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It’s official…our Simply Real Baby is now 1!

When I was still pregnant with him, my mother made him a gorgeous blanket that I knew needed to be a part of a photoshoot…or TWELVE! And so began the process of creating a collage of photos from each month of his first year of life, and I just LOVE the way it turned out!!

Baby's First Year Photos

With my first son, I took pictures each month, but some were on my phone, some on my camera, they were last minute shots when I would think about it and while cute I wanted something more this time around. I couldn’t afford a profesh to come out and photograph him every month, but I could stage a fun photoshoot myself! I also loved the idea of including his age in each photo, but those darn onesie stickers just don’t look as cute in pictures as they should, and the pre-printed onesies aren’t guaranteed to fit every baby. So I “made” my own!

Here is how you can create this fun memory of your little one’s first year:

Choose a blanket.

Make it something special, something that matches their nursery, or even just plain white. My mom made the grey and white chevron blanket for baby Theo before he was born, and I knew it would make the perfect backdrop for this photo series! Choose something big enough for a one year old to fit onto for a photo…they aren’t teeny tiny for very long, remember! You will use this in each of your shots.

Buy plain white onesies in sizes from nb to 12 months.

Just plain ole white onesies. You should have these anyway because they’re pretty much the best thing ever when kiddos are small and making ungodly messes every hour.

Plain White Onesie Shot

Use the same camera. Every Time. 

It can TOTALLY be a cell phone camera if that’s what you’ve got, but be consistent! If the pictures are all shot on the same camera, you will end up with a much better end result. I highly recommend using a digital camera (or even DSLR if possible!) for the best results, but use what you’ve got!

Choose your time wisely.

Try to shoot your photos around the same time of day, and in a VERY (naturally) well lit room or outdoors. Don’t take the pictures with any indoor lights on…use that gorgeous sun to get the absolute best lighting. I would usually set up our shoot on the floor in front of our sliding glass doors during late morning. That way, there was great light coming in but not bright all over his face. I get that this can be harder on weekdays for the working mamas out there, but find a time before or after work that the sun is still shining to take the picture.

Baby needs to lie flat.

This onesie effect is just that-it’s not really a onesie with words on it. They’re added after the fact (WHAT?! TOTAL CHEAT!). So a baby with hands on the tummy or legs up will make it hard to do that unless you’re super amazing at photoshop, in which case you do NOT need this tutorial at all.

Edit that gorgeous babe!

Upload your picture to an editing software or website (We LOVE PicMonkey around here. It’s so user friendly and free!) and have some fun! I usually play with the exposure to lighten the picture up just a smidge, I’ll crop to make sure baby is centered and then add the text to the onesie. Make sure you remember the font you used, as well as the color information. That’s key to making it work. Unless you do a different color each month…that would be less work! Oh, a cute rainbow effect or maybe even OMBRE?! The possibilities are endless! Once your font and color are finished, “fade” the color of your font a little so that any creases in the onesie show through a little, making it look like it’s actually on the onesie. Save the picture to a folder on your computer and save them up until month 12…

Collage that babe!

Now it’s time to make a collage of your beautiful baby’s monthly shots. Again, PicMonkey is the way to go! Easy. Upload all 12 pictures to their “Collage” feature and put them in order. Or don’t. You do you, honey. Once the pictures are all in place, you can save it or even “Edit” it with some of their fun photo effects to make it a little fun!


Here’s the progression of one of the pictures to give you a more detailed idea of what to do:

Editing on PicMonkey Editing with PicMonkey2 Editing with PicMonkey3Editing with PicMonkey6 Editing with PicMonkey4 Editing with PicMonkey5

I hope this helps you to create an adorable serios of shots of your little one, or even to edit your everyday pictures! This process is helpful for any picture you have and want to make just a little better without any professional software!

Have you created an adorable series of shots of your baby, or are you using this tutorial to make a similar picture?? Make sure to tag us when you post the picture on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter so we can see your adorable baby!

Instagram: @SimplyRealMoms
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*I was absolutely not compensated to mention or endorse PicMonkey. We LOVE their site and use it on a regular basis!