Your Baby’s first year will be the start of an amazing journey. A journey where they will change and wow you constantly. One where your Baby has a ‘first’ nearly every day. Newborn Photography is just the start of how you can capture your Baby’s First Year. I want to tell you how to make sure you don’t miss a moment. With and without the help of a professional.
Baby’s First Photograph
Depending on where you have your Baby, your Baby’s first photograph may be captured by a Bounty Photographer. Bounty Photographers are the Photographers who work within most hospitals offering you Bounty Portraits. Whilst these are beautiful keepsakes they are not guaranteed to fall within the time you are in hospital.
The temptation in today’s world is to have your significant other or family member capture some moments on a phone. This is definitely better than no memories at all, but this isn’t the time either of you want to be taking the photographs. You want to be enjoying your first moments together as a family, getting to know this gorgeous bundle of love you can finally hold in your arms.
Aside from Bounty Photographers, you could find your own Photographer to come into the hospital (or your home) once baby is born. It’s something I am always happy to do.
Just as you shouldn’t be worrying about how you will capture yourself as a family when Baby arrives, you shouldn’t be worrying about this in their first few weeks either. With most Paternity Leave still only being two weeks long, arranging your Newborn Photography within this period is great for more than just milk-drink photos. Mum, Dad and Baby can be captured together without the need for additional leave from work or finding a visitor free weekend.
Newborn Photography in the first two weeks of your Baby’s life also allows you to enjoy time as a family. Yes, I love taking photographs of your family, but I also love a good baby cuddle which doubles up as a break for you.
Continuing the Journey
Many people think capturing their Baby’s special moments has to stop after a Newborn Photography Session. It really doesn’t and shouldn’t, whether you are a professional photographer or not. Whilst I would always err on the side of caution with phone cameras (please, please back these up and print your photographs if you use them), they are easily to hand at most times. This is just the start of how you can continue to capture the rest of your baby’s first year.
Newborn to Three Months
I mentioned phone cameras but I’d advise you to invest in a good compact camera if you don’t already have one. These fit into baby bags or Dad’s pockets and are as easy to pick-up to capture a moment as a phone. In your baby’s first three months, continuing to capture the journey of their first year is easier than you think, I promise.
Tiredness may well be a factor in this period. However, what if you were able to make that awake time extra special. What if whoever isn’t feeding Baby takes a moment to capture the other whilst this is happening. When Baby is being bathed, again, this is a lovely photo opportunity. In these early weeks, when Baby is laid down to sleep, you can capture some really candid and expressive moments, a result of dreams or possibly a little wind.
Three to six months
From three to six months you will really begin to notice regular changes in your Baby. Growth is an obvious change but how alert your Baby is, their expressions and character also begin to come out. This is such an exciting time for you as a family. You will also be entering into a new season too which may mean visits to a park in the sunshine or Baby’s first time seeing snow (even if it is you who is more excited).
Again, with a camera to hand you can capture all of this, with Baby safely on a bed or a blanket on the floor. You can capture some gorgeous moments just with the help of a favourite toy or blanket close to hand.
Six Months to the First Birthday
This is a big space of time for your Baby and you as a family. Baby will by now be or starting to try to roll over, sit up, crawl or even walk. Your Baby will know your faces and voices. They will start to try solid foods, and their sensory capacity is building by the second.
If you have chosen to capture your Baby’s First Year with your Photographer, six months will be your next visit to them. This is another fantastic opportunity for a family photograph. If you haven’t, don’t worry, but remember to make use of the timer function on your compact camera. Include all of the family in your Baby’s journey.
At this stage capturing how your Baby plays, responds to music, or how they wait for you in their crib make for perfect moments to capture. You may have even chosen a favourite spot to photograph your Baby in which shows how much they have grown or changed.
For Baby’s First Birthday, this offers a wealth of opportunities both for professional photographs and your own. All of your Baby’s Birthdays will be important, but how you mark their first year is something that you will remember forever, and something they will no doubt ask about. This is a fantastic time to recreate some of your early photographs, documenting just how much your Baby has grown.
Top Tips for Capturing Baby’s First Year
This brings me on to my most important piece of advice before I leave you with my top tips for capturing your Baby’s First year. Please, no matter how wonderful it would be to capture every day of your Baby’s First Year, remember the most important thing is to experience and enjoy this. To be in the moment and not miss this precious time by constantly reaching for a camera.
And now for my top tips:
- Ask for a Newborn Photography Session and/or compact camera as a Baby Gift rather than more baby clothes
- Plan your Baby’s first photographs – ask your midwife or hospital if Bounty Portraits are available. If you are having Newborn Photography at home, confirm timings with your Photographer once you know your due date (Photographers offer a window of flexibility as we know Baby’s don’t always stick to their arrival date)
- Keep a camera close to hand
- Make the most of ‘awake’ time for you and ‘sleep’ time for Baby
- As Baby grows, consider a regular place or position to photograph Baby to show how they change
- Capture the milestones – first tooth, first attempt to eat solids, first steps
- Use the self-timer function to capture the three of you (or more depending on whether this is your first Baby or you’ve had a multiple birth!)
- Enjoy your Baby. Photographs are a beautiful reminder of this precious time but you will only have this time once.
I hope this blog has inspired you in ways to capture your Baby’s First Year.
If at all possible I would urge you to have at least one professional photography session with your Baby so that you have that precious family photograph. However, the important thing for me, and obviously for you, is to capture these moments in the first place.
If you would like to know more about capturing your Baby’s First Year, I would love to hear from you.
Life is an amazing adventure, enjoy and capture yours.