Have you ever wondered how to capture your baby's milestones in great photos but don't have any idea how to do it? Today we have a guest blog post by an expert in baby photography. Take a look and find out! With some tips and tricks, Heather will show you how to take fabulous photos that will encapsulate your baby's milestones. Thank you Heather at Fun Love Photography for this great article!
With a little baby to care for around the clock, it can sometimes feel like the days tick by slowly – full of diaper changes, endless feeding sessions and monotonous piles of laundry and dishes. But ask any parent of a child who has aged out of babyhood and up through the toddler years, and they will tell you that, in fact, the years fly by.
Yes, it’s cliché: ‘they are only little once’, ‘time flies’, ‘treasure every moment’, ‘they grow up so quickly’… but it’s all so very true. And once they’ve grown, all you have left of those baby years are the memories. My goal is to also help you have memories in a format that will last forever – in photographic prints.
If you are in the thick of baby-raising, or are about to be, try your best to stop time forever by capturing at least these 6 major milestones of baby’s march towards big kid status.
- Tiny Size
The tiniest they will ever be is in the first few days after birth. But if you are past that stage, the tiniest they will ever be is however tiny they are today, so start now! Capture their size by using comparison. Take a photo of their tiny feet next to yours or your partners, or you or your other half’s hands holding their hands. Lay them cuddling side-by-side with a special teddy bear or a sibling - or use a prop that has special meaning to you or your family – like Dad’s favourite basketball, Grandma’s guitar or Mum’s paint palette.
Another great way to showcase their small size is to surround them by ‘negative space’ – place them in the middle of your bed and take a photo looking down on them with lots of blanket showing around them. Or show them lying on a big arm chair, or on a piece of furniture which will give scale to the photo.
- First Smile
The REAL first smiles, not the adorable gassy grimaces but the true emotional smiles, pop up around 6 weeks give or take. You won’t catch the first one on film – it will be one of the most precious surprises of your life – but you can encourage further smiles with gentle chin and lip tickles.
The first smiles are best captured while your little lies on his back with you looking down towards him from straight overhead. Position him so that the light from the window hits him around the temple, and put your camera on multi-shot mode so that you can fire off multiple frames and capture what could be a fleeting moment!
(For more tips on how to use light in your photos, pop over to my blog here )
- Tummy Time Head Up
Tummy time isn’t just great for physical development, it’s great to capture your baby looking like a ‘real person’ holding her head up and looking at you! It’s a wonderful change from her always lying down or reclining. For this shot, position your camera so that it’s at her level, looking directly at her. This might involve you lying on the floor, but it’s worth it!
You can try using a pillow to support her and bring her up higher. Also try holding a toy in your free hand to get her attention – bonus points if it squeaks, rattles or rings!
- Yummy Toes
This is one of my favourite baby moments to capture – that phase they go through of playing with and sucking on their toes! It’s an impressive feat of baby flexibility. Try capturing this moment while he lies flat on his back either from above or the side. Highlight the moment by zooming right in on his feet, or his little hands that explore the toes.
Tipping… tipping… tipping… sitting! Around 6 to 8 months, most babies start sitting up on their own. It’s an adorable display of tenuous balance, often with legs straight out in a straddle and feet flexed up. And their posture is enviable.
Capture this milestone by clearing a space beside a window and sitting babe next to it (with the window to his side) with no clutter in the background to distract from his daring feat. Perhaps give him his favourite toy or stuffy to hold. Go one step more and strip him down to his diaper (cloth diaper or with diaper cover/shorts for aesthetics) so that you can showcase the delicious chubby rolls and the cinnamon-bun-swirl knees. Get down to his level to take the photos straight on.
Be sure to take this photo with baby sitting on the floor or in a safe space where he won’t get hurt when he eventually tips. No photo-opp is worth risking injury to babe.
- Standing – Supported and Free
The next milestone is to get up and stand. Once she’s up, get down to her level to take a photo straight on. Try filling the frame of a vertically-oriented picture with your little one, keeping whatever it is she is holding on to (coffee table, crib sides, chair, etc.) straight up and down so that you can capture her adorable lean. Zoom in on details like the tippy-toes she stands on, or the white-knuckle grip on her choice of support.
Once she is able to stand unsupported, hand her her favourite stuffy, toy, or even a helium balloon, or have her put her hands up in the air with joy! Dress her up and take her out! Celebrate that free-standing!
The natural next step is the first step, and as you may well know or guess, your little one is going to walk away and not be quite such a little baby anymore! It’s not time to put the camera away but you may find yourself a little busier what with all the chasing and baby-proofing!
At this point you will also probably say something along the lines of ‘he’s growing up so fast!’ or ‘where did the year go?’ But if you are anything like me, you will feel comfort knowing that those baby moments are captured forever and nothing is passing you by! Be sure to print your photos (why?) and show them in your home (why?) and preserve your memories of your little baby forever.
Heather, owner of Fun Love Photography, is Toronto’s premier portrait photographer for moms who want to see the love in their families and keep it forever. She specializes in treating families to a full-service portrait experience, from pre-session coffee-date consultations all the way to hanging their custom art on their walls. Heather’s family, children, newborn and maternity images consistently tell stories of fun, love and everyday life, and provide perfect, bespoke opportunities to create the art of your life.