The Belly Blog:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot!
There are thousands of articles out in cyberspace about how to get great pictures of your new little bundle of joy. Let's face it, a child is probably photographed more in her first year of life than the rest of her years combined. But, taking great baby photos is one thing... taking great Sticky Bellies baby photos is a whole 'nother ballgame!
Those monthly photos serve as precious reminders of each milestone, each millimeter of growth, each new little tooth or each new scratch on the forehead. Ya gotta get 'em right - Grandma is depending on it (as are your 739 Facebook friends!)
So, without further ado, a little advice from your friends at Sticky Bellies... because we love your monthly photos just as much as you do!
1. Timing is everything.
This probably goes without saying, but choosing the right time to take your baby's picture is key. Ask yourself, "When is my baby happiest?" and then, grab your camera and GO! Don't be afraid to ask for a "do-over." (Hey, it worked on the playground in 4th grade, right?) If baby's exact monthly birthday just wasn't his/her best day, snapping a few more photos a few days later is totally acceptable. Relax. Have fun with it. Do it on a day that works for ALL of you!
2. Assess what's important and ZOOOOOOM in.
Monthly milestone photos are different from photos at the zoo or photos with Gram & Gramps. Your mission: capture your child, at that moment. Every little knuckle dimple, out of place hair, and adorably chubby fat roll is telling the story of who your baby was at ___ months. Your new Pottery Barn drapes are not the focus here, folks. So, ignore the background. Zoom in tight. Make sure your baby takes up as much of the frame as possible.
3. Flashes are not your friend.
We're not professional photographers. Heck, we're not even amateur photographers. We're a sticker company. But, we can tell you that when it comes to taking pictures of that gorgeous new baby of yours, the flash is going to do nothing for you. (Unless, of course, you want to look back on these pictures and reminisce, "Oh, Tommy, remember when you were 4 months and your skin was that lovely shade of...err... camera-flash-white?") Use natural light to your advantage and take pics when the sun is just beaming through a window. Have it shining on your baby (NOT behind) and snap away. If weather permits, outdoor pictures are great, too - and a good way to document the season/weather at each monthly milestone along the way.
4. Make like Britney Spears and take crazy to a whole new level.
"Say cheese" just won't cut it with a 4 month old. Ya gotta get crazy to get those adorable toothless smiles. Let your neighbors know they shouldn't stop by, and then let loose. If standing on your head while wearing daddy's underwear and eating Cheetos is what makes your baby laugh, by all means... do it. Your monthly photos are at stake here, people. Usually being crazy means you need someone a little more sane to be responsible for snapping the photo at just the right moment. Yes, you may need to call in for backup. One to take the photo + one to look like a lunatic = smiling baby photo!
5. Sticker? What sticker?
Around the age of 3-4 months, those little bundles of sweet, pure, ignorance begin to outsmart mommy and daddy. That sticker on the belly that they used to ignore now becomes a new and fascinating source of entertainment that can be pulled, ripped, chewed. (Another perk of our non-toxic inks!) So, rather than putting the sticker on baby's belly after he is dressed, lay out the onesie or shirt, apply the sticker, and then carefully slip it over baby's head. If they don't see you apply the sticker, chances are they won't pay as much attention to it when they are wearing it. Out of sight, out of mind.
Keep It Simple Sticky Bellies' fans! (See #2). There are 2 important pieces to monthly milestone pictures - the baby + the sticker telling how old they are. While it's tempting to put the sticker on baby's prettiest polka dot dress or plaid romper, solid garments really do look best. Our opaque, heavy-duty stickers can be applied to any color garment, so the world is your oyster when it comes to coordinating colors. Just keep it simple with solids that won't detract from that sweet face your're trying to capture.
I recently received a customer picture (left) with the apology: "Sorry the background is the same as all his other pictures. I'm not that creative." Not creative? It was absolutely perfect. At the end of baby's first or second year, when you put all the photos together and take that walk down memory lane, keeping the photos consistent makes for a beautiful presentation in an album or frame.
7. Let your pictures document other milestones, too!
If you want to ignore tip #6 above and be a little more creative, this tip is for you! If your baby is just beginning to sit unassisted, be sure to allow him to show off that new trick in your monthly shot. If it's her first Halloween, take the pic next to a pumpkin (but still keep it nice and close as mentioned in #2). If he is just learning to stand, have your "assistant" hold his hands while you snap a picture of his new abilities. A picture's worth a thousand words, right? Yours should say something like, "Hey, world! I'm 6 months old and look at all this cool new stuff I can do!" The pictures serve as a visual baby book and a great reminder of those other wonderful milestones that happen along the way. (My daughter's 24 month photo is above. While it's not what I had hoped for, she is obsessed with being outside and finding rocks & sticks, so this picture is totally "her" at 24 months, and I LOVE that!)
If you ignore all these tips...
Please promise us one thing - take monthly photos and have fun doing it! Being a part of your family memories is the best part of this job. We love every photo we receive and love that we get to be a part of the most special moments in your lives. Please continue to send your photos to us email@example.com and let us know if you have a photo tip you'd like to add to this list.