If we ever get the chance to meet “in real life” you will quickly learn that I am completely (head over heels, trapped in the quicksand, hopelessly, unashamedly) in love with my little girl. She’s one of the best people that I know and she’s held that title for approximately 56 weeks. I want to soak up every fleeting minute and because that’s not really possible – I take lots of pictures.
Every Friday for the first 52 weeks of her life I took a picture of her laying on different blanket. This project took on a life of it’s own and now I’m so glad that we did it! In total I used 7 different blankets.
I was a long time reader of Young House Love and I followed along with them as they did a weekly photo for both of their kids. Like YHL, I wanted to keep our project simple and so I used my iPhone and a photo app called “Over” to edit the photos and add the dates each week.
There are several photo editing apps that you could choose from. I chose Over because they had a great variety of fonts and other doodles that you can use for photos and I think it’s very easy to use.
Here are my tips!
1. Make sure you have LOTS of natural light. When we first started, I tried to take pictures on our bed and it just didn’t work. I discovered that our living room had the most beautiful light first thing in the morning, so every week I laid Parker down in front of our full glass storm door around 7:45am. It was the prettiest light and really made our pictures look more professional. Play around with different areas in your house to get the best spot! Below is a perfect example that just because you have a cute baby, in a cute onesie, on a cute blanket it doesn’t mean you get a cute picture.
2. MIX IT UP! We used sentimental blankets and onesies that were gifts from special friends or family. Maybe in 20 years I won’t remember who they are from, but for now it’s special to see Parker in outfits that are from my best friends or my grandma. We used blankets that were made by family members (one my mom made when she was pregnant with me) and one that I made too!
3. Take LOTS of pictures. I know this might seem obvious, but babies move A LOT. As Parker got more and more mobile it became increasingly hard to get a still picture of her. Many were blurred or had her making a crazy face. The more pictures you take, the more you have to choose from. Besides – you can always delete the ones you don’t use…you know, if you’re capable of deleting pictures. Depending on Parker’s mood I’ll take between 2 and 25 pictures.
4. To add to #3, DON’T SWEAT IT! Have fun, enjoy your little and don’t stress. Some of my favorite shots of Parker actually captured a snippet of her personality in the moment. A little tongue sticking out, a blurred leg from happy kicks or waving hands. At first, I stressed about getting the perfect picture and it really zapped all the happiness from our little photo shoots. Once I relaxed – we both started enjoying our little photo adventure!
5. DISPLAY THEM. I’m so guilty of not printing out many pictures anymore. I think it’s because I constantly look at pictures on my computer, social media and my phone. For Parker’s first birthday party I printed out all 52 weeks of pictures and displayed them for all party goers to see. It was especially neat for our family who hadn’t met her yet…like a fast forward over the last few months.
What would I do differently?
I would add something for scale. A special toy or stuffed animal would help for actually showing how she’s grown.
I might also have her sit up or stand as she became able. People often ask “Oh, is she not walking?” “Does she not sit up on her own?” because I laid her down for each picture. It’s not that big of a deal – but something I might change for next time!