How do you take good monthly pictures of a baby?

We have all seen those monthly baby photos online and they are such a cute way to measure your baby’s growth! As a lifestyle newborn photographer, lots of my clients take monthly photos in between our professional sessions. Personally, I LOVE it when my clients take and share these images with me! I love getting a peek into their lives and having close relationships with the wonderful families I get to photograph.

To help you successfully take monthly baby photos that you love, here are a few tips you can try out. These are a few easy things you can adjust in your monthly photos so that they look like you had them professionally done! Once you are comfortable with the monthly photos, I included a second style of photo that you can easily try out at home.


Before You Take Your Monthly Baby Photo:

  • Find a space near a window that will work for taking your monthly photos. Using the same spot each month will help create a consistent look throughout the year.
  • Look for a spot that has one or two windows, the bigger the better!
  • Try to avoid direct sunlight, which will create harsh shadows on your baby’s face. Pick a time of day where the light is more even and soft (ie: no sunbeams streaming directly through the window).
  • Lightly declutter and move things from your space so that you can move around easily.
  • Make sure your phone has enough storage space to take a few photos and videos.
  • Create an album on your phone so you don’t have to scroll back to find the monthly images every time.
  • Use a window cloth [or your sleeve] to clean off your phone camera lens!!
  • Plan to do your photo at a time of day when your baby is generally happy. If they are fed, dry, and have slept it will be easier on both of you.
  • Make sure to turn off any overhead or lamp lighting so that it doesn’t show a yellow colour cast on your baby.
  • Using only natural window light will give you the best results.
Small baby lays on a pink floral blanket smiling at the camera as Jena Lee Photographs demonstrates how to take good baby pictures at home

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • While you are taking these monthly baby photos, experiment with different angles and don’t be afraid to take multiple photos. Stop after a few and see what you like, then do more of that.
  • Position your baby so the window light comes from above or the side. For example, put their head toward the window and their feet away. We don’t want to light from below.
  • Try to hold your phone so that it’s not blocking your face! Your baby can’t see your eyes or facial expressions if your phone is in the way.
  • Consider asking somebody to help you. Sometimes it’s easier to manage your baby or make adjustments when you have an extra set of hands.
  • You can also take a video of your baby and then screenshot moments or expressions that you like.

How To Take Monthly Baby Photos, Step by Step:

  • Start by laying out a favourite blanket near a window. It is easier to work on a flat surface such as a bed or couch. You will use this same blanket for each monthly baby photo.
  • Then place your baby in the centre of the blanket and stand above them to take a photo with your camera or phone.
  • Sometimes I find that babies don’t like to be laid on the ground all alone. You can help keep them comfortable by dressing them warm, turning the heat up, or swaddling them. Try using some tips from my favourite swaddle technique video here.
  • You can also try putting a pillow under your baby to hold their head up more — nursing pillows work well for this.
  • If you own a heated blanket, bonus! You can put that under the decorative blanket you are using as a background for added heat and comfort.
  • Instead of photos, you can also try taking a video that you can pull still images from later.

BONUS — Try This Style Of Photo As Well

This requires a bit more preparation but is definitely worth it. These photos are heartfelt and you will treasure them forever.
  • For this style of baby photos, you can stand outside, or inside near a window. If you are outside, try to find a shady spot for nice light.
  • You can prop the phone up on a stool to the self-timer on your phone or get somebody to take the photos for you.
  • Hold your baby in a comfortable position, gently rock them back in forth (moving your hips) and take multiple photos. By doing some gentle movement, it gives you different angles and body position options to choose from.
  • Experiment with moving closer and farther away from the camera. Take one far away and also really close up, my clients always end up loving these portraits.
  • Try burst mode on your phone for lots of different options.
  • Try taking a video that you can pull still images from later

Hey, I’m Jena

LIFESTYLE FAMILY + WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN GOLDEN BC AND SERVING BANFF NATIONAL PARK, CALGARY AREAS + TRAVEL

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