7 Most Beautiful Photos All New Parents Should Capture
Having a baby changes everything. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, to the first time you hold your newborn, they are truly life-altering moments. As a new parent, you want to capture “all the things” of your new adventure and your growing child. In between the snap-happy moments, there is a time to be intentional with your images, to create timeless keepsakes, and long-lasting memories to be passed down to your child when they grown up. There are of course a ton of portraits you can take, but these are the most beautiful photos all new parents should capture. And yes, these are all photos of ME and MY baby as examples (and beautiful is NOT synonymous with pro either!).
Before I get down to it, I want to make a note on the timeline. The sooner you capture images in a baby’s life, the better because they will never be this small again, and you really want to showcase their “newness”. BUT don’t let that stop you from capturing them again down the road, or after a few weeks if your family needed the recovery time. There is no wrong time for capturing memories, and don’t let the 10 days newborn photography myth fool you!
7 Most Beautiful Photos All New Parents Should Capture
1. Mom-to-Be’s Baby Bump: This one would be captured BEFORE baby arrives, but it is just as important. It marks the beginning of baby’s life, but it also marks the beginning of parenthood, and that is a truly special milestone to celebrate as it is. Make sure you capture an image where the bump is the highlight, and another where you can see ‘the bigger picture’ of you becoming a mom. For those of you who are camera shy –> they don’t have to be shown to anyone else, but do make sure you capture them (you may regret it later if you don’t!).
*Don’t forget to discuss wardrobe options with your photographer to ensure a variety of looks for the shoot.
2. The Expecting Parents: There is about to be an extra member of your family, so you want to make sure that you capture an image with your partner before baby arrives to celebrate your romantic relationship and the love you share for each other. It is easy to forget about this connection once the chaos of baby begins; capturing it in all it’s glory is a great visual reminder to take a moment to cherish one another. After all–once your child is all grown up and moves out, you want your relationship with your partner to be just as strong.
*A great way to do this is to have your partner embracing you from behind, which keeps your bump shaped nicely, all while showcasing an intimate moment between the two of you.
3. Post-Birth Family Portrait: No matter how much you plan for it, giving birth will always be a chaotic whirlwind of events. Emotions are high, time travels at light speed (despite the waiting!), and it is easy to miss so many sweet moments. Having someone capture those moments for you during birth is great, but it isn’t for everyone–and that’s okay! What every new parent should plan for however, is a post-birth portrait of their new baby and family while you are still in the hospital or birth centre, enjoying that adrenaline rush of parenthood: the three of you embraced and just enjoying the love. It can be as simple as bringing a camera and asking one of the staff in advance to capture that important moment for you, or hiring a professional so you know it will get captured without intrusion.
4. Parent & Baby Photos: Time flies with a new baby, so it is important to capture the everyday moments with your child. The best way to do this is to always have the camera ready, and to make a pact with your partner that you with BOTH capture images of baby & parent. No matter how tired you are, no matter how undone you feel you look, no matter what–capture them. Nobody says you have to publish them to your Instagram feed or anything, but make sure they exist, and that YOU are in them. Your child will want to see these in the later years or after you are gone, and they will not even notice that your messy bun was a little too tilted to the left, or that you are still wearing yesterday’s mascara.
5. Official Family Portrait: Ideally this one is captured by a professional, because timers + tripods + newborns don’t mix very well. It doesn’t have to be a stuffy portrait or done in a studio, and it can absolutely be a lifestyle image captured in your home or outdoors. Some parents want their first official portrait to be captured as part of their newborn session, and some prefer to wait a few weeks or months until baby is able to securely hold up their own head and smile ‘on command’. Either way, the goal is to have a portrait with all of your family members together, capturing the bond between you all, and having something of high quality to display on your wall. The visual reminder of a family photo is great for lifting your spirits on the down days, and it helps with self-esteem for children too as they get older (it gives the sense of belonging)–especially if you are updating or adding to the wall annually. And nothing says you cannot include grandparents!
6. Itty Bitty Details: These are easily captured by your photographer at your newborn session, but can also be done at home if you decided to wait until they are sitting up to do professional photos. These are the photographs of your baby’s teeny tiny features like their toes, their lashes, their lips, and all that adorable peach fuzz! The importance of capturing these images as soon as possible is because newborns change and grow so quickly, that even one day to the next can have a drastic effect on their appearance. You want to be sure to capture their features early on, but then AGAIN as they grow so that you can compare them and truly see the differences.
7. Milestone Photos: Babies grow so darn fast! Capturing weekly milestone photos for the first couple of weeks allows for you to see just how fast, and it gets you into the habit for continuing with monthly milestone photos for the rest of the first year (and beyond if you want!) The best way to do it is to make sure that baby is photographed alongside an object that shows their changing size, such as a teddy bear, a handmade quilt or knit blanket, or a photography prop (bowl, bucket, etc.). Even better if these are captured consistently by a professional so that you can frame them as you go, but even a simple cell-phone snap does the trick if you don’t plan on printing larger than a 4×6.
BONUS! Photos With Older Sibling(s): This is for expecting parents who are having another baby, and it is just as important if not more to include the older sibling(s) into the family images so that they feel included in the family, and not left out now that there is a new baby in the house. It is also fun to include them in a photo with the growing belly, hopefully interacting with it, for you all to look back upon. You can also have sibling images captured by your photographer at the newborn session.
*You can totally attempt this the DIY route, but pros do this all the time and know quite a few tricks to get toddlers and older siblings to interact nicely with baby, and all the right poses and angles to create wall-worthy images–even if they aren’t “everyone looking & smiling at the camera” pictures.
A special thank you to Shane Haumpton for the suggestion to write this post.