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There is a certain quote by Gretchen Rubin that I feel sums up motherhood quite well. It states, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I am both a mother and a professional photographer and that phrase