When I gave birth, I knew I wanted to document my son’s monthly milestones in “monthly baby photos.” I saw all the pins on Pinterest. But I wanted to be a little different and a little more sentimental.
Coming up with a “theme”
My husband purchased a DSLR for me when Gentry was born for my birthday (our birthdays are 10 days apart) but I had noooo clue how to even work the thing. The planning part of this wasn’t too drawn out (mistake #1.) I just knew that I wanted to mimic the feel of his decor in his nursery. His nursery’s theme was Gentlemen’s Quarters playing off of his nickname Gent. So I thought, I want these pictures to have a “gentleman-esque” feel to them.
How I worked his monthly pictures
- I purchased a backdrop from Amazon. This was a cheap and inexpensive way to have the same backdrop each month. So no, this is not my flooring – a common question I got asked!
- I used a plain white onesie. I had plenty of them lying around, and each in his size up to a year so I knew that would work out. Plus I didn’t want his cute outfits to take away from his cute growing little body.
- I used a hat gifted from a friend Nicole from my baby shower. I had to have one sentimental touch at least! This hat was size 12 months so it was perfect that he had to grow into it! A hat like this is something my husband would wear so it was very fitting Gentry got to wear one each month.
- The wooden G was thrown in last-minute. I looked at the image after the first couple shots and I was like um… its missing something. This G was special because it was a piece of his decor in his nursery.
- The glasses. Oh yes… the glasses. I still love those little hipster glasses.
And here’s how they turned out:
And what did I do with these images for Gentry’s First Birthday Party? I purchased a scrapbook stand from Michaels. Put each image on a colorful scrapbook piece of paper and applied one image to each piece. I then stood the stand in the living room so friends and family could flip through.
Tips & Tricks to help you with your child’s monthly milestone pictures:
- Have a plan in mind before the baby arrives. Your little one will keep you from planning things like this when they arrive. So go into your birth month pretty much certain what you want to do.
- Go hunting not only on Pinterest but Google too.
- Go simple or go all out. It really is up to you. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself. Go into this with no expectations other than you, your baby, and the memories that you want to hang on to.
- Want to go simple and easy? I have purchased (even sent some as gifts) monthly milestone stickers from Lucy Darling Shop on Amazon as well as Etsy vendors like The Little Shoppe of Paper. This is an inexpensive and easy way to capture monthly milestones.
- Utilize apps if you don’t have Photoshop. My images above were done in Photoshop but some of you my not have that ability. Some apps that I recommend are Over, Rhonna Designs and OBaby.
- Focus on the little things. Those little things you won’t remember in a year. I am so thankful I remembered to add those to all of the images above.
- Use your notepad throughout the month!! This is a HUGE one. Friends would comment on these pictures when I would post each month… “how do you remember all this stuff?!” and its simple… I just remembered, at that moment, to jot them down in my notepad. Sometimes I would forget… Thanks to Mommy brain.
- Get your camera prepared. Will you just use your iPhone? Your Android? or a DSLR?
- GOOD LIGHTING IS KEY. This was a tough one for me… We have good lighting some days in our living room and other days it was just yucky. I only had one space to really work with so often times I would have to wait for a “good lighting day” just to take a picture…
- Your baby will become MOBILE. So get prepared. You can see in some of the images above, it was quite difficult to get some images some months. I did capture quite a few outtakes if anyone would like to see those… 😉
- You don’t have to use the floor like I did. Think of things around your house that has good lighting. Is it a bed? Is it your rocker? Is it the baby’s crib?
- Have help handy. My husband was the ultimate assistant and helped me GREATLY when Gentry became mobile or wanted to rip off his accessories. I think we bonded during this process. I’m sure he doesn’t agree with me. 🙂
- Wipe off your lens if you are using your phone. I will cover this in future posts I am sure… but I see it a lot with images… And it’s usually from people who have asked how my images are so clear and crisp from my phone. And the answer is one – good lighting as mentioned above and two – I wipe my lens just about every single time before I take a picture.
- Use a step-ladder to get the angle I did above.
- Have distractions like a squeak toy to get their attention. Around 3 months, I started putting scotch tape on Gentry’s palm. He would try to get the tape off and focus so hard… long enough for me to click the shutter. If you try this, please watch that they do NOT put it in their mouth.
- Have burp clothes… or towels handy. 😉
- Have patience… I know that is difficult to fathom… But your baby can feel your energy… They know something is up… So if it’s not working out, take a break, put your camera/phone down, go drink some water, give your baby some kisses and love and try it again.
- When in doubt, go with the flow…. They throw their toy you wanted to take a picture of? It’s okay take a picture of that. Gentry ripped off his glasses and hat almost ever month once he figured out what was going on.
Did that help you? Do you have any more questions I could answer? Comment below or hit the “contact” button above!
- It was difficult to edit these images… I now know to shoot in RAW. All of the images above were shot in camera jpeg. A big no no I have learned. I just wish I did a better job on editing these guys.
- It was hard to get him centered while flailing his arms and legs all over the place.
- Have back up backdrops available or watch Amazon that they don’t run out. As Gentry moved, he ripped the paper. As Gentry was a baby baby, he puked all over it.
- I needed more distractions. I had one squeaky toy each month. I wasn’t in my right mind. I should have found others, but I didn’t. And my kid was super squirmy.
- I learned to roll with the punches.
- And I learned to focus on the little things. To focus on remembering the little things. It helped me live in the moment. I am so so so glad that I completed this project.