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Behind the Scenes

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.

I’ve had lots of questions about this tradition, and several friends have started doing the same thing with their sweet babes. And this prompted me to outline a few things that have been helpful for me to have successful photoshoots each week!

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!

Comments

  1. I wish I had been more organized like this with my pictures! I LOVE the collage of all the weeks. You gave some great ideas and tips. Im brainstorming what I could do from here on out. Thank you!!
    Love, Cryst

  2. I do a weekly picture like this with my son as well! He was born on a Thursday, so that’s when we do our picture, and yesterday he was 26 weeks. He sits in the same chair each week, next to a big blue “My First Teddy” bear that his grandpa brought to the hospital when he was born. The bear is fairly big, so at first he just looked tiny in comparison, but now they are about the same size, which is crazy! It is also funny to see how he interacts with the bear–at first he paid no attention, obviously, but now he is grabbing the bear, trying to chew on it, etc. Those are some of my favorite pictures! It only takes me about 10 minutes each time, since I only have one baby and he is generally always happy and doesn’t mind the photo sessions. Since I know I’m going to be taking his picture every Thursday, I try to get him dressed in something cute that morning, but I don’t stress too much about it. There were a few pics taken in pjs, and in one pic he was only in his diaper because he spit up on every outfit I put on him and I gave up. Ha!

    I have one friend that did a monthly picture of her son in the same chair, and another that took a picture of her baby on the changing table every week (that was a good way to see how much the baby was growing as well).

    I love the idea of making a collage of the photos, I hadn’t thought of that!

  3. Oh how the girls are absolutely precious!!! LOVE the pictures!!! I stumbled across your blog via pinterest…

    We did monthly pictures with the fancy monthly age sticker on a white onesie. LOVE that! I don’t know if I could have kept with weekly but love the idea! We did quarterly professional photos as well which I again, loved doing!

    Now I must go read your about me as the name of your blog, embryos?, has me intrigued as I went through infertility myself before having my daughter…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love these, thanks for sharing. So sweet. I wondered how you kept them in the chair so well behaved. ha. Mary in NY

  5. Your girls are so cute! Love the weekly picture idea. I’m almost 18 weeks with twins. My husband and I had to do invitro as well. We are so excited! Anyway, I saw your comment on “Five Days, Five Ways” blog and had to come see what you looked like at 34 weeks to see what I’m in for. :)

  6. Oops! The above comment was from me. I guess my husband logged on and I didn’t realize it. lol

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