This is one of my favorite tips for parents, like myself, who are obsessed with preserving memories…
A week or two before your child turns another year older, have a professional photoshoot at your HOME documenting your child and their room — to include their favorite toys and books and anything else to note — at that time. Why? Because every little detail that you are certain you will remember will blur as time passes, and this way, just before your little one (or big one) turns another year older, you’ll get photos of your kid that are focused on THEM (and your family of course depending on who you decide to include), a family pet they get to grow up with, and the space they grew up in. If you cannot budget a professional photographer, just ask a friend or family member to come snap pictures — include a list of shots you want to make sure to get — and give yourself plenty of time to edit.
Pro tip: when scheduling the photographer, make sure to find out their return time on photos because it is SO special to get the edited pictures a day or two before your baby’s birthday… especially for the perfect social media post!
Listen, we’ve moved many times… Baby E has lived in a house in California, a house in Arizona, an apartment in Washington, and a house in Washington… and he only just recently turned two! That being said, we have pictures of every room he’s had, the books he was into at that time, the toys he loved, and just the spaces we created memories in as a family. I can only imagine how special those photos will be to look over when he’s an adult! In fact, I would rather pay for a professional photographer for the annual photoshoot in Baby E’s own space over a photographer at a birthday party as the home shots are much more personal. And if your child doesn’t spend a ton of time in their own room but does in a play room or the family room or even on a swing set in the backyard, any of those places that your little one LOVES at that age is the perfect spot for photos!
In my humble opinion, parents and siblings should be involved in the photos because even though you want it centered on whichever child’s birthday is right around the corner, if you find a photographer who can capture the way in which you interact with your child — which will undoubtedly and bittersweetly change over the years — you will be SO grateful to remember when they’re older how they used to love to hold your hand, drape their bodies over yours, hold your face in their hands, hug you with their whole bodies, nurse, etc. So, parents, get in front of the camera this time because you are very much your kid’s world just as they are yours!
I mentioned it briefly above, but if you have pets and your child is bonded with them, make sure to let your photographer know you want your animals included in at least a few shots. Unfortunately, most pets have a much shorter life than we would like so years down the road, I can’t imagine ever regretting having those connections documented too!
Lastly, finding a good photographer who’s style you love can be hard to find. I highly highly suggest scouring social media, Google reviews, and even Yelp to make sure you’re going to get shots you want (edited in the ways you love… believe me, this matters.) For Enzo’s latest photos in our little apartment on the water (these were taken in September 2022, we’ve since moved to a new city in a house we bought), I actually saw my friend’s newborn photoshoot and looked for a tag because I loved the angles she got, the more muted tones, and the positive feedback from my friend about working with the photographer. I slid into her — @estherrmckenziee on Instagram — DMs and got the awesome shots on this post (plus many more of course!) Not to mention, she was super easy to work with and didn’t mind that I had to change the photoshoot time more than once 🙂 So, check out Esther if you’re in Tacoma, WA.