I like making special things for my kids, but I’ll be honest, it’s not always for them. Sometimes I do beautiful creative things for them because I really like doing that stuff. Because in the busy-ness of motherhood this is a creative expression I can easily justify.Creating this birth announcement for Eli is one of those things – partly a beautiful photo to celebrate his life, partly a great way to share his “stats” with family and friends, but also partly to show off and get creative. Finding time to do something like this when your baby is just days old might seem like a daunting task, but below are my tips for getting it to happen.
1. Be Prepared
It’s kinda of the over-arching theme of ALL these tips, but it deserves a point on its own as well. Be prepared. While you’re still pregnant get yourself organised so that when your head is in that newborn fog you don’t need to wonder how on earth you’ll put this all together. Even thinking about what you want your baby to be wearing in the photo is an important consideration. Should they be naked with a wrap? Or is there a special outfit you’d like them to wear?
I didn’t do this, and I regret it. Do you know why? Because that birth announcement above is missing one detail everyone wants to know. Can you work out what it is?!
Here’s a simple checklist of the details you’ll want to include in the announcment photo:
Date of birth
Time of birth
You might also want to include on the checklist any other details that will be important to you – perhaps where your baby was born, or something like that.
Start collecting all the objects while you’re pregnant so that you have them all ready. Put them in a basket and put it somewhere safe so that you can easily take the photo. If you want ironed fabric on or behind your baby, iron it now. If there is anything you can’t collect prior (like the flowers in Eli’s photo) write a little note in the basket to remind yourself to go get it.
Also think about what items you’ll want. Each item in Eli’s photo is significant – the wrap he is wearing is one I dyed for him while I was pregnant. The pocket watch was SUPPOSED to be one that belonged to his Eli’s Bis-Nonno which Luke’s Nonna gave to him the day we got married. This particular pocket watch belongs to my brother because the pocket watch we meant to use was in storage and we couldn’t find it in time. The clay star is from the mobile everyone contributed to for my Birth Blessing when I was 37 weeks pregnant, the flowers are from the pot on our deck where I spent the majority of time labouring with Eli. And the cardboard bird is an ornament that sits in the room he now shares with his big brother!
Of course you don’t have to choose significant things – just anything that looks beautiful to you is perfect for this. If there is anything sentimental that you might like to include (I wish I had printed out and included the bible verse Luke read over and over to me whilst I laboured), collect it up and put it in the basket.
4. An item for each detail
I didn’t do this super well either, and I regret it a little now, so learn from my mistake! It is nice to have an item for each detail. Here are some suggestions:
A clock set to the time of birth
A calendar of the birth month, with the date circled
A tape measure with the length circled (probably want to do this on the computer afterwards)
A scale, or decoration for the weight (again, you’ll probably want to just photohop this on afterwards)
Blocks or letters of some sort for the name
5. Good lighting
Like with any photo, you want to make sure you have good light. This will often be the difference between having a poor looking birth announcement, an intermediate birth announcement, or a professional looking one. It’s worth thinking about where you will set this up, and in the weeks before baby is born, you might like to set it up with a doll to check how it will look.
So those are my tips for creating a successful birth announcement photo! Include a bit of space around the edge so that you an crop it on the computer if need be. Remember if you want to print the photos to send out to people, some cameras take photos at a slightly different size to the size they print, so a bit of free space around the edge could save you trouble later!