Time goes by too quickly, take monthly portraits of your babies

Travis4mo1  Kinsey10mo1
Travis; 4 months and Kinsey; 10 months

Aren’t my babies beautiful?

Travis; 9 years and Kinsey; 6 years, 2011

Travis is now 9 (and a half!) and Kinsey turns 7 on the 18th. How time flies!

Before I became a mother, the most received advice from seasoned mothers was to try to enjoy the moments because they pass by so quickly.


They do pass quickly. Even in those moments of solitude, sleep deprivation, crying and whining, and sheer frustration and depression, I knew I’d look back on these little babies and miss them so much!

Travis1mo1  Kinsey1mo1
1 month old

And I do miss them. What I’d give to hold my little babies in my arms again, just one more time.

Travis2mo1  Kinsey2mo1
2 months old

I wanted a way to remember them and celebrate their little lives, so I decided to have their portrait taken every month for the first year.

Travis3mo1  Kinsey3mo1
3 months old

Most people thought I was crazy. I wasn’t crazy, I had vision.

Travis4mo1  Kinsey4mo1
4 months old

I tried to explain my big plan to everyone, but most people thought my idea was dumb.

Travis5mo1  Kinsey5mo1

How can me wanting to take as many pictures of my children during the time they grow and change the most in their lives be dumb?

Travis6mo1  Kinsey6mo1
6 months

So I kept trudging over to JCPenney, month after month. Sometimes I questioned even myself. It was such a hassle to get the baby ready, go over there, have the pictures taken, go back two weeks later to pick up the prints, and then two weeks after that do it all over again.

Travis7mo1  Kinsey7mo1
7 months

But I forged on for a full 12 months. Twice. Good thing I only have two kids! 🙂

Travis8mo1  Kinsey8mo1
8 months

JCPenney, as well as many other discount photography places will offer coupons for a package of images for around $6-$7. This is the only way I could afford to do this at that time in our young lives.

Travis9mo1  Kinsey9mo1
9 months

I absolutely love seeing the transformation in my babies each month. They grow like little weeds the first year, and you can really see the changes after just a month.

10 months (I can’t find Travis’ 10 month digital image anywhere)

I am so glad I stuck it out and had these pictures taken month after month. Though it was a pain, the end results are so worth it.

Travis10mo1  Kinsey11mo1
11 months

Finally their first birthday!

One Year! (Can you believe I can’t find Travis’ one year picture either?! We’ve changed computers several times in 9 years and I suppose it just got lost in the shuffle.)

At the end of their first year, I took each of those monthly portraits and had them framed into a one year portrait collage.


I was fortunate to find these frames with the perfect amount of squares already cut from Costco several years ago.

After living in our new home almost a full year, I’ve finally found the perfect home for my childrens first year photos.


I don’t know why it took me so long to decide on this space. I wanted the pictures hung downstairs so I can make sure to see them as much as possible.


The spot between the bookshelves and the laundry room door (that leads to the garage where I go in and out every day) is the perfect spot. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the frames would fit perfectly in that narrow space.


Even though those baby days are long past and our house is now filled with soccer balls and ballet flats, it’s such a blessing to get to see my children as they once were. My children also love looking at themselves as babes and talk about how “cute” they were.

I know it’s a pain, but from personal experience, it was so worth it!

And all my friends who thought I was dumb for dragging myself to JCPenney each month? Now that I’m finally able to show them the finished product; my vision, they wish they had done monthly photos themselves.


And just for fun, here’s a few random cool facts about my first year with each of my babies:


After Travis’ 8 month pictures were taken, JCPenney loved this one pose so much that they asked us if they could print a large one to display in their studio! They had it up for *I think* about a year. Once they were finished with it they called me and gave me the picture for free! It now hangs in Travis’ room.


This picture of Travis and his daddy is just too sweet to not post for you guys to see. Travis still has this picture framed in his room as well.


And now, to answer the questions you are probably going to ask…

* What is that bump on Travis’ head?


Travis was born with what is called an atypical hemangioma. We did not know about it before he was born. It was about the size of a golf ball, but here in his one month photo it’s already smaller than at birth. It’s a very long story, which deserves it’s own post one day. Travis narrowly escaped surgery as a newborn, and today he is a healthy thriving child with almost no bump left on his head. He does have a bald patch though that will never grow hair.

