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Photographing Your Baby: Month-by-Month

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Hi Sticky Bellies fans!

We are so thrilled to have an amazing photographer, Christina McGuire, joining us today to share her best tips on how to capture your gorgeous baby in stunning photographs month-by-month. Read on, and if you're on Pinterest, please pin this post to share with others. And, most importantly, don't forget your Sticky Bellies for your monthly photos of baby. Enjoy!

My #1 piece of advice for capturing your newborn? Hire a professional.☺ Take it from someone who didn't and has regrets. I was not yet a photographer when my girls were born, but even now as a business owner, if I were to have another baby I would hire out. Moms, it's so important for you to be in front of the camera with your baby rather than just behind it taking the photos. You may not feel particularly glamorous 1 week postpartum, but if you can force yourself to take a shower, dab on some lipgloss and wriggle back into a pair of (maternity!) jeans, I promise you'll be forever grateful to have those first connections with your itty-bitty baby captured on film.

All that said, naturally you're going to want to take your own photos as well, so I'll touch on a few different set-ups. With sibling shots, baby's safety is most important. Below you can see how I catered the same general pose to a 3-year-old sibling (rolled-up blanket to help support baby's head), versus a 5-year-old, who was comfortable holding her baby sister. No matter what the age though, when working with siblings, always have another adult assisting you and spotting the baby.

Another great option for sibling or solo captures is shooting from overhead. This ensures your background is uncluttered so nothing detracts from your children's sweet faces.

And of course, newborns are usually most content in mom or dad's arms.

3 Months
Three months can be a tough age to photograph as babies cannot support themselves, nor will they stay in one position very long (unless sleeping). Again, shooting from overhead works well; to change things up, use a step stool to shoot down on a mobile above their crib or swing, or even the crossbars atop an activity mat. If they're holding their head up sufficiently, try propping their upper body onto a nursing pillow, then get down on their level to capture that cute face straight-on.

6 Months
Ah, the beloved "potted plant" stage: after babies can sit up but before they can crawl away. It's one of the easiest ages to photograph, so take advantage of it while you can! If your baby still needs support to sit, a cute basket, tub, etc. will help --just make sure you have an assistant/spotter so they don't tip.


12 Months
Milestones can be all over the board at the one-year mark: some babies are still content crawling, others are learning to walk, and then there's the runners. For pre-walkers, have them hold mom or dad's hands, or grasp onto a stationary item for support. Once your little one starts taking their first steps, get down on your belly and have them toddle towards you and your camera; often times they'll fall and giggle, making for great bonus shots. And for the babes feverishly crawling/walking/running from the camera, try plopping them on a (low) step, in a kid-sized armchair, or give them a toy or book to hold -- anything to distract them for a few seconds while you click.

18 Months and Up
Get your running shoes on.☺ Although the toddler stage can be the most challenging to capture, chances are you'll be rewarded with some of the sweetest, funniest, and most genuine expressions (I'll take a real pout over a fake smile any day). There's no need to worry about posing because, well, toddlers don't sit still. So just go with the flow, click-click-click, and be grateful for the digital age and that little trashcan on the back of your camera.

All Ages
Don't forget the details. One day, you'll notice your little boy or girl has lost those cute dimples in their hands (sniff, sniff). Their shoe size will change faster than you can keep up. And their favorite lovey may be old news a month from now.

And, If All Else Fails...
The outtakes may end up being your favorites.☺

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