You know you are mama when you start to pin monthly photo ideas on Pinterest for you baby. That was me last year as I was planning for our little one. After four months of photographing his monthly images, I have learned a few tricks to create a cute monthly photograph.
1 | Determine how you want to document each month.
There are different options available for you to photograph your baby as he or she grows. Monthly blankets, stickers, blocks, and boards are some great options if you want to use props to represent a month.
When I was looking into monthly photograph ideas, I was drawn to a monthly blanket for a couple of different reasons. First, I found this monthly blanket on Amazon that I loved. It was light in color and simple in text, which I thought would photograph beautifully. I loved the font selection and the blanket color as it looked gender neutral and went with our nursery decor. The blanket could easily fit by the window in our nursery, which was the lighting I was looking to use. I felt like it could work for us so I added it to our baby registry, and I was excited when I opened that gift at our baby shower.
Tip: Select an option that works best for you. My handwriting is not the best. So, I knew a board wouldn’t work for me. I liked the ideas of stickers, but I wasn’t sure if I had the right spot in our nursery to lay or pose Trace for it to work. I loved the idea of the monthly blocks. If I had chosen a really pretty rug for his nursery, I would have considered purchasing the blocks. Think about what colors you want in the photograph and where you want to photograph. Look at what you have to work with, and select the option that works best for you.
2 | Pick the time with the best light.
Ahh, lighting. Lighting can make or break a photograph. Let me say this again. Lighting can make or break a photograph.
Tip: If you want your monthly photographs to come out beautifully, look for natural light. So, what does that mean? Photograph by a window in your home. Open the blinds. Open the curtains. Move furniture. Turn off all overhead lighting. Let as much natural light into the space as you can as it will change your photograph. Pose baby wear natural light hits him or her the best so that you can decrease shadows and capture beautiful skin tones.
About a week before Trace reaches his next month, I check the weather and look for the sunniest day that I will be home. That is the day I choose to photograph him. His nursery gets late afternoon sun. So, I usually photograph him in the late afternoon to get the best light.
3 | Stay consistent.
In addition to staying consistent to the lighting, stay consistent with the details. Trace is photographed in the same outfit every month – a simple white onesie. I chose the onesie because it was easy to purchase in every size. It fits him snug and shows off growth very well, which was a detail I was aiming to capture. You can see his thighs getting chunkier, his baby belly getting bigger, and his little fingers and toes becoming plump. I love it. Because the onesie is simple in color (white), I feel like it keeps the photograph simple and less distracting (rather than a bright or patterned outfit).
I swapped the square border that came with the blanket for a toy that matched his nursery decor. It was a simple change, but I loved the way the toy photographed over the square border to represent the current month. It felt more “babyish”. I found this fox rattle on Amazon, but any baby toy will work.
When I photograph the blanket, I crop out the word “months” on the bottom to get the right angle/size. Wait, you crop out the word “months”? Isn’t that the whole purpose of the blanket? I know that’s what you are thinking. Yes, it is, but I still do it. This was something I realized after I photographed his first month. The photograph looked off. If I kept the word “months”, the photograph had carpet showing on the sides. I did not like that. I could have photoshopped the carpet out, but I chose to crop it out instead. It is easier to capture as much as you can in camera versus editing details out. That is my preference. Since this is the only year I will be capturing monthly photographs anyway, I felt like I could crop out the word “monthly” and still capture the same story.
So, tell me how do you capture your baby each month?
XOXO – Ashley