We’ve had many of our first time parents ask us,
“Why’s there a need to capture the months of my baby’s first year?”
Each month your baby blossoms and grows brings new milestones you’ve never thought of before! As new parents, the months bring changes to yours and your baby’s life fleetingly and it’s important to document them.
Here is the milestones babies go through from the very first month until they reach a year of their life.
This is the most challenging phase, for your baby and yourself. You and your partner are getting used to having a preciously fragile bundle to take care of! Your baby on the other hand, starts developing and can easily be overwhelmed by their senses.
This is a monumental time to photograph your child as when they are experiencing these senses, it is truly a sight to behold! Try introducing them to different textures and feels to touch as part of the process!
Babies who experience something new will be more likely to produce awe-inspiring expressions. They marvel at everything – the soft feathers in a rug, the rigidness of a wooden table, the sleekness of the floor- these are things that are different from what they are used to in the womb!
As they grow, babies develop motor skills which are essential as the baby learns to move from their back onto the tummy and vice versa. This is referred to as “Tummy Time” in our studio. It’s an exciting phase in your babies’ lives. They learn to roll onto their stomachs, grabbing toys to put in their mouths, laughing, babbling and some early bloomers are able to start sitting up with support!
This is a perfect time to do a shoot, where your baby is able to complete really cute photoshoots on their tummy or in a prop and background theme set.
It’s time to doll your baby with those cute outfits you’ve been shopping for. Sailor outfits, mini tuxedos, ballerina tutus or even a simple striped onesie, your options are endless! You can even choose to pick a theme and coordinate with your child for family photos!
This will make for exceptionally beautiful and funky keepsakes to fawn over one day!
Crawler Beware! At this point the biggest milestone is that your baby has achieved the ability to crawl. Good news? They have hit a milestone! However, the bad news is that they are now crawling. EVERYWHERE! With babies constantly in motion and exploring, it is difficult to get them to remain in a single position for too long.
There are other little milestones your baby will achieve too! For one, babies at this point will slowly start to learn how to use their fingers. They begin to understand and maybe even utilise the ‘pincer grasp’, where they use the thumb and the first/second finger to pick up small objects.
This is great for your baby when photographed, as they would be able to “show” these objects to the camera, allowing for a more expressive take on your photographs!
Another way of holding their attention is to sing songs with them. They are also more perceptive of your emotions just by hearing the sound of your voice! The happier you sound, the more the mood lifts and soon you’d have a happy smiling baby to photograph. Try singing nursery rhymes such as “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. These songs are catchy, and are able to hold the child’s attention, and as they sing, you are able to see their focus and attention.
These are amazing moments that a photographer captures, where there is real intent behind their smiles and laughs!
10 – 12 MONTHS
A small milestone they will achieve here is to successfully say MAMA or DADA! This is the sweetest milestone that is bound to warm your heart. Babies are also able to mimic speech sounds that you or others make! This makes for particularly animated photographs as your baby’s personality starts to arise!
They become more effective communicators at this phase, so they can understand if you voice out simple commands for them to follow in a shoot!
At this stage, babies are also able to stand with support or without! They are able to take the first few steps of their lives. Many parents tell us that the most emotional experience that they have with their baby is when they watch the first few steps be taken. So naturally, it’s also a momentous milestone that needs to be captured for memory sake yes?
A set-up with props may not hold the babies’ attention for long. You can go for classic looks like coordinated outfits that would reflect your baby’s growth and maturity. In a studio, a baby might reach for things that would help them balance and stand and this makes for a good photo as it shows the milestone progress.
Another method would be to play games with them! Babies love games ~ like peek-a-boo and ball catching ~ as they are now at the age where they can participate more fully, imagine all the fun they’ll be having!
Each month of your baby’s life has different milestones and little changes to appreciate. Babies grow fast, and each photograph portrays a beautiful memory of their time on Earth. It is important to cherish these memories and have keepsakes so that you can look back on them when you are older and feel your heart grow warmer with love.
You can learn more about this and more through our book Watch Me Grow: A 12-Step Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year for more incredibly useful information, techniques and tips!
You can grab your own copy of this book or attend workshops about baby photography at watchmegrowphotos.com!
Article By ~ Abigail Lazarus
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