Parenthood is rewarding. It’s other things, too. But give yourself some kudos: you’ve created new life and get to help it grow.
Blink and you’ll miss it. One day they’re a tiny mass of squalling and cooing, sleeping for 17 hours. Next, they’ll be teething, crawling, walking and talking. Probably by Thursday.
Your baby won’t stay newborn for long, so capture as many of these fleeting moments before they’re gone forever.
4 Ways to Treasure Baby’s First Days
Focus on the little details
As your baby grows and their personality changes, so will the button nose, the chubby cheeks, and the pout. In the first month, babies put on roughly one ounce per day and grow about 6mm per week, or an inch per month.
Where last month the baby looked like grandpa, they might now be a copy of your partner. Capture the little things that make your baby unique, especially in their first few weeks. Smartphones have made photography convenient, but it may be worth investing in a high-quality DSLR camera.
These days, DSLRs are very reasonably priced, particularly as photography is becoming a popular hobby again. With DSLR cameras you can focus in on the baby’s features without worrying if the quality will be good enough to print. Phones fit in your jeans pocket. DSLRs are built to capture life in glorious detail. Have both gadgets in your life.
Babies smile when mum or dad are close. A great photo is also a great memory, so create them in tandem.
Hand the camera to someone else and get in the frame with your baby. You can always take a selfie, but more beautiful, honest portraits come from non-selfie moments.
Also, infants who have had regular interaction with their father prior to three months old are better behaved at twelve months. There, science! Dads and babies being photographed in a loving pose? That’s interaction, so it qualifies. Keep it up.
Strike a pose
Babies look adorable from any angle, but care to go beyond random snaps? Within their first two weeks, babies are particularly photogenic, but if you shoot within this time period you’re going to need to keep them extra comfy. Make sure the location of the photo shoot is warm, so that baby is comfortable and still. Keep your little star fed. And keep it safe. Babies’ bones, organs and muscles are still developing. What might seem like an easy pose could hurt an infant.
Now to the poses. There are three classic positions for conducting a baby shoot: the back pose (or supine), the side-lying pose, and the tummy pose (prone).
The back pose can be tricky. To capture the baby at their most peaceful, you want them to be asleep. Just after a feed is usually good.
The side-lying pose is a bit harder to position. But once accomplished, the baby will be relaxed and you can position the light just right.
The tummy pose needs the most care in terms of safety. There is less support on the baby’s belly and soft developing bones mean that Baby needs to be handled with care. As long as you’re careful this pose is rewarding and often makes a great photo. Just look out for any discomfort and use your best judgement.
Prop it up!
There are quirks and personality traits that you want to see reflected in the baby. You may be a household which enjoys music, or has a predilection for gardening. Whatever binds your family together, try to reflect it in your photoshoot.
Use something that symbolises your passions. If your family is musical, pose baby next to an instrument, or pile up some hardbound books if you’re literary.
The baby’s personality can also be reflected in the clothing you choose. Plenty of colour is generally a good idea. Hats and other cosy garments, stuffed animals, and nappy covers with cute designs all work nicely.
Some Final Thoughts
When your baby is all grown up with a family of their own, they’ll want to pass these photos and memories on. Demonstrating that they were once young, small and cute. If not, at least you’ll have plenty of photo evidence to embarrass them with on their 18th birthday!
This is also where Lifecake helps. Imagine your entire collection of baby photos, videos and stories at your fingertips. A private place where childhood lives, shared with close family and friends, who can only see what they’re invited to see. And the best gift of all: those memories to share and pass on when your baby is all grown up.