Yes, I am a photographer, but trust me it does not make it any easier to take photos of my baby’s first month. Actually, it is even more difficult especially as I am a perfectionist looking for the best light, location, outfit…
But this time I gave myself a permission not to get everything perfect.
Just for this one month.
I was exhausted as any mum is after giving birth and taking photographs was the last thing on my mind. However, if I didn’t do it, I would regret it for the rest of my life.
Keep your camera nearby
For the first two weeks I hardly left our bedroom. Walking up and down stairs made me breathless, so I stayed put. Because I’ve been breastfeeding, my baby has been attached to me almost all the time. But I kept my camera next to me and took few photos a day. I did not edit any of them, this can be done later on. In fact I have edited many photos just now, after 3 months, specifically for this post.
Make a list
Before you give birth, make a list of photos you would like to take. The list will be long because there is so many first times but it will be a great reminder once the baby is born. If you don’t get all the images you wanted, don’t worry too much. Just get as many as you can.
I did not get a photo of my baby’s first drive from the hospital, but I got a photo of her in the crib with our dog. That was more important for me.
List of baby’s photos in their first month
1. First skin to skin cuddle
The light was terrible. I was shattered, not looking my best and still ‘high’ from the gas I inhaled, but I am glad I have this photo after all.
2. In hospital bed
Wires everywhere, ugly light and no space to move around, but take the photo. These are the first hours of your baby’s life.
3. first day at home
Finally at home, with our bundle of joy. It might be difficult to remember to take a photo, but please do. You will be so glad later on. Their face is going to change so much.
4. include siblings
Taking photos of siblings might be challenging, especially if your first child is still quite young. Put the baby on the safe surface and let the older sibling interact with a her or lay them both on the bed and take a photo from above.
5. with dad
Our daddy is not put off by dirty nappies and it was his job to change them. This is our must have photo in our family album.
6. in mum’s arms
I am reminded all the time to get into the frame with my children. In this instance everything messy, so we have the real situation captured. It might not be perfect (I hate my double chin), but at least we’ve got a photo together.
7. with your pet
Lola is more than just a dog. She is our family and nanny to our children too! Make sure you don’t have your pet and newborn baby too close together. I never leave these two alone even though I trust Lola completely.
8. first bath
In the first month of the baby’s life there is many ‘first times’ and this one is most definitely the one to capture. If your baby is born in winter times consider giving your baby her first bath in the morning, so you can take this photo.
9. showing how small they are
When you take a photo of your newborn by herself, you won’t really show how small she is. Take a photo of her on a bed or somewhere you can see the scale of her size. Or place an object next to her and next month photograph her with the same toy and you won’t believe how quickly she grew.
This might sound obvious, as newborns tend to sleep almost all the time, but trust me, when you are sleep deprived, you rather have a nap than take a photo. At least I did. However, quickly photograph her first and then go to bed. Later on, they won’t sleep as easily during the day and some babies refuse to sleep at all! And if they do have a nap, you will tip toe around her to make sure, you won’t wake her up. So take the photo now.
11. in daddy’s arms
When they are born, they are so curled up they can fit into your arm. But not for long. After 2 weeks they uncurl and suddenly will look much longer. I took this photo of my boy as well and when he was older, we showed him how tiny he was in dad’s arm. He loved the photo and could not get his head around how small he was.
12. in the crib/cot/Moses basket
Moses baskets are used for very short time, so make sure you have the picture of it. Take the photo of place where she sleeps, it will make a nice addition to your photo book and story telling.
13. with memorable item
Have you knitted special item for your baby or is she wearing something which used to belong to you? You have to have a photo of this. My baby is wearing a hat made by my mum for me when I was born. I am going to keep this item for her keepsake and perhaps her children will wear it too.
One of my favorites. I love photographing details. Don’t you just want to tickle those tiny feet? This might be tricky to take without a macro lens, but you don’t need to run to the shop just yet. Get as close as your camera will let you focus and then crop the image in your PC.
The list can go on and on. Think of things and situations which matter to you and put it down on your list. Longer the list more likely you take at least some photos you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.
You might also like to include:
Baby in the car seat going home from hospital
With a first toy you made or bought for him/her
Out on the first walk
Lastly, leave the note on the fridge or kitchen board, so you can be reminded constantly.
Once you get around to sorting the photos, make sure you print them out! Don’t let them sit on your phone or drive. Why not making a photo book? Here are some reason’s Why should you invest in photo books.