* Tell me about the hair bow headbands Kinsey is wearing…

Kinsey3mo1  Kinsey6mo1

Kinsey10mo1  Kinsey11mo1

When Kinsey was born I wanted hair bows. Hair bows are expensive, especially adorable custom ones. So I taught myself how to make them. Everyone loved them so much that I started an online business selling children’s hair bows and accessories. It was very successful right off the bat, but because of Ben’s job we moved a lot so I shut down shop. Now I blog instead. 😉

* Um, your frames have 13 squares, not 12. And the first square is empty…


Ya, I kinda suck. Those first squares are for their birth picture, which I have yet to print and add to the frame. Hopefully I’ll have it done before they turn 18 and move out.

So, how do you make memories? Do you like lots of photos? Do you have any crazy photo stories?

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  1. I only have my one little guy so far, but I take pictures of him every month as well. I do them at home and take him to a studio every 3 months. I love looking back even in the short 10 months he’s been around and see how much he’s changed. I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I love the idea of taking each months photo and framing them like yours. I wonder if Costco still has frames like that. haha.

  2. If we are ever blessed with children it is my plan to take a photo of them every day for their entire lives <3 Just because we've waited so long for them, and I want a reminder of each day we get with them.

    I do not think your plan was stupid in the least, who has ever had too many pictures of their kids.

    Especially ones as cute as yours!

  3. lov’in the belt your son had on at his 5 months…very cute. I visited Sears every 3 months for my son’s first year. Ask me if they are framed..nope, to top it off he will be 3 next week.

  4. I do the exact same thing with my kids!!! Drag them to JC Penny once a month their first year. Cheapest way to get a ton of pictures. It’s amazaing how much they change month to month that first year. After that it’s usually about once a year they get their picture professionally taken. See you’re not the only loon. Great minds think alike. My boys love looking at their pictures to see how they’ve changed. So fun to see those chubby little checks – thanks for sharing.

  5. I love it! my sister did that with my neice but I just couldnt afford to do it with my son. I took tons and tons of pix and I made my own frame of pix from his first year in our hallway. I also bought my frame at costco but only problem is I bought only one! Now what happens if I have another child?!?!?!

  6. I did the exact same thing- BUT being a photographer I did the shots myself at home- almost always in the same chair. I put them all on display at his first birthday party for everyone to see the changes. We live away from family so it was nice to share the changes.

    I’d say even if you don’t go out to do the photos- do it at home ! Do it in the same chair, or with a teddy bear so you can see growth as well as changes !

    Thanks for sharing Allison… I feel the same way about wanting to hold my “baby” again… made me kinda sad reading your post and thinking i’ll never get to hold that “baby” again, and he’s my one and only so the mistakes and misses I made as a first time mother are gone- never to be changed or corrected.

  7. We did every three months with both of our children. My husband whined and complained about it, but I was determined. I do have most of their photos up in our living room, but am quickly running out of room. I love your frames! I also made a first year baby book with monthly pictures and anecdotes. I really want to have another child just to do some of the maternity pics and professional newborn portraits that are very popular right now.

  8. I did this for both my boys (now 3 yrs & 9 yrs) it was the best thing ever as they change so much that first year. I had 8 x 10 photos of each month going up my staircase. I have now switched to a picture room divider for each boy. But I love the smaller version in your frames (less used space) where did you find those?
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. We took monthly pictures of our son’s first year too (he is now 18 months old). We went to Publix every month and got a mini cake with a big number on it – however many months old he was that month. We took his picture in his crib every month on the 10th (birthday is the 10th) with the cake – and then we ate it. As Jaden got older he tried to dive into the cake which made for some super cute pictures. We are SO glad we did this and will definitely do it again with #2!

    We displayed the photos at Jaden’s first birthday party and they were a huge hit! Here’s a link in case you want to check our cutie pie out:


  10. Oh! We also did professional pictures every 3 months that I LOVE. They are priceless!

  11. You are totally *NOT* crazy! These pictures are fantastic and an awesome way to watch your babies grow! If I’m ever blessed with babies of my own, you’ll probably find me doing the exact same monthly trip to the photographer!

  12. What a great idea!!! I wish I had been faithful with my kids’ pictures. I can not believe that someone would think that it was “dumb”. I LOVE the frames- they look great in that space. My nephew was also born with a large hemangioma.

  13. I did this with mine too! I actually was given frames at my baby shower from Time-Frames and they are specifically for monthly pictures! I LOVE them!! Each one has one for their first year. Someone also gave my older daughter one that goes through 18 years…(Every 3 months for 2 years and then yearly pictures through 18) hopefully I can keep it up!

    Your kiddos are darling!


  14. Alison, you crazy trendsetter, you! That is sooo cool that you were doing the whole monthly-photo thing way back before it was as trendy or popular as it is now. You go, girl! And display those photos with pride! I’m hoping to do something similar once our little one arrives, but I’m honestly finding it difficult just to keep up with my weekly baby bump photos, haha!


