Dear Diary,

Fortunately, you can’t damage a baby’s corneas with a camera’s flash. Or else, Child Protective Services officers would issue a warrant for my arrest! As soon as my daughter made her grand entrance into this world, I took her picture. Still in the hospital bed, I snapped shots of my little girl being weighed and measured. And I haven’t stopped ever since. I think the only thing mothers love almost as much as their children is their cameras.  And if you’re a first time mom like me, packing a camera is as essential as packing wipes in your diaper bag.  When my daughter was two weeks old, I had dozens of pictures stored on my memory card—enough to create photo albums, coffee mugs, water bottles and calendars for my loved ones.  One reason I started this blog is because my Facebook friends probably got tired of seeing my daughter photo shoots in my feeds!  Even if you aren’t addicted to photography, you should capture at least five photos the first five months of your little one’s life.


Snap a shot at your baby’s two-week checkup. It will be the last time you actually want to go to the doctor’s office, since the next few visits involve needles and tears.



Play dates are great photo opps, especially if the playmate is the opposite sex. When your child grows up, you can tease him/her about their first date. Mothers are known for matchmaking. Baby C already received a few proposals for arranged marriages.


Before Baby C was born, everyone told me not to buy a lot of newborn clothes, so I filled the closet with sizes 3 months and up. During my nesting period, I took off the tickets, did laundry and ironed dozens of itsy bitsy outfits.  Outfits she couldn’t wear, because my baby was a petite princess and indeed fit into a zero. So, I dressed her up and staged photo shoots in the living room.Get creative and place your baby in a toy chest, in a basket or beside other props in your home. I used a pumpkin at Halloween and a stocking at Christmas. It’s a lot cheaper than our first professional photo shoot, where I dropped $300!


My daughter was dedicated in an expensive white dress that she will never wear again. When I passed the baby to a minister, I pulled out my camera and snapped a shot. It was a bit blurry. A woman snapped at me and said photography was not allowed. At the end of the dedication, my pastor called me out and asked who was taking pictures. Note: I belong to a VERY large church. A mega church really.  He repeated the question and said to come and take a picture. I fixed my daughter’s bonnet and apparently took longer than I thought. I assumed someone would pass her back up to the pulpit, but my minister cleared his throat, teased me about taking my sweet time and told me to join him in the pulpit. I posed for the picture and thanked the crowd for their patience.


The other day, I talked to my friend Cori who just gave birth to her second child. She was driving in her car, and I was shocked that she was out and about so early. Although I wasn’t in much pain when I came home from the hospital, I was afraid of taking my daughter outside—into a world filled with germs, strangers and dangers. As time went on, I became more comfortable and finally went out to my favorite restaurant with a fellow stay-at-home mom and her 5-year-old daughter. I captured our outing on camera. Did you notice we’re wearing the same brand?

Hey DFTM Fam–What first photos did you capture of your little one?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

12 Responses

  1. Troy Spry

    I don’t have any kids yet, but I remember my mother was the queen of pictures and that was before digital cameras and iphones. I have so many albums and it’s nothing like going back and reminiscing. Good ideas!

  2. Krishann

    Very sweet photos. I know how wonderful it is to be able to revisit special moments simply by looking at a photograph.

  3. jbledsoejr

    Being a dad, living in Indianapolis, and being a BIG Colts fan…one of the first pics I took of our youngest is him in his Colts PJs, with me in a Colts shirt, watching the Colts on Sunday night football. 🙂

  4. Lamar @ BMWK

    Great tips! We take pics often but missed some of these especially with the later kids. We also need to make sure that we actually get them printed out at some point in this digital age.

    • Christine

      I agree Lamar! This year I made a promise to do at least a quarter of as much printing the photos as I do making sure we take photos. One thing for sure is that we have their childhood documented with pics galore! Great tips/post! 🙂

    • newmom0608

      Amen! I was a printing machine during the first year of motherhood. But now, my photos are like that commercial with the little boy stuck in the air jumping off the swimming pool diving board. I had to show someone a Facebook photo the other day when they asked to see my little girl!

  5. Janeane Davis

    This is a great list of some of the first pictures that must be taken! It is funny to see how many pictures we take as first time mothers and how that number dwindles as the number of kids increases.The first pictures I have of all my babies are the nursing photos.

    • newmom0608

      I know. I was a second born child…lol…My mom did pretty OK with the pics, but my baby book had a lot of empty pages. As a new mom, I now understand why!

  6. Tiya

    Yes, we took tons of pictures of our girls. My mother-in-law has a picture of each of her grands taking a bath in her sink. We laughed at her but truly appreciate that special baby moment. Your pics are adorable.

    • newmom0608

      Tiya, thank you for the compliment! I love when people take the same photo/pose with different children. My family has a picture of all the grandkids in a Santa cap and diaper cover.

  7. Kesha Brown

    I wish I had more pics of me from when I was a baby but we had a fire and lost a bunch of pics. So when my niece and nephew were born, we took oodles of pics (and it helped that we could store them digitally)!

    • newmom0608

      Sorry to hear! The fire may take the photos, but it can never take the memories fortunately. Glad you are making up for that loss by ensuring your family has an endless amount of pics to treasure!


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