When I was younger, time went by very slowly. It felt like decades before I graduated high school and I always wished things would hurry along. Now that I am an adult, I wish things would slow down. 🙂 Birthdays come up way too quickly now and days are just not long enough. Babies become toddlers that become teenagers faster than you can say, “WAIT!” And before you know it, your babies are adults having their own babies.
Unfortunately there is not a way to stop time or to even slow it down, but luckily there is a way to immortalize your sweeties at any age so that you can look back and reminisce that they were once SO tiny and a way that they can look back and see that they were once SO young!
There are so many ideas out there, but as part of the Mommy Must Haves series, I wanted to share a few favorite ideas with you that are important photos to have of your kids.
My last post was all about putting down your camera and living in the moment so today’s post might sound a little contradictory, but I assure you, I still encourage living life in real time! These picture suggestions can take but a few minutes each year.
Let’s start at the begining:
The Belly: Before your baby is even born, a portrait of you with your growing belly is a must! No matter how heavy or swollen you feel, your child will love looking back on this picture and marveling at the fact that that is where they came from! And it is a great chance for you to reminisce that they actually were tiny enough to fit in there. 🙂 If you are looking for someone that will make your inner and outer beauty show through the swelling and discomfort, hire a pro! A good professional photographer (like North Photography ;)) will know how to properly pose you so that you are comfortable and look amazing! 🙂
The Baby Stage: Newborn portraits are your baby’s first portraits. It is a good idea to hire a professional photographer for this session so that you and your partner can be involved in the portraits! A professional photographer also has experience with handling newborns and knows how to calm them and pose them in such a way that you end up with a keepsake portrait.
Baby’s First Year: You will no doubt have a ton of pictures in your baby’s first year because they are ever changing! Some of the important milestones besides the newborn portraits is 6 months (when they are sitting up a little and smiling!) and 1 year, when they are mobile. In the portraits below we decided to use the Radio Flyer cart as a theme in each of Jackson’s portrait sessions. I love how they came out! You could do something similar in your home or better yet, hire a pro to do it for you! North Photography offers a Baby’s First Year series of sessions that includes 3 portrait sessions to capture these wonderful milestones. 🙂
Schooltime: Although it’s a bit cheesy, I LOVE the booming trend in First Day of School Portraits! There are tons of ideas out there from a simple picture before they get on the bus to having them hold a chalkboard with their age & grade to a more elaborate set-up that lists their current likes and dislikes. Each year my father would have us kids go out onto the lawn for a First Day of School Portrait. They are some of my favorite pictures because you can watch us grow over the years/grades! There is another idea out there that has a picture on the 1st day of school and the last day of school so you can put them together and compare how they changed over the year. 🙂 Don’t stop when they get older either! It can be easy to do as life becomes even busier as kids grow older, but still try to get that first day of school picture. My dad photographed us each straight through high school and it is fun to see my fashion sense and attitude change each year. 😉 You can check out some other ideas on my Pinterest page.
Over the years: Yearly portraits can be done at any time of the year, particularly if your child is not school age yet! I have several clients that come each year for a portrait session because they want a portrait of their sweetheart as they grow and change over the years. You can do it in the same spot each year or change it up for variety! Watching how they change year to year is awesome. 🙂 This little guy was very active from his first mobile moments, so his portraits tend to focus on him climbing and exploring. 🙂
Siblings: I am lucky to have a very special bond with my siblings and we have many photos of us together over the years to show that! It can be quite a task to get a picture of your kiddos together, but the result can be well worth it! Even if it is a super silly shot with everyone making a goofy face, it shows their personalities at that time in their lives together. Below is one of my favorite pictures of my siblings and I. We go camping each year in Maine so it is an ideal time to get a picture of all of us together. 🙂
Memorable Moments: Every day is a memorable moment, but think of the things you would want to put into a scrapbook with a little story: first lost tooth, first hair cute (before and after), first major boo-boo, first best friend, first pet, first plane ride, first vacation, first school dance, first sports game, etc. Include a story with these images. 🙂
Grandparents: No matter what age your children are, take a picture of them with their grandparents!! Especially if they are really close with them. Not only will your parents love showing off the portrait of them with their grandchildren, but your children will cherish these special portraits for many years! Especially after those grandparents are no longer around.
And last but not least, the most important photo of your kids:
A Family Portrait: Too many times a client contacts me and says they would like portraits of their children, but that they themselves do not want to be in the pictures because they are fat/old/tired/have grey hair/don’t have time to shower/don’t have an outfit to wear. I have heard it all! Generally I can talk these parents into being in a family portrait with their children because they are SO important! Your kids want to see what you looked like 5, 10, 15 years ago. They want to see their whole family together. I LOVE looking back on the family portraits that we took every year for our Christmas card. 🙂 It is neat to watch my parents change over the years and to watch my family grow as siblings were added. One of my favorite pictures that travelled with me to college and now sits in my home is the photo below. My father is a professional photographer as well and so we were never lacking in beautiful pictures. 🙂 The sweater my dad is wearing is actually now in my closet and one of my favorites in the winter! Do your children a huge favor and be in the photos too. Someone once said, if you do not like your picture today, look at it in 10 years. You will LOVE it then! 🙂
Those are my Mommy Must Haves when it comes to photos. Did I miss anything? Leave a comment below if you have another MUST HAVE picture of your children. 🙂
I’ll leave you with a cool video that I just love. It took a lot of time and dedication by this father, but the end result is pretty awesome. Be well & Smile often, Kathleen
Newborn to 12 Years Old Video Time Lapse
[…] we have a problem. How many mamas are right there with me, photodocumenting everything, and unknowingly filling up your entire computer memory? Go check your storage, and get back to me. […]
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be transmitted in indirect ways. The main message I’m trying to convey here is that I’ve eliminated
the news from my life.
I love this, Kathleen! I’ve tried to capture everything so far (almost 8 months!) but left out the professional 6 month photo which I am sort of regretting. I hadn’t thought far enough ahead to the school-aged photos but I will definitely add those to the list of photos we must get. And I love the family photo of you and your parents! So cute. Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to write all of this down in a quick, concise blog post!
You’re welcome Leanne!! Mommy-hood looks to be suiting you well. 🙂 I just saw your request for teething tips and believe it or not, I have one for you! I have heard that raw, frozen sweet potatoes are a really great teething method. A snack and a cold compress in one! You can also use frozen sweet potato fries. 🙂 Tyenol at night helps too. 😉 Good luck!