  15. You aren’t crazy. I did the exact same thing with my first child and regretted not doing it with my second.

  16. There is NO way I could have afforded to get my daughter’s picture taken every month (we were making less than 1k a month when she was born!!)

    And now I’ve got three, and the idea of taking all THREE there makes me break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it!

    However, I take snapshots ALL THE TIME. And I’ve got shots I can choose from for each month of a year. Or 7 years now! They aren’t always cute and posed like you get from a pro, but I love them anyway!

  17. While I didn’t take monthly pictures of my babies – now 30 and 33 – I was careful to take pictures of them at the same ages. Then I framed them so the 6 month picture of daughter. (Does that make sense?) It was fun to compare them.

  18. when my husband and I have kids, I want to take a photo of our kids everyday for the first year. Then, on their first birthday, have a portrait done. Then, taken the 365 photos and make them small and possibly black and white (except for special days that have some special meaning) then, have it done poster size to hang in their bedroom…

    i can’t wait!

  19. I did the same thing and my babies are 24 and 26. One was married in January and the other is getting married in July. I recently went through the photos so that my son’s fiancee could do a slide show for their rehearsal dinner. It was bittersweet to see those pictures. I’m glad I have them.

  20. Merideth Calderwood says:

    I love it! If i ever get lucky enough to have a child, im going to take & keep all THIRTEEN crazy pictures for each child!

  21. CUTE! what a sweet idea

  22. Your kids are just precious! And I love the frames with their pictures, I need to find a frame like that!! I take pictures of my little guy every week, and my husband thinks I am bordering on insanity! I remember when I told him about my weekly picture plan he told me I would be so tired that the only thing I would want to take pictures of would be the back of my eyelids. HAHA! But I am proving him wrong!! I also have cute little onesie stickers that he wears for his monthly picture (http://mussetter.blogspot.com/2011/05/brayden-is-four-months-old.html). I love looking back at all of the pictures and seeing how much he has grown and changed so far.

  23. I love this post! A friend of mine has three small kiddos and she has been awesome about getting the kids to Penneys for their portraits. Another did this as well for her son and then made sure she had a photo taken on his birthdays. The framed photos line their stair well and looks great. I was only good with my first:( Now, I struggle trying to figure out how to get a 3 and 4 year old to smile together in the same photo!

  24. Adorable!! Beautiful children…then and now. Thanks for sharing.

  25. I did the same thing for both my kids too!!! My oldest is going to be 32 this year and my “baby” will be 21. Both have kids of their own. Very few of my prints are digital as I have to scan everything. I loved looking at your kids!! very cute!!!

  26. I *love* this! I did not do it for my children…my youngest (12 now) was 18mos old before he got professional pictures all by himself! I think that your pictures are priceless!

    I do love going through the older photos though…and just did a blog post combining some recent pics with some from 6 years ago…have a peek if you’d like to…


  27. Well, if people thought you were crazy then I must be completely insane. WIth my first daughter I took one picture EVERY DAY for the first year. Yes…EVERY DAY. And sometimes more. And that was before I had a digital camera so the film developing cost was enough to send my poor husband off the deep end.
    Sadly, I am a terrible procrastinator and they are all in a box, rubberbanded by month with her scrapbook that is only finished up until June of that year. (Did I mention she’ll be 10 in January?)
    Luckily I learned my lesson and got a digital camera by the time my second and third daughters were born and I’ve slowly but surely trained myself to file the thousands of pictures I take every year so that ONE DAY they’ll be available if I have time for picture projects.
    For now I just make sure I take a few really good ones and frame them every couple months.

  28. I couldn’t agree with you more! They grow up so fast— I did the same thing with my son and had the frame out on display at his 1st birthday party last month. It was a big hit and well worth all the work!

  29. This is so sweet!!! I’m almost in tears that I didn’t think to do this with Alie! BUT I do have a gazillion and one pics I took of her everyday from the past 3 years!!! I think this looks wonderful and I would LOVE to put something like this together for my sweets! 🙂

  30. I love looking at those photos as they aged. What a great idea for a post! I must say I loved seeing them start to smile around 3-4 months old and then it just seemed like their smiles got bigger and bigger each month! So fun!

  31. I am a freelance photographer and I also work part time at a hospital as a newborn photographer. I wish everyone knew the importance of photos. Especially newborn photos during that first 24hrs, they will never look the same again! I think everyone looks back and wishes they would have had photos done more often.

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