Oh three months, where have you gone?!
What seems like over-night, my tiny nugget has doubled his weight and somehow it happened right in front of my eyes! Perhaps a little sad to say goodbye to any resemblance of a newborn, this is a stage that in fact I have been looking forward to after having enjoyed watching our older sons grow. By three months, so much of their personality shines through. Quirky smiles, gurgles and hands-in-mouth mark this milestone!
Yet, it is no secret that it can be an awkward stage to photograph! I speak purely for my own three boys at this stage: immobile and balding and as we can agree; they are big roly poly blobs :-) Oh but how I love this three month old; my own roly poly blob!
Capturing the first year is simply about learning to appreciate the small things (that always turn out to be not so small!) Though I was able to fully enjoy my older sons as infants, I’m not sure that I payed as much attention to these ever changing details and now with this project, I find myself more and more aware of the gradual changes. It is no longer about photographing the mile marks but being able to fully appreciate what I see everyday and savor the small things.
Years back in preparation for a studio session, I remember frantically searching online for ‘how to photograph 3-month-olds.’ An article by Christina McGuire was a great help back then and it quite literally saved my session! Like her, I am not a big prop junkie and though some props and a trendy location could be great, I want to stick to a less is more approach.
The question is how can you make the less-is-more approach look beautiful and unique at three months yet still retain some consistency over the year?
1) NEUTRAL OUTFIT OR NAKED BABY
At this stage I often opt for either a very neutral white/beige onesie or just plain naked! At this stage I do keep the diaper on, not just for the oopsies, but also for coverage as your 3-month-old most likely won’t stay still!
2) USE A BLANKET
I cannot help but swoon over big, thick chunky knits! Blankets can be a simple and budget friendly way to offer a pop of color as well as the contrast against the creamy, smooth baby skin looks yummy in black and white! Actually, the aqua blanket I used is not even a blanket but a scarf I picked up in the $5 section from Targé , that’s Target for the common folk ;-)
3) KNOW YOUR COLOR PALETTE
Speaking of a color pop; naturally you will find you are drawn toward a certain color palette. I tend to gravitate towards grays, aquas, pale yellow and taupe – they are my happy colors and are reflected in our home decor as well as my blog! Being intentional with a color palette over a photo project will bring everything together over the year without everything being too similar. If you’re unsure of which colors and tones you gravitate towards, try doing a little search for color boards or head to the local paint store! I love the blue tones in this blanket which bring out the blue in Mattheus’ eyes.
4)TAKE CLOSE-UPS OF HANDS, FEET AND EYES
By taking pictures of your baby’s hands and feet, not only will you see how much they have grown, but it’s fun to look back and see how they use them. Their fine motor skills change from month to month and the movements become more purposeful and defined. As for the eyes, you will never regret a close-up! Add the professional touch by getting that light dancing in the eyes.
5) DON’T FORGET THE HAIR!
Cute curls or kinks in your baby’s hair is a must! Get artsy and get really close up!
6) GET THOSE QUIRKY SMILES AND CUTE EXPRESSIONS!
Capture as many of the cute quirky expressions as you can for face shots! These are the moments that will always make you laugh and your heart smile!
7) CAPTURE A DOE-EYED SHOT
Trying to get a shot of a 3-month old without a grimace or full on grin is hard to come by! Try to also capture an aww-so-cute moment with a softer smile and big doe eyes. You will find it helpful if you shoot from slightly above your baby, forcing them to look up. Make sure to get some nice light reflecting in their eyes from a window. With a bit of luck, you may also get them criss-crossing their arms :-) And if the money is on a shot, this may be the winner!
8) KEEP A BLOOPER OR TWO!
Accidental moments are perfect for keepsakes! Looking back over the pictures, you will find yourself saying ‘oh, remember the time when…’