Whether it is your first baby or third- here are a few reasons why you should photograph all the important moments of the first year of your child’s life from maternity photos to a cake-smash family session:
Milestones: During the first year of your child’s life, they go through several important stages of life such as the first smile, first laugh, first word, first steps, and developing personality quirks! Photographs are a great way to capture and preserve these events for a lifetime.
Memories: As your babies grow up, they often forget the details of their early years. Photographs can help them recall these memories and give them a glimpse into their childhood. Looking back at these photos can also bring back fond memories for parents.
Family history: Photographs are an important part of family history. They allow parents and their children to connect with their ancestors and their family history. By taking photos of your child’s first year, you are creating a record of your family’s history that can be passed down for generations. The photos act as a time capsule representing a moment in your history that can be cherished by generations to come.
Emotional connection: Every family has a special bond unique to them. By documenting the first few years of your child’s life, you can visually see how their bond with your family has changed and developed. You will be able to see the love present throughout your family in a series of photos and cherish the memories of your child growing up.
There are a lot of incredible moments that whiz by in those first 365 days. As a photographer, I can tell you these are my favorite stages and the best to capture to ensure you don’t miss a moment.
Milestone 1: The Maternity Shoot- The Before
Anticipation abounds- doing maternity photos can be a beautiful way to commemorate this special time in your life and celebrate the upcoming arrival of your child. Even if you feel unsure of whether you want to do a maternity session or if it’s something you should do, there are several reasons why you may want to consider getting maternity photos:
Embracing your body: Pregnancy can sometimes be hard on your body, and it’s natural to feel insecure about your body. However, getting maternity photos can be a way to embrace your body and celebrate the beauty of pregnancy. By capturing images of your growing belly, you can see the beauty in your body and appreciate the miracle of life growing inside of you. After all, you are growing a whole human in there- BE PROUD of what your amazing body can accomplish.
Creating memories: Pregnancy is a unique and special time in your life, and it’s a time that you will want to remember (even if you don’t necessarily feel that way every day). Maternity sessions act as a definitive time period in your life- there was a before baby and there will be an after, once your baby arrives. These photos will start a new chapter in your life, even if this is not your first child. This session can preserve the dynamic you have with your first child before they are no longer an only child, but now an older sibling.
A gift for your child: Maternity photos can be a special gift for your child. As they grow up, they’ll be able to see the images of you carrying them and feel the love and excitement that surrounded their arrival. Having a few prints from your maternity session displayed in their nursery is always a special way for them to be surrounded by you and your love for them. When it really comes down to it- these photos are more for your baby than they are for you.
Milestone 2: Newborn Shoot- The After
They’re here! And life is a little more hectic than you expected. Sometimes with all the hassle of adjusting to your new life with the baby, things can slip your mind and be put on the back burner. What I love about the Belly to Birthday package is that it guarantees four session dates on my calendar. This provides extra accountability (I promise to give the gentlest nudges) to ensure that all of your sessions are done in a timely manner without you having to worry about it. Babies change and grow rather quickly, so newborn photos are always nice to have to look back on to see how squishy they once were. I also think all new moms deserve as much flexibility as possible to do things when it works best for you.
Announcing their arrival: Whether you go the traditional route and send out physical birth announcements from your newborn session or find yourself just simply announcing via social media, newborn pictures always make it much more special. Prints and albums of the baby photos also make wonderful gifts for excited-new grandparents who love to brag about the new addition to the family.
Documenting their growth: You’ll never believe how fast they grow and change until you see it for yourself. I hear it from parents all time- “I can’t believe how much they changed!” Later on down the line, it will be nice to compare all the photos from each of their milestones to see how much they’ve grown in just one short year- so why not start with capturing their first few weeks of life!
Documenting your family for the first time: The newborn photos are a great chance to take some of your first family portraits. The photos from this session usually consist of family photos, each parent with baby and/or siblings, and of course baby by themselves. These are photos you’ll cherish, as it records your first experience as a family in your beloved home (a great way to incorporate your fur babies!!) This is also the chance to archive all the everyday moments you’re experiencing, like feeding and soothing the baby.
Capturing their little details: This is usually the photo session that really focuses on all the little details. Their little tiny feet, the blanket loving made for them, a hand-me-down outfit, what their nursery looks like- these are all important details that you’ll want to have as a memory for not only you but for your little one.
While not the most well-known stage this one is quickly becoming my favorite. This period of time in your baby’s first year is when their developing personalities really get a chance to shine. It’s a nice little check-in before the last big milestone of their first year, where you get to document all the little things about them that might change over the years. They’re showing more emotions and facial expressions- which always makes for cute silly photos and they’re much more active in the session compared to the newborn photos. Before lifestyle newborn photography came around this was typically considered the first stage to photograph a baby in their first year.
Growing Personality: This is around the time that your baby starts to have a little bit of personality and loves to explore their surroundings. What do they love? What do they hate? What are their cute little quirks?
Time of Change: The 6-9 months mark is when all the exciting little moments start happening. Your baby is starting to sit up and crawl on their own and become a little more active and aware of their surroundings. These are the little things that you’ll cherish forever and want to look back on.
Almost at the finish line: This time period is a great opportunity to update your first-year baby photos. They’re still actively growing and changing, so they will look much older than compared to their newborn photos, while still also looking younger than how they will look at their 1-year milestone that will follow in the next coming months.
Milestone 4: The Cake / Dessert Smash – Dare we call it a finish line?
Cake smash photos are always so fun for everyone involved! It’s such a fun way to celebrate this special occasion and commemorate how much your little one has grown in just one year. Keep in mind we don’t always have to use cake- we can smash and get messy with any food your baby loves to accommodate preferences and allergies.
Give yourself a pat on the back: A baby’s first birthday is a special milestone- after all, you made it a whole year! Smashing some sweets is a fun and memorable way to celebrate.
Sharing with friends and family: Cake/dessert smash photos can be a fun way to share your child’s first birthday celebration with friends and family who may live far away or not attend any celebrations. You can share the images on social media or via email to spread the joy and excitement of this fun (albeit a little messy) turning point.
Free Seratonin boost: I know for me personally- this is the most fun part of a Belly to Birthday journey. Ending our last of 4 sessions with nothing but smiles, giggles, and sugar- a most sweet ending.
Cake Smashes may seem a little stressful and chaotic, but there are so many ways you can start to plan/anticipate them! I offer some tips and things to keep in mind in my Cake Smash Blog.
NO MORE FOMO!
Overall, photographing all the important moments of your child’s life before they turn one is important because it allows you to capture the milestones, memories, and emotions of this special time and create a lasting legacy for your family. With the Belly to Birthday package, you will receive four photo sessions: maternity, newborn, 6-9 months, and a 1st birthday/cake or dessert smash. Along with the four sessions, you will also receive a complimentary cake for your 1st birthday/dessert smash session as well as discounts after each session. (Thank you Frosted Fox for the assist!) If a cake doesn’t work for you there are also vegan dessert options available. If you are on the fence about what kind / how much documentation you need in the first year I always recommend The Belly to Birthday package, especially for first-time parents. Time flies by so fast in that first year and you don’t want to blink and miss a single moment.
If you’re interested in booking your Belly to Birthday, contact me and we can discuss any questions you may have! 🙂