I gave birth to our first child, our daughter Natalie
Something I knew I wanted to do with her was to take her to get her portraits done monthly (just like my sister had done with my niece). It was great to have these photos to see how much she changed each month. Even now, they are still up in one of those frames with 12 openings (like for school photos). This is Natalie’s first year birthday photo (taken at Picture People)
By her second year, we were having a lot more fun with her portraits. She loved playing dress up, so we brought along her fancy shoes and some accessories for her 2 year old portraits:
Her third birthday was the same year that her younger sister was born (and the last year we went and had birthday portraits done at a studio). We kept it simple and she just held some flowers, but it suited her at that age. She was at an age where she wanted to be outside all the time.
By her fourth year I had decided to start doing yearly portraits myself. Bare in mind, this was a film camera and I had no editing programs or anything like that. She was a flower girl in my brother-in-law’s wedding a few months prior, so we used her dress/flower basket for one photo:
When she turned 5 I wanted to take advantage of the fact it would be her last year at home, so the last year it would be easy for me to take her “on location” during a weekday to get good photos. A friend went with me and we took both girls to a local botanical garden. At such a young age (2 and 5) they have short attention spans, so we walked around and then stopped every now and then to shoot photos, then continued on our walk or playing. It worked out well:
For her 6th birthday, she really wanted to dress up and do special pictures. It’s funny to look back now because then she loved dresses and now, she refuses to wear them to school unless it’s a special reason (like the spelling bee)
For her 7th birthday I was a horrible mom and forgot to schedule a photo shoot time – we had so much going on. Even her birthday party was a joint party with another friend who’d had her birthday the month before but was out of town. To avoid having to schedule 2 party weekends, my friend and I just planned a joint party for our girls (who are good friends anyway). I shot this out in our front yard while we waited for guests to arrive:
Last year she turned eight. This shot was actually taken about 2 months before her birthday when we did her sister’s birthday shoot, but she liked it so much she wanted to use this one:
This year I promised her that we’d do a real photo shoot again. Since her birthday is during the school year, it’s gotten harder to do a full shoot like we used to (her sister’s birthday is in July, so we have the time then). I can’t believe she is nine now. I know that sounds cheesy to say, but it is so true. I love watching how she is growing each year. She seems to have inherited by need to please people and follow rules and do things the right way (okay, as a kid I was that way 🙂 ). She has such a big heart. Happy birthday, Natalie!