I love taking pictures. That much can probably be gathered from my posts on this blog, which tend to be packed with images, or from my Flickr account, which has amassed literally thousands of photos over the past few years.
So it’s probably no surprise that Baby Hart hasn’t even been born yet, and I’m already thinking about baby pictures. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about baby photography projects — creative ways to document baby’s growth over the first year or so. There are some pretty neat examples out there, so I thought I’d look at a few today just to give an idea what I’m talking about.
The first such photo project I came across was baby Clara’s weekly photos from the home improvement blog Young House Love. Every week for the first year, they would take a picture of her on a colorful fabric backdrop, and then photoshop her age (in weeks) on the front of her plain white onesie. Below is the end result, with all 52 photos laid out in a grid:
Since the thumbnails above are probably too small to see in any detail, here’s a closer view of one random photo from the series that shows how they incorporated her age into each of the photographs:
While I really love how bright and colorful this series is, I think its one big shortcoming is that there’s no sense of scale — the fabric backgrounds just don’t provide any point of reference to help gauge how much she’s grown from the first image to the last, and that seems like half the fun of doing a baby photo project in the first place.
The next such photo project I came across was baby Eleanor’s monthly photo series from the decorating blog Making It Lovely. Every month, she got her picture taken in the same white chair in the same light-filled room:
Using the same chair definitely solves the scale problem — and I think it’s really neat to be able contrast the tiny newborn lying in image one to the grinning one-year-old sitting in image twelve. Oh, and this project also incorporates the baby’s age into the photos by including it on the badge she’s wearing each month — since it probably isn’t visible above, here’s a larger version of one of the photos showing the badge in more detail:
So at this point, I became curious about what kinds of other projects like this people had done, and started searching around for more examples. At first I thought it would be easy to find loads of them — it seemed like everyone on the internet with a baby and a camera would probably be doing something along these lines — but it actually turned out to be surprisingly tricky. I did eventually manage to uncover a few more, though.
For instance, here’s a fun example I found on a site entitled Erica’s Bloggity Blog, where the project involved dressing baby Jonas in the exact same pajamas for each picture:
I think it’s adorable how the outfit progresses from super baggy to super snug to literally splitting open as he grows. And shooting the photo just once every four months (instead of every month or every week) makes the changes from one photo to the next seem all the more dramatic.
This next example comes from a blog entitled Sprik Space, where they took a picture of baby Connor with the same stuffed monkey every month for his first year:
What makes this series particularly interesting is that Connor was a micro-preemie born at just 26 weeks gestation, weighing two pounds six ounces, and he spent the first 120 days of his life in the NICU. In the first monkey picture (second frame in the top row), the stuffed animal is almost as large as he is — which makes for a really striking difference compared to the plump, healthy one-year-old that dwarfs it in the last photo.
This last example comes straight from Pinterest, and involved photographing the baby in the same laundry basket throughout the first year:
The laundry basket really makes it clear how much he’s grown from one picture to the next, and once again I think it’s really neat seeing the progression from tiny newborn to one-year-old spilling over the sides of the basket.
Anyway, even though I could only track down five different baby photography projects for this post, I think they cover a pretty wide range of ideas. From bright and colorful patterns, to thinking about the lighting in the room, to using furniture, clothing, stuffed animals, or other household objects to establish a sense of scale — there’s a lot to think about and be inspired by.
What do you think? Do you have any favorites from the photo projects above? Have you seen any other particularly well-done baby photography projects that deserve a mention? Feel free to share any links or ideas in the comments!
Update: Our daughter has arrived, and I’ve taken a stab at starting a baby photo project of my own! Check it out here.