesome. 🙂
I do offer full and mini sessions, so my clients have the freedom to choose what is right for them. I also offer a baby’s first year package. You can message me if you are interested in seeing what’s included in that.
I hope this helps!! Let me know if you have any questions about anything. 😀 XO!