Why Baby’s First Year Portraits Are So Important

Like most new parents, I was a little naive. When I was expecting my first baby, people told me, “your life is about to change so much, it will never be the same after the baby arrives,” I thought that maybe they were exaggerating a bit. After all, my husband and I didn’t party, or travel, or really do much of anything. We were homebodies. We grabbed takeout and watched movies or read books together. So we very naively, thought, we would just have a sweet little one to join us quietly hanging out and watching movies.

Lifestyle Newborn in Crib by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

But, as some sort of cruel punishment, we got the complete opposite of that. We got a colicky little girl, who would cry and cry and then cry some more, for seemingly no reason and there was not much we could do about it. For the first six weeks of her life, any time you attempted to place her in her bassinet after she had fallen asleep, no matter how gently or carefully you did it, she would immediately wake up and start crying until you picked her up again. So, for those first six weeks, we took turns holding her while she slept throughout each night.

Lifestyle Newborn with Mom in Nursery by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

We were both miserable, and I felt like a failure. I had read every book on new babies and thought I was prepared. Instead, she arrived and I felt lost and helpless. It felt like we were messing up from the moment we arrived home with her. Eventually, things got better. We started feeling like we sorta knew what we were doing and that at least we knew our little girl. She got a little easier as she got older. (Well, maybe not easier, at 9 she is still difficult, I mean, “spirited.”) But her fussing, complaining, and crying got more predictable, and we knew what to do for her. As that first year rushed by, the days felt so long. I now knew exactly what people meant when they talked about “surviving” the first year of parenthood, because we just barely made it through.

Lifestyle 4 Month Baby with Mom Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

I learned how incredibly difficult, and sometimes completely miserable, the first year can be can be. Like when they decide they are done with their carrot puree so the dump the rest of the bowl onto their head. Or when they start screaming and crying in the middle of a trip to Target, and nothing you do calms them down, so you just have to just abandon your shopping cart to get them out of there. Sometimes you just feel a little bit like you’re drowning and there is no one to throw you a life preserver. But I also learned how truly magical that first year can be. Like when they smile at you for the first time, the way they are absolutely amazed by peek-a-boo, or when they start to crawl and you feel so proud.

Lifestyle One Year Old Session, First Steps by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

Sometimes the magical times can get a little lost in the difficult times. So when I realized that I could use photography to catch those magical times with my daughter and save them forever, I knew I wanted to do the same for other parents. There is nothing wrong with remembering the difficult times too, especially when they make you laugh in retrospect. But I hate the thought that the pure magic of that first year can be obscured by the sleeplessness, the fear, and the overwhelm. We are all better parents than we think, and I want every parent to remember how happy they made their little one, and how happy that little one made them.

Lifestyle 4 Month Baby with Mom Portraits by Just Maggie Photography - Los Angeles Newborn and Baby Photographer

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Charlotte’s One Year Old Portraits in the Garden – Baby’s First Year

I love this family and these little girls so much! I photographed Charlotte’s big sister Isabelle’s first year as well. It’s wonderful getting to watch this family grow. And these two girls are such a treat. Isabelle is funny, sassy, and so sweet. And Charlotte has her own sassy and sweet personality as well. I am filled with joy whenever I get to see them. I am so lucky to get to capture them as they grow, I hope to be their photographer for life.

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Declan’s One Year Old Portraits at LACMA – Baby’s First Year

This lovely family was getting the kids ready to meet me for little Declan’s one year old portraits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, meanwhile I was at home packing my gear. I heard a scream and then crying from my kitchen. My 8-year-old daughter had accidentally sliced a huge gash into her arm with a pair of kitchen shears while trying to cut the plastic off the top of an ice cream carton (without asking permission I should add). So I quickly called the family who were very kind and understanding and then rushed her to the hospital to get two little stitches. (She would want me to mention that she was very brave and didn’t cry or anything while she was getting her stitches.)

Luckily, both the family and I were available to reschedule for the following weekend. And it turned out to be an amazing session on a perfect sun-drenched Southern California day.

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–> Book Your Baby’s First Year Now! <–

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