If you’re expecting a child, or if you’re the parent of a newborn, you’ve likely been taking a lot of photos. Your camera roll is probably full of shots of your growing baby in utero, or photos of your beloved new infant at every hour, doing their latest, most adorable thing yet. As a photographer I‘ve had the great privilege of documenting many families’s over the years, beginning with the first pregnancy or the first child.
One of my favorite things to offer expecting parents, or those who have just delivered, is to provide a full year of photography services, from pregnancy or newborn, to the child’s first birthday. ‘Baby’s First Year’ as I call it, is a photographic diary that documents your child’s first year of life. From belly to birth, to your child’s first birthday, the changes during this first full year of life are both dramatic and fleeting. There are so many moments that come and go in a flash, and professional photographs are a great way to showcase your child’s milestones, not to mention they make fantastic gifts for family and friends.
My ‘Baby’s First Year’ package consists of up to six sessions which capture an infant’s progress throughout their first year, including maternity shoot taken at home or on location on Martha’s Vineyard; newborn at one to three weeks, taken at home, with a focus on the baby’s hands, feet, and face; three-month photos taken at home, capturing the baby’s first smile, or warm intimate moments including cuddling with mom or nursing; six-month photos taken at home or on location, with the babysitting up, showing off its first tooth or hanging out with dad; nine-month photos taken in and outside the home, in a stroller, crawling, grabbing and rolling around; the first birthday taken at home with mom, dad, and siblings, with cake and a candle.
I recently completed a ‘Baby’s First Year’ shoot with Hazel Lyla, an adorable young girl who lives on Martha’s Vineyard and is beloved by her parents Tara and Domingo. I was first introduced to the family through Hazel’s grandparents Carrie and Eric, who wanted to gift newborn photos to Hazel’s overjoyed parents. When I suggested the option of ‘Baby’s First Year’ they jumped at the opportunity, deciding to opt for a five-session package that would showcase the first year of Hazel’s many early achievements.
I began by capturing Hazel at two weeks old in her home. Tara proved to be a creative and diligent assistant, providing some amazing textures, outfits, and props for each of Hazel’s shoots. During the first shoot, Hazel’s grandparents were on location as well as her uncle, which allowed me to capture both solo shots of Hazel as well as some gorgeous family photos.
For Hazel’s three-month session we selected Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury, which offered an idyllic summer setting to capture Hazel and Tara interacting amidst the natural colors and textures.
Her six-month session took place at Morning Glory Farm during the fall, which provided many seasonal, harvest-inspired props including a plethora of pumpkins and gourds that Hazel could grab and interact with.
For her nine-month session, we selected Donaroma’s nursery, a winter wonderland that made for captivating photos of Hazel playing in the snow and enjoying their decorative displays of plants, ornaments, and lights.
Finally, Hazel’s one-year shoot took place in my photography studio, playing with her parents and grandparents. Grinning from cheek to cheek, I was able to capture Hazel in her most comfortable environment, among her closest family, surrounded by generations of love and adoration.
As I look back on the photographs of Hazel’s first year I am in awe of the young girl she is becoming and the many milestones she’s already surpassed. I am grateful to her parents and grandparents for allowing me into their lives and giving me the chance to get up close and comfortable with Hazel. An album is in the works and I’m thrilled that her family will have Hazel’s first-year collection to look back on, to bring years of joy and happiness and a reminder of the incredible journey from her earliest days.
Get in touch if you’re having a baby or interested in gifting a ‘Baby’s First Year’ package to a friend or family member. Three, four, five and six-session packages are available as well as a la carte sessions.