I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of documenting your life whether via your iPhone or a professional photography session. In this ever-changing world of Snapchat filters and Instagram stories, we’re losing touch with the tangible memories we create every day. And sometimes we’re so busy doing other things, watching other people’s lives, that we forget to document our own.
Now I’m the first to admit that I’m not always great about remembering to document my own life. You probably know I didn’t take as many photos in the hospital when Logan was born as I would’ve liked and I totally regret it now. But having that experience has made me realize that it’s better to ask for a photo (and maybe feel a bit silly in the moment) than to not ask at all.
Looking back, there are other photos I’m glad I took while I was pregnant and I know there are ones he will love someday (like the photos of Travis assembling his crib and stroller with our dog lying patiently by his side). So while it can be easy to go overboard with all the documentation we are wont to do, here are a few categories I recommend checking off.
Preparation for baby
Some of my favorite photos from my first pregnancy were of Travis and I putting together and testing driving all the new baby gear. I know Logan will find the photo of Travis wearing a Baby Bjorn with a stuffed animal in it hilarious some day.
Here are some thoughts to get you going:
Out & about
I love seeing photos of pregnancy progression (more on that in a minute) in a casual setting. For instance, how about that trip you took when you were only six weeks along and no one knew you were pregnant? Or maybe you went out to dinner for your birthday at 20 weeks or went to a wedding at 30 weeks. It’s fun to look back on the progression of what you were doing at specific points in your pregnancy.
And it doesn’t have to be big milestones, either. Maybe you took your dog to the park on a beautiful day when you were just starting to show — snap a photo!
OK, here’s where we get a little formulaic. And again, I was much better about this the first time around but one of the things I’m so glad I did was a series of bump progression photos. I wore the same shirt in each photo and stood in front of a clean, white wall (or just a clean undecorated wall) in our home every few weeks. I tried to keep it consistent (i.e., every two to four weeks) but it doesn’t always work out that way so my advice is to set a reminder on your phone and do it when you can. And you don’t have to wear the same thing every time (honestly, it’s a bit of a pain to be changing just for a quick photo) but I liked the consistency of it to see how much bigger I was getting with each shot.
You knew I wasn’t going to write a whole blog post about documenting your pregnancy without bringing up a maternity session with a pro, right?
I know you may not love how your body looks right now. Especially with your first baby, it can feel so uncomfortable and out of control to have your body changing and expanding so rapidly. But here me out here.
It might surprise you to know that as much as I love and value a photography session with a professional photographer, I was on the fence about doing my own maternity session the first time around. I didn’t love how I looked pregnant (I mean, who does?) and it felt gratuitous — what on earth was I going to do with all those photos of me and my bump?!
It wasn’t until a fellow photographer friend put it into perspective for me. She said to do the maternity session and while I might not like the photos when I get them back from the photographer (or for the duration of my pregnancy), I would be so glad I did the session once my baby was born.
And she was so right.
Even if my son doesn’t really care about the photos someday, they’re meaningful to me. They’re just me and him during a time when I was the only one who knew him. It was about celebrating the life growing inside me and at the risk of sounding cheesy, the older he gets, the more these photos mean to me.