Monday, September 26, 2016

Tips for Monthly Baby Photos

Before I had my first child, I decided that I would make a point of taking monthly baby photos for the first 12 months. I was inspired by others I'd seen online posting about wonderfully cute monthly photos, including Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely. The idea of seeing the progression from one month to one year was also very appealing, and conveniently, I'd also been gifted a set of girl-themed monthly onesie stickers.

By the time I had my second child, there were aspects of the monthly baby photo-taking process that I changed up to make it an easier, more repeatable experience.

12 Months of Parker Project Life Layout | shirley shirley bo birley Blog

Camera + Set-up + Photographer

What I did the first time
I asked my husband to help me take photos with his DSLR each month in front of a white studio backdrop. This ultimately turned out to be more hassle than it was worth, because I was reliant on someone else to help me not only take pictures (with a DSLR that I don't know how to use myself very well), but also set up the lighting and backdrop each time.

How I changed it for the second time:
I switched to taking photos on my phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, especially given the improvements in smartphone camera quality in the four years since my daughter was a baby. This meant that I could take the photos at my convenience/desire and not have to be dependent on anyone else to help.


What I did the first time:
Some monthly photos were taken at night. Others were taken during the day and in an extra bedroom where there wasn't as much natural light. So in general, the lighting situation was not very good or consistent.

How I changed it for the second time:
I made a point of taking photos around mid-day in the front living room where there would be plenty of natural light once I opened all the shutters.

Pose + Props

What I did the first time:
I didn't pose my daughter with any sort of consistent item for size reference each month (::cough:: rookie ::cough::). I also tried to sit my daughter up for each picture, except for the first two months when she couldn't sit up by herself.

How I changed it for the second time:
With my son, I "flatlayed" him every month on the same blanket, so that he was (a) roughly in the same pose every month and (b) could be quickly sized up against the blanket each month. (You like how I turned "flatlay" into a verb and used it on a person?)

What I didn't change

The couple of things that I didn't change between the two were that they both wore white onesies for each pictures and they both had monthly onesie badges.

For all the work that went into taking 12 months of photos for both kids, I'm sorely behind on the scrapbooking aspect. Using Project Life, I started to scrapbook monthly photos of Evie, but those are still in progress, and I haven't even started anything for Parker beyond the layout above using the Project Life app. I'm slowly chipping away at it during craft nights!

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