Capturing baby’s first year and beyond – a photo project



I discovered Pinterest just over two years ago whilst I was pregnant with my daughter. I couldn’t believe how many different types of coloured chevron were perceivable for decorating a nursery and how many different household items you could up-cycle into objet d’art, however I digress…

Amongst the many, many posts on how to be the world’s best parents, were those capturing the changes over time of a growing baby.

I think what I’m trying to say in a very garbled manner is this is not my idea originally, there are lots of similar things out there, but I like to think I have put my own stamp on it and I hope this inspires you to have a go yourself.

I wanted to photograph Etta on the 9th of each month (because she was born on the 9th October) to see how she would change and grow over the course of the year. I had seen examples using baby grows with numbers on or the months photoshopped on afterwards and decided although I liked those ideas, they weren’t quite right for me.

Then I found Barry.

Barry19580 is a seller on eBay. He lives in Yorkshire and makes things out of wood with a laser. Amongst a plethora of different animals and shapes are numbers. I bought a set of 8inch high mdf numerals: 0-9 inclusive plus an extra number 1.

When they arrived they looked like this:


So I painted them with emulsion in the colours I had painted the nursery (you could buy tester pots from any DIY store or use up what’s in the garage / shed). Two coats of paint and a coat of clear spray varnish to finish. Paint the backs and the fronts as babies do not know which way round they go!


Then position baby and appropriate number on a surface and take photos with a lot of cajoling and cooing and smiling.

I wanted my pictures to be comparable so Etta always had a white baby grow on and lay on the same white cellular blanket.
I put the blanket on my bed, right next to a window with lots of natural light. I opened all curtains and blinds and put all the lights on.

Now here is the shocker: I took these photos with my phone, an iPhone 4s to be precise. So you don’t need any fancy kit and the outlay is less than £20 for numbers and paint etc.



As each month passed, Etta’s expressions and motor skills grew and am so pleased with the pictures I took. Here is the full set of the first 12 months.


At 12 months I thought I would stop. However we are now at nearly 22 months and I have ordered more numbers from my pal Barry as I need two number 2s for the 9th of August!!

For Etta’s second year I decided to change the ‘pose’ and do something with her little chair as she was walking and far more mobile. The results are different again, she is certainly more spirited than ever and I love that the pictures feel spontaneous.



I think it’s never too late to do something like this so whether you’re reading this and are pregnant or have a toddler or a child, or have no children but know someone who does, have a go or show them how to!

Say ‘Hi’ to Barry for me 🙂























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