Babies

Baby Milestone Photos at Home

Get tips from a lifestyle photographer and fellow parent on how to take baby milestone photos at home in a simple way.

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Capturing baby milestone photos at home is not a new concept, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to do them on your own. It’s pretty incredible how your baby can go from complete dependence to running around the house in the span of about 12 months – like, what?! You were just swaddling them up in tiny blankets, and the next thing you know there’s a full-on chase to get clothes on them some days (nevermind the tornado-like destruction of once-organized shelves they’re capable of!)

There are sooo many milestones that are reached in that first year. Smiling, grabbing feet, first taste of “solid” food (there’s nothing solid about purees haha), sitting up, standing up, and a glimpse of their developing personality – and that just scratches the surface.

Let’s talk about how you can bottle up that first year into photos to look back on forever.

Tips for capturing your baby’s milestones at home

You know what I find fascinating about babies? How you can stare at them all. day. long. and not get tired of it! I also laugh at how many photos I have of my babies sleeping, but I don’t apologize for the madness either 🙂

But then comes me wanting to do something with the photos beyond living on my phone, and perfectionism and procrastination enter the chat. You can imagine how easy it is to get things done with those two. . .

In the age of Pinterest, I know I’m not sharing any life changing information with this list, but here are a few ways you can take your baby’s milestone photos at home:

  • Monthly photos
    • Take photo with the same stuffed animal or on the same blanket to see how much they grow
    • Include a card with the month they’ve reached
    • Have a simple letter board with stats, or a custom board where you can write out allll the things they’ve done in the past month (in chalk markers, of course.)
  • Daily photos
    • That’s right – 365 photos of your baby’s first year of life. Then you print them + make an album, and bam! You’ve got a flip book to watch your baby grow all over again 🙂

      (don’t be like me and spend a stupid amount of time trying to figure out the cheapest way to do this and end up with crappy prints #liveandlearn)

I did basically all of those with both of my kids. I was for sure an over-documenter when they were really little (and kinda still am). The kids love to look through their albums, though, so it makes how time consuming it was to do it in 20 different ways mostly worth it 😉

…I don’t recommend doing all of them if you’re a fellow procrastinator 🙂

How to get the best milestone photos baby on your phone at home

  • Get on their level

    Perspective is everything! Changing the angle you’re taking the picture can make all the difference, going from a seemingly random snapshot to a meaningful image
  • Be sneaky – snap photos while they’re playing

    Photos like this tell a story of the day and what they were doing
  • Move them into the light

    Sure, this might feel little staged doing this, but bring their toys, blanket, etc. near a source of natural light and you’ll get nice, bright photos

Pick a day each month to organize and back up your precious photos (and pick some to print out!)

Not only should you get those photos off your phone, but you need to make copies of them to keep in a safe place should disaster strike and technology fail.

It’s happened to me – I wrote all about my hard drive failure here – and I don’t want it to happen to you!

If you take one day each month to organize your photos into categories or by date, it’s much easier to go back and find what you’re looking for when you’re ready to make an album or order some prints.

Hiring a photographer to capture baby milestone photos

Now let’s be clear – I’m not talking about every little thing. That would be crazy, and probably really expensive! And probably a little weird to call them up and say ‘hey! we’re giving him avocado today can you be here at 5:30?’

By all means, still take it upon yourself to document the day to day in as much detail as you’d like – those are all really important memories, too!

There are 4 big baby milestones that a photographer can capture for you:

  • Newborn
  • Sitter stage
  • Crawling and/or Standing stage
  • One year

Each of these is a big transition point for your baby and really fun to capture. They can easily be done as quick sessions at home as a peek into life with baby at that stage.

These sessions combined will tell the story of your baby as they grow through that first big birthday in a way that’s not overwhelming. You (or your photographer!) can have a photo album made to hold all those fun and precious moments that are easy to forget about when they’re older.

One Year Photos – Beyond the Cake Smash

One year sessions will focus on the child, bringing out their personality in their photos. We can incorporate some of their favorite things though! Maybe that’s indulging in some ice cream, hitting up their favorite playground, or even just loving on a stuffed animal or toy car they’re inseparable from.

Basically – they’re going to play and have fun while the photographer (hopefully me!) snaps away as the session unfolds, no matter what point in the first year they’re in 🙂

These milestone photos can easily be done in your home (or outside!), but going to a local park or one of their favorite playgrounds is great way to make the photos truly represent them

(To clarify – I have nothing against cake smash sessions! They’re just not something that I offer, and I feel are the most fun when you’re celebrating their birthday)

Planning for Baby Milestone Pictures

These sessions can be scheduled as far in advance as you’d like, or you can opt to have reminders sent to schedule the next one. You also have the flexibility of how many sessions you add on. I would recommend at least doing a newborn, sitter (around 6 months), and a one year session.

I also have resources for how to prepare for lifestyle sessions and what to expect with in home photography sessions

Whether you choose to DIY your baby’s first year in photos or ask for someone else to step in a few times, the important thing is that you’re doing it!

If I’m your Tacoma baby photographer, each session will be approached the same way – lifestyle photography with a bit of a journalistic flare. They will be a peek inside the life of your baby (and the rest of the family) at that point in time, in all it’s perfectly imperfect glory.

Your child will love you for it later in life, and you’ll thank yourself for doing it when you have something to look at that will take you right back to some warm and happy memories.

Sound like something you want to get on board with? Let’s do it!

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Ashley Morrisey

Tacoma-based lifestyle newborn and family photographer serving South Puget Sound + greater PNW

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