9/13/2012

Month by Month Baby Photo Ideas

One of the things I really wish I had done with my child when he was a baby was a series of month by month baby photos. Babies grow at such a lightening rate in their first year that it is really a shame not to try and document that amazing development in some way.  Using pictures to do this is a great idea, which could be incorporated into a Photobook and would even make a fantastic wall storyboard / collage when the year is up!  It's too late for me (sniff) but maybe not for some of you other moms out there! So today I have compiled some great monthly baby photo ideas to give you some inspiration, plus some tips on how to make it work for you.

My first idea is courtesy of Making It Lovely. I love it because it is so clean and simple, from the setting to the clothes.  She uses a homemade pin to show the baby's age each month, set-by-step instructions on how to make your own can be found here.

month by month baby photo on chair




This next set by MomTog is so adorable - and the balloons add a really unique touch for showing the baby's age in months.

month by month baby photo with balloons





Young House Love uses Photoshop to add the age of their child onto a plain white onesie. Step-be-Step instructions for this can be found here.  They use different fabric backgrounds for each week which would look fantastic in a collage (I can't believe someone had all these different fabrics to hand!)

month by month baby photo different backdrops

Next up is Fresh Mommy Blog , who uses a stuffed animal to show how big her baby is getting each month. She's kept on going and done his second year too - and just used a bigger animal!

second year month by month photos with stuffed animalFirst year month by month photo with stuffed animal






















This one from Apartment Therapy uses a chalkboard wall to document the growth of these twins, but if you don't have a blackboard wall, you could easily use a small handheld chalkboard instead like the one below it from Something a Little.




And the last one I'm going to show you is Famille Summer Belle who uses handmade felt letters and numbers to show baby's age - but if you are not the crafty type then refrigerator magnets, or alphabet blocks or something similar would work just as well.

month by month baby photo with alphabet letters

There are lots of variations along the same theme. If you are able to give this a go, here are some other tips and ideas for creating your own month-by-month photo series.

Think about how often you want to take pictures 
Before you start, choose how often you want to take the photos, be it weekly or monthly, and stick to it! Weekly might seem like a good idea before you start but will take a lot of willpower to keep going with.

Pick a monthly date - and stick to it 
Choose a date each month you are going to do it - say the 1st of the month - and make sure you always do it on that day - no excuses!

Take photos in the same location each time.
You want to be able to document the growth of your baby so you need to make sure the rest of the scene is constant.  Use the same area in your house for each monthly photo. The only change I would make is to perhaps make some reference to the time of year in the photo - eg christmas tree at christmas, but make sure everything else in the photo is the same.

Make sure that location is close to a window
You're going to need lots of natural light coming in. Think about this before you start so that you don't end up switching locations after a few months once you realize the photos are too dark.

Keep your background uncluttered
Make sure the backdrop to your photo series is clean and uncluttered as possible so that there are no distracting elements to take your line of vision away from the main focus of the shot - your baby!

Incorporate some way of showing what month it is 
If you can, include in each photo how old your child is in each of the monthly photos. There are a few ideas above on how to achieve this - use a badge or pin, balloons or chalkboards. Some other ideas are a large calender with the day circled or, a framed number hanging on the wall in the background, or it can be as simple as having a piece of paper with the number of months on it. (as with Young House Love, you can always incorporate this later by adding some text)

Use something to "measure" against
Use the same chair or a stuffed animal so you have something to visually measure your baby's growth against. I really like the stuffed animal idea but I have also seen one using a laundry basket - anything that will show how small your newborn was and how big they have grown each month.

Keep clothes simple
I would suggest a simple white onesie, which you can change into being a white t-shirt and shorts once they are a bit older.  This so the focus is on the growth and not on the changing outfits!  Also, plain simple clothes are timeless.

Why stop?
Don't stop when you child reaches a year - I would keep going until they are two! If you can, stick to the same location, or start a new one if he has gotten too big!!

Now, does anyone think I could start doing it now my child is three?!

Other Posts You Might Like: 

My 2013 Photo Books 
Photography For Moms
100 Free Photoshop Storyboard Templates
How to Photograph Children - Camera Settings 



11 comments:

DebonaireDad said...

Hi there, first up I love your photos, they are beautiful. Just been browsing your blog and already picked up lots of tips, but one question if you have time for giving some advice - I live in Australia, so plenty of harsh sun all day long, so often my photos suffer from whatever is in sun being over exposed, and anything in shadow being black as night (both inside and out) - any tips on coping with this?

Audrey said...

Full sun is hard to photograph in but as you know, there is sometimes no way around it! The problem is that your camera tries to expose for the whole of the scene but the light range is simply too big, so it goes for a middle ground and exposes nothing correctly! The best thing to do is expose for your subject, and accept that your background will be overexposed. It’s the trade off for shooting in full sun I'm afraid. So, always place your subject so that their back is to the sun so that they are in shadow. Now, you need to expose for the subject only. To do this, you can either use spot (or partial) metering, and make sure your subject is in the centre point of your photograph when you take the picture. This is basically telling your camera to expose for that point and no other. Alternatively you can manually overexpose the image, either by manually setting your camera or by using AV mode and adjusting your exposure compensation at + 1 or higher (you will need to experiment). This has the same affect of correctly exposing your subject but over-exposing the background. (your subject would not need to be in the centre point this way) Other solutions are to use a reflector to bounce light back onto your subject when their back is to the sun, to lighten the shadows. (Some areas can act as natural reflectors, for example a light colored wall, so you can also look out for this) An even easier way to shoot in sun is to find or create an area of shade, for example using an umbrella, with your subject facing into the light but still shaded. Lastly, you can do a lot to improve shots like this in editing if you have something like Adobe Lightroom – it allows you to bring back some highlights and lighten shadows which will also help. I hope some of this helps – I probably should have asked first what mode you shoot in (auto, manual or whatever) before typing all this out so that I could have been more specific! Please, try some of them out and let me know how you get on....

Tasha Meyer said...

I did these timelines with both boys, and belly one with each pregnancy (second one not so good as it was a week by week fruit timeline and turned out horrible the way I did it). I did a duck bath time line with my older son in his duck bath tub with foam letters saying 1 month, etc. And the one I am doing now with my 7 month old is on top of a big desk top calendar. I like the calendar one because I can write the big milestones of the month on it, so I can remember what days those things happened too. So much fun! I love the ones with the chairs and animals though. If we have another I am so doing that instead! :)

Audrey said...

Well done for keeping up with it Tasha, It's almost enough to make me want another one too!

Dani Floyd said...

Where can i get that absolutely adorable huge stuufed giraffe?!

Audrey said...

I wish I knew Dani!

Anonymous said...

Silly question: Is there a specific program to put all 12 pictures together nicely?

Audrey said...

I use Photoshop Elements for all my collages, it's also great for editing for photos. It easiest to do this with a tempalte if you are new to Photoshop, here a link to my blog post which will have some that will look great for this! http://www.livesnaplove.com/2013/03/photo-collage-templates-free.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Audrey!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of an collage app that can put 12 pics in it? I'm trying to put all by 12 months of pics I have captured all together but only find apps that accept max 9 pics. Thanks for any help!

Love all the different shots! I lasted my daughter down on the same blanket each month with a white onsie

Audrey said...

There is a link to one on this blog post which has thirteen - might be suitable? http://www.livesnaplove.com/2013/03/photo-collage-templates-free.html

Alternatively, why not take one that has 16 openings, and just crop off the extra at the side? You will have to resize the collage, but do this before you put in any pictures and it works fine!

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