This was a project we set our sights on from before Baby Girl was born. I’d seen various versions on Pinterest & the Other Half’s dad had taken a photo of him with a little toy train (now in Baby Girl’s toy basket) every month during his first year. Our only obsticle (or so we thought) was finding an item for Bump (as Baby Girl was once known) to have in each photo.
We chose a beautiful handmade blanket from a family friend. It was colourful but not in your face & would hopefully show Baby Girl growing as she went from being swaddled(ish) to using it as a blanky to it no longer being able to cover her at all.
It’s hard to believe but that was a year ago. In case I hadn’t mentioned it enough, Baby Girl is one on Saturday. And we will be taking the final photo in the collection.
The other week, for the first time, we put all the photos taken so far side by side. It was amazing to see how she’s changed. To be honest, she’s virtually unrecognisable from that first photo we took at four days old. We thought she was so beautiful with her big, midnight blue eyes & downy brown hair.
We smuggly whispered to each other how relieved & grateful we were to have a cute baby instead of some of those weird, ugly babies you see in pictures…
Looking back, Baby Girl looked just as much like a little alien as every other newborn! We were just high on life, endorphins & in my case, gas & air. Thankfully, she doesn’t look like an alien anymore & is even starting to (finally) grow some hair. You never know, she might actually look like a little girl by the time she’s two!
Any long time readers will know I don’t show Baby Girl’s face on the blog for privacy reasons. So the blurry photos above is the closest you’ll get to seeing the full collection. Hopefully you’ll get the gist of what we’ve tried (& we think have) achieved between the above & the various out takes here.
What have we learned & what wisdom can we pass on?
- They say never work with kids or animals. We agree.
- Plan before your baby is born. Ie, before you’re hideously sleep deprived & can’t think straight. You only get one chance at the really early days shots & suddenly they’re 1 month old.
- Get a good camera before your baby is born & learn how to use it before your baby is born. It does make a difference & you’ll kick yourself if you don’t.
- Choose a plain, (we recommend white) background. Unfortunately, we photographed Baby Girl on the bed first not thinking about the flowers on the duvet cover. (See point 2.) But once you’ve done one you can’t go back.
- If you’re using a coloured or patterned item like we have, dress your baby plainly so you don’t have too busy a photo. Less is more. Alternatively, you could plan to have the photos in black & white & not worry about the colour clash – just make sure you dress baby in contrasting shades to the background so they standout.
- Use multi shot & take a thousand photos each shoot. It’s much easier to just snap away & capture a natural giggly moment than try to get a baby to be still, happy & in good light all at the same time. (See point 1.)
- Daylight is best so find a place in your home with plenty of natural light. Remember to take your photos at the same time each month so ensure the light is the same for each photo.
- If you plan to do any editing on the photos, don’t touch them until the collection is complete to ensure they all look the same.
- Take your photos from further away then zoom in in post if you want to. We started off too close, which meant we had to continue that way but this meant you didn’t get a sense of how she grew over the year, only how much she changed.
- Patience is a virtue. This project got significantly harder as the year went on & Baby Girl became increasingly active & aware. (See point 1.)