Here is a great Guest Post from our friend Taryn of Taryn Melgoza Photography:
Whether you are a new mom or a soon-to-be mom, you will most likely find one thing to be very true – babies grow so fast and they will be teenagers before you know it! While they may not grow into teenagers overnight, it really is true that the first year literally flies by. As a new mom, you become completely consumed with your new role and the responsibilities that come with it. You spend so much time adapting to this new role, that your newborn is celebrating their 1st birthday before you know it. It seems as though one minute you are leaving the hospital to head home with your new baby and the next minute they are crawling and walking.
As your family is adjusting to your new life and enjoying every moment of this first year, your baby will be busy growing and changing right before your eyes. Each week and month will bring a new important milestone. Ask yourself – years from now, will you remember how chunky their little leg rolls were at 3 months? How your little guy’s hair stood up in a natural mo-hawk at 6 months? Or how much they smiled or laughed at 9 months? You might, but chances are you will quickly forget the memories of these small details as life continues to speed by. This is why it is so crucial to document each unique stage of your baby’s first year with photos. What’s the best way to document these memories? Hire a local photographer whose work you love! By choosing the right photographer for your family, it will make taking photos a stress-free and fun process while creating memories that you will enjoy looking back on for years to come…and having beautiful photos of your children to decorate your home is a nice perk too!
When choosing what milestones to photograph during that first year, it’s recommended to space the sessions out every 3-4 months to showcase each unique phase. Many photographers will offer packages that include several photo sessions throughout the child’s first year. These first year photography packages will vary, so it’s recommended that you do some research before selecting your photographer.
The first and (in my opinion) most important stage to document is the newborn stage. Newborn babies are such tiny and perfect blessings and this particular stage of life goes by so FAST. If you miss your chance to document it within the first 2-3 weeks of life, then it sadly passes you by. After the first few weeks, babies will become more difficult to pose and position during their photo session, making a newborn session difficult to complete and create quality photographs from.
Newborn portraits are becoming an art form with the most adorable sleepy poses, beautiful hats and headbands and props. Keep in mind, the cost may be higher for a newborn photo session; as these sessions typically last anywhere from 2-3 hours and are more involved (posing the newborn, incorporating props and equipment, etc.). However, if cost is a concern, consider that these photos are a lifelong investment that you will cherish forever. The photos will serve as a constant reminder of the fleeting time that your child was really just a “baby”. You will keep these photos on the walls of your home for the rest of your life as a reminder of your babies when they were just born. As a new parent, you will spend money on all types of baby items like a crib, swing, car seat; and this equipment will last you for a few months to a few years before your baby grows out of them – but beautiful newborn photos will last you a lifetime!
Newborn photos can be booked far in advance and should be booked at least 2-3 months before your due date so that you that your favorite photographer can reserve your estimated due date on the calendar. Some newborn photographers will offer the option to do the session in the comfort of your own home, while others will have a studio you can travel to. Do some research on newborn photographers in your area and choose the one whose photography style you love. You also want to make sure your photographer is knowledgeable about newborn photography and keeps your baby’s safety the top priority during your session.
After newborn photos, the most popular age progressions to capture are 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and one year. At 3 months babies are smiling, plumping up, and are starting to show their newly developing personalities. Typically, babies are great at holding their head up during tummy time which makes for some great photos!. My favorite stage to photograph is 6 months because by this age babies will usually be able sit on their own and are almost always happy. By 9 months, babies are close to standing with support and are really showcasing their growing personalities. The biggest milestone yet is one year, when babies are on the move and tons of fun! It’s also fun to incorporate a cake smash into their one year session as the kiddos love to dive head first into cake and smear icing everywhere. Keep in mind these ages are just recommended milestones to photograph and the sessions don’t have to happen at these exact ages. Use them as a guideline for deciding when to book your sessions so that you can best capture all of the different stages.
It truly is amazing to see how much your baby changes from month to month. Personally, I will always cherish the photos I have of my little man throughout his first year of life. They serve as reminders of our lives at that time and how blessed we are to be his parents. We experienced so many new joys (and a few frustrations too) as we grew into a new family of 3 and I’m glad I have so many photos to tell this story.
And finally, if you decide to forgo hiring a professional photographer, my advice would be to make sure you grab whatever camera you can and start documenting your little one! You can never have too many photos of your child’s quickly passing first year of life and you will be so glad you documented it with photos in the years to come.
Written by Taryn Melgoza of Taryn Melgoza Photography: www.tarynmelgozaphoto.com