How to Create the Perfect Milestone Photo + FREE Printables!
Milestone photos are so fun - you track your baby’s growth, create fun themed images, and much like an actual stone to the head, it hits you that your baby is growing up WAY too fast.
I get so nostalgic when I look back at old photos of Brody and Isla. We’ve created so many memories together and it’s crazy how I can track their physical and personality changes through their pictures. Y’all know I’m a sucker for a good theme and taking milestone photos is a fun and easy way to freeze your little ones in time.
A quick Pinterest search will give you hundreds of examples, but that can be a little overwhelming! I asked the momma’s in the Momma Society Facebook Group to share their milestone pics and there are some fantastic ideas! I’ve rounded up a few to inspire you, plus included some of my tips and tricks for capturing those magic moments.
Travel Themed | Michelle Newby | I am obsessed with Michelle’s idea of taking travel photos with baby! From left to right, these photos are in Vienna and Austria. See more of Michelle’s gorgeous pics on her blog.
Ornate Chalk Board | Cassandra Marshall | The chalkboard is a popular prop for milestone photos and it’s easy to see why! It’s simply, sweet, and makes a good growth tracker next to baby each month. And that little teethy smile? Priceless. Follow Cassandra on Instagram at @beetandbaguette.
Find a similar chalk board here.
Flowers and Numbers | Tianna Friend | Talk about strike a pose! I love Tianna’s use of the striped background with the bright flowers! She added a stem for each month. It’s bright yet simple and puts the focus on her sweet girl. You can see more of Tianna’s awesome milestone photos on her Instagram account, @tiannafriend.
Find similar number signs here.
Letter Board | Allyson Valentine | I love the simplicity of the letterboard + it can be used as decoration in they nursery when it’s not used for photos! The all white background that contrasts with the dark board and baby’s outfit makes a great photo - can we talk about those blue eyes?? See more of Allyson’s creative ideas on her Instagram, @valentineathome.
Milestones Blanket | Heidi Beltran | I’ve seen a few momma’s use these blankets and they’re so perfect for photos! The blanket provides the background and you can customize with toys, flowers, or decorations to go along with the seasons. You can also save them for your next baby or pass on as a sweet hand-me-down to a momma-to-be. To see more of Heidi’s precious photos, you can check out her Instagram, @mamatodarlingatlas.
Find a similar blanket here.
Illustrated Chalk Board | Rocio Beynon | I am so blown away by Rocio’s creativity! This is another take on the chalkboard method that puts baby on the board instead of next to it. If you want to accomplish something similar but don’t have a large chalk board, try using a black poster board and white paint pen instead! To see more of Rocio’s work, check out her Instagram, @zhioval.
How to Take a Milestone Photo
If you’ve seen my Insta stories lately, you know it can be nearly impossible to get your kids to hold still for a photo op. Motion maddness aside, I have a few tips for how to create the perfect shot:
Lighting is key | Overhead light can create shadows on your image, so use natural light whenever it’s available! If you’re in a darker space and taking the photo with your phone, tap the screen where you want the photo to brighten up, and it will adjust the exposure based on that. Flash is okay for a digital camera, but I generally stay away with a cell phone.
Timing is everything | Sure, time of day is important (especially for outdoor photos), but what I mean is that you should time your photos around your little one’s schedule! If they’re happiest after eating or a nap, take your photos then so you have the best chance of getting the results you want!
Don’t stress it | Remember, you’re just a momma capturing sweet moments with your baby, so don’t worry if the photo doesn’t come out like you want! I once spent an hour staging a photo of Brody and he cried in every single picture. Later that day, I took a few candid shots with zero set-up and they were some of his cutest pictures yet! Plus, the fail photos can be just as fun as the perfect shots.
When it comes to staging, keep it simple | Most of the mom’s tended to use one main prop for each photo and several used the same location as well. If there’s too much stuff in the photo, you lose focus on the real star, your precious babe! Limit yourself to one or two items for each picture.
Styling Your Milestone Photo
Is this a photoshoot? What do I need to style a photo for anyway? Styling and staging your photos can help bring in a little focus and help you achieve the results you want, all while showcasing your little star.
Pick a background that isn’t busy | When you set up your photo, try to pick a background or setting that isn’t overwhelming for the space. Don’t feel limited to a white background though! You can integrate patterns or even take the photos outside to achieve the look you want. However, a simple background is preferred to a busy one.
Use a prop | Letter boards, chalkboards, blocks, flowers, stuffed animals, blankets with months, clip on ties, stickers - the list is endless! You can also use an app to apply an age sticker for the photos in case you don’t have anything handy around the house!
Try the measurement approach | Several of the mom’s mentioned that they took the photo with the same items each time (in a chair, next to a stuffed animal, etc.) to show how their little one was growing over time. This is a great way to really capture those milestones on camera and keeping your staging simple.
In Case You Need a Little Inspiration - Download My FREE Milestone Printables!
Download the pink version here!
Download the green version here!
How are you capturing those milestone moments with your little one? Leave me a note in the comments or tag me on social media at @MommaSociety so I can see!
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