I was never into documenting my growing pregnant belly during my pregnancy with Fern, but I did decide before she was born that I wanted to document her first year with month-by-month photos — because real-life babies are way cuter than babies in bellies.
There are tons of cute ideas for documenting your baby’s monthly development out there, but I wanted to come up with something that was my own and something that was simple, but cute.
Now that Fern is almost 9 months old, I think we finally have this whole monthly photo shoot business down to a science, but we’ve definitely made some mistakes along the way and learned how to make things go more smoothly over time, so I wanted to share some tips and tricks that just might help you when you’re doing you’re own baby photo shoot!
See more after the jump!
1. Come up with a plan of attack 1 of 8Figure out what you want your month-by-month photo shoots to look like. I suggest choosing a theme and sticking with it. Choose where you're going to be taking photos and do it in the same spot every month so you'll have some consistency with light and setting. Decide how you plan on getting creative with it. I write out a list on Fern's likes and dislikes and pose her in front of the chalkboard list each month, but that's just my thing. There are tons of great ideas out there!
2. Think about safety 2 of 8I didn't think a whole lot about this initially, but just started propping Fern up in front of the chalkboard. In retrospect I would've figured out an easier and safer way to pose her. It was super tricky figuring out how to prop a tiny baby without having her topple over (which she definitely did a few times) and she wasn't sitting totally unassisted until about a month ago, so it's been tough. A good option might be to photograph your baby sitting in your lap. It would definitely be a whole lot easier.
3. Enlist an assistant 3 of 8Because of the difficulty I had keeping Fern propped up while taking her photos, I ended up enlisting an assistant (AKA my mom) to help me with these monthly shoots. She's on baby catching duty while I take photos.
4. Consider wardrobe 4 of 8Around 3 or 4 months, Fern went through a dress lifting phase. Subsequently wearing a dress in those photo shoots wasn't my best choice. 99% of the photos I took looked like this. Choose your baby's outfit thoughtfully.
5. Be prepared for some tears 5 of 8Babies don't like being fussed with, so there will probably be some tears. Prepare your "set" ahead of time and be quick about it to avoid prolonging the sadness.
6. Use props wisely and sparingly 6 of 8In our early photo shoots I could add as many props as I liked, because Fern couldn't get to any of them. Now I use few (if any) props, because it's too distracting for her and all she wants to do is scoot around grabbing everything and putting it in her mouth.
7. Choose good lighting 7 of 8Lighting is key to getting good photos. I'm lucky enough to have a living space that has plenty of windows which makes this easy for me, but if you don't you're bound to have natural light somewhere in your house - take photos there. Especially if you're not using a nice camera (all my photos are taken with my iPhone since it's actually better quality than my real camera). Harsh lighting can quickly ruin a cute photo, so make sure to give it some consideration.
8. Take time to laugh at the outtakes 8 of 8My husband always tells me to delete the outtakes, because they take up so much space on our computer and make it difficult to find the photos I'm looking for, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'll delete the really blurry ones, but honestly I sometimes like the outtakes even better than the "good" shots, because those are real life. This roaring dinosaur outtake? One of my all-time favorite Fern photos. It just makes me smile.
More from Lauren:
- The 10 Most Random Places I’ve Breastfed My Baby Are…
- Baby’s First Flight: Tips and Tricks
- 10 Baby Items You Can Use Well Beyond the Baby Years
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