When a new little one enters your life, there are so many memories to cherish. The first year is especially chalk full of momentous occasions. With everything that goes on, one of the hardest things for parents is finding a creative way to document all the changes. Fortunately, there’s plenty of ideas to go around. Here is my list of some of my favorite creative photo projects to document your baby’s first year. Check them out!
- Photo a Day – Calling all you first-time parents: If you’re the ambitious type, this is a fun photo project for you. One of the best ways to document all the changes as they happen is to snap a picture every single day. We’ve all got smartphones with us, so this really is easier than it sounds. If you keep the frame of the photo consistent, you will have some fun options down the road.
- Timelapse – Speaking of those fun options, here’s one. Take the photo-a-day idea a step further with the dynamic aspect of video. Set to a little music, running through each of the 365 photos in a timelapse movie is sure to be a keeper. You’ll really see the incremental changes turn into monumental ones right before your eyes.
- Monthly Birthdays – Capture the changes, but don’t worry about the daily minutiae. I’ve seen many parents who get special shirts (dresses, or onsies!) with the number of months old their baby is. This can also be done with chalk backgrounds with the numbers, or a prop beside them. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent. Then, snap a new photo each month in the same location with the updated object/outfit.
- Comparisons – While we’re on the subject of monthly photos… Did your little one get a keepsake object before they were born? If so, immortalize it in a unique way by creating comparison portraits. Have your little one sit or lay with the keepsake and take a new photo each month. (This is just like the monthly birthdays.) The idea for this one is to compare how big they get in relation to the special object.
- Momma’s Arms – This is a just like the monthly birthdays, too, but a bit more family focused. Take a photo of Momma while she’s still pregnant. Then, each month, take a photo of baby in Momma’s arms. Be sure to keep baby in front her body to symbolize where they started and how far they’ve come. Keep outfits, lighting, and shots consistent for the best results.
- Baby Book – You know, we all go out and get them, but you’d be surprised how few baby books get filled out. This is a great opportunity to not be a statistic. Go through every page and making sure your baby’s details are written down. Complete the pages with all those updated photos it asks you to include. There’s a reason those special events are in here. Time goes by so fast. When you look back later, you’ll be happy you finished it.
- Calendar – Most of us have at least one calendar in our home or office. Calendars make the perfect project to create a beautiful montage that not only celebrates your baby’s changes, but doubles as something you look at every day. This makes a great gift for grandparents, too!
- Love Letters – Social media creates some unique and fun opportunities for photos. If you have a Facebook account, set up a baby “Scrapbook” to post your love letters to them. Take a photo, then add your letter to the side using Facebook’s own editing software, or utilizing another program like Canva or Rhonna. This turns the adorable picture you take from a picture to a love letter meme you can all look back on in the years ahead.
- First Year Package – For a polished project, you can also go the route of hiring a professional to craft your photo project. I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention what I offer my clients. With my First Year Package new parents receive three photo sessions geared toward documenting baby’s first year. It all starts with a newborn session, then a six-month session, and of course finishes up with a 1-year-old session. At completion, parents have an heirloom coffee table album and one wall print from each of the 3 sessions to adorn their walls. No mess, no fuss. I make the magic happen and you relax and take in all the fun with that little one.
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!