One of my favorite traditions we started with the girls is taking their Weekly Pictures. They were born on a Friday, and so every Friday we take a new picture… documenting how their features and personalities develop and change over the weeks, and demonstrating how FAST our little ones grow (am I right?) in these early months of their lives! I absolutely love looking back through the weeks and reminiscing.
Pick a location and stick with it. If you photograph your little angel in the same place each week, it will better demonstrate growth because of your babe’s proportion to the backdrop. Young House Love had a great idea to use different fabric as a backdrop each week. OR, you could put the same stuffed animal next to your baby each week to use as a point of comparison. My friend Barb used a large stuffed Curious George next to her little guy, and by the end of the year, he was bigger than George! The fun of it is to have a point of comparison. We chose this $3 orange thrift store chair.
Most importantly, capture your baby’s personality! It doesn’t have to be perfect! Each week, I take between 50-150 pictures (depending on how compliant the girls are) just so I have lots to choose from. If for some reason you find yourself with a single baby instead of two… you may not need to take as many pictures to get a few good ones! For the blog, I always choose one that’s kinda boring… with both girls just facing forward and looking pleasant. I do this because, when flipping back through the weeks, it’s easiest to see all the little changes that happen in their features and facial expressions if they’re always similarly placed from week to week. But don’t delete all those other pictures! The real fun is looking through ALL the pics and seeing their crazy little personalities and funny little antics that get captured (I’ll get back to this later in this post). You may have a calm baby that sits still and perfect, or you might have a wild child that wiggles and cries. I’ve been blessed with one of each. Here are some examples from 9 weeks:
Another thing that’s important is to be prepared. Gather all the things you need near the chair before you place your baby(ies) there.
- Camera …with a fully charged battery and large-enough memory card (there’s nothing worse than having your baby smiling and being adorable and then having your battery die, or your memory card full).
- Have a pacifier or two nearby just in case (I prefer not to have them sucking on a paci in the pics, but if they’re not cooperating, I’d rather have ONE good pic with a pacifier than none at all).
- Burp cloth (need I explain?)
- Boppy Pillow to go under my knees. Or a towel, or SOMETHING. We take our pictures in the dining room which has hardwood floors, and this task is killer on my knees without some padding!! Lifesaver.
Choose a time when when there’s good daylight, and your baby(ies) is/are in good spirits and haven’t recently eaten… unless you want to also photograph Jr’s not-yet-digested lunch.
Make sure the lighting is good, and not coming from behind the chair. You’ll want the light source (preferably natural light) to be coming from the side or behind you- the photographer. And don’t use a flash. I don’t know much about photography, but these are things that I’ve learned from experience.
Don’t zoom in too close to the babe(s). You want to get their whole body(ies) in the picture, and you want to stand (or kneel) at the same distance away each week.
Create a folder on your computer for each week of photos. Delete the super fuzzy or dark pictures, but don’t delete the ones with your babe’s finger up his nose, or that big yawn, or screaming at the top of his lungs. Those will be the ones you love, I promise! You’ll have a blast looking back through them! Have fun with them! Ok, maybe not THIS much fun:
Lastly, if you’re going to start this tradition… COMMIT TO IT! If every week is too much of a commitment, just do once a month. Being a stay-at-home mom, I look forward to Fridays and love picking out outfits and whathaveyou. If it’s a little more burdensome for you, you don’t have to change your babes clothes… who cares? Or take 150 pictures (!!!) The whole point is to document growth and developing personalities. So you don’t have to make a whole production of it. Snap a picture, file it, and go back to cleaning spit-up off your yoga pants.
Do you have any traditions you started with your little one? Or have you been doing something similar to our Weekly Pics? I’d love to hear your ideas!