Your pregnant with your precious baby and everyone around you tells you how quickly the first year will go. How their baby features will change with each growing month. The amount they will learn and discover within a year of life. How you are going to miss these days…. It becomes overwhelming and you haven’t even had your baby yet.
If you are a mom wondering how to document the first year of life, then keep reading on. It isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds. I am going to tell you about the key times to get baby pictures done professionally to make sure their first year is documented just the way you want to remember it.
Okay, I hope you already know newborn photographs are one of the top priorities when having a baby and these are really best getting them done by a professional. Some photographers will do these in the hospital known as fresh 48 sessions. These are ultimately done as soon as baby is born gathering pictures of their squishy little faces. My favorite is when they are done as a documentary and telling your story through the scene of the hospital.
Another style of newborn portraits is done as studio style, and these are best within the first 14 days of birth. A newborn baby can already change so much in the first week so getting these done as soon as possible is key. I recommend having these scheduled out before baby is born to make sure your favorite photographer isn’t already booked.
The last of the three options is an in-home newborn session. This is another style of documentary photographs done in your home as a life setting. These are more relaxed and playful while telling your own personal story. From sitting in your rocking chair feeding baby, to jumping on the bed with your older kids displaying the chaos of the new family environment. These can be done in the first few weeks as baby is born, but some parents will even choose to do this a little later to give them the opportunity to feel a little more like themselves again.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to talk with your photographer about what you are looking for in your newborn photographs. Since they grow so quickly it is hard to take a reshoot of the session, so make sure you trust the photographer you hire will get exactly what you are looking for. Also keep in mind where your photographer is located and if you are wanting to drive or if they have any limitations on how far they will travel. Remember that winters and summers can take extra-long on travel time in Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland areas due to snow or summer vacations, so you may want to tell yourself to leave a little extra early than normal if your baby is due around these times.
6 Month Photographs
At 6 months old, you are at the halfway point! You may be feeling a little more like yourself each and every day and fingers crossed your newborn is getting the hang of sleeping most of the night. At this stage of life you will start to clearly see how much they have changed. Not only in their looks, but with their physical activity levels and speech!
No, I am not saying they will be giving you words at this point, but they will be babbling a whole lot more. Your baby may be sitting on their own, crawling around the house, climbing furniture, and if you haven’t already, make sure you baby proof anything your baby can reach. This is a great time to get pictures done and celebrate you have made through half of their first year.
Depending on the weather in Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, you will have to decide if you want to try for outdoor pictures or studio style. In the warmer months it can be nice to go outside but be prepared they may get dirty crawling around in the dirt. If you want the focus to be fully on them, I would opt in for studio and make them the full focus of the image. Don’t forget to add yourself in with the session! This is as much about you as it is them.
1 Year Photographs
This is it! The big O.N.E. You have made it through the first year and that is something everyone wants to celebrate! They are eating solid foods, maybe they are now walking, they may even have a few words they are saying! This is an exciting time for you and your child and the perfect time to have a scheduled session with your favorite photographer.
When booking this appointment, keep a few things in mind. Some people love to have these pictures done right around the birthday to actually capture what they look like right at a year old. Other moms enjoy having this planned a few weeks in advance so they can have prints ready to go and hand out at the birthday party. Think about what is important to you when planning your portrait session.
One year old photos can be done in studio or outdoor depending on the season. If your baby is turning one during the warmer months, then having outdoor photos can be beautiful and scenic. If you prefer the simplicity of studio while making the focus all about them, then plan for a studio session. Another option is to do a dual session where you take photos both outdoors and in the studio. With the location of my studio being in Munster, Indiana, I am able to take photos in the studio and head outside during the same time slot given the weather cooperates.
Ultimately, the best times in the first year are newborn, 6 months, and 1 year, but some opt in for taking 3 and 9 months to have a wider range of pictures to really capture all their little changing features. Don’t forget to take a monthly photo at home either on a chair or blanket or next to their favorite stuffed animal so you can see for yourself how much they have grown.
If you haven’t scheduled portraits for your child yet, I would love to set up a phone call and talk with you about what your perfect session looks like. Whether it is newborn, 1 year, or anything in-between, let’s talk through some ideas and make sure their first year of life is perfectly photographed. Scroll on down to the bottom and fill out the form or head over to my website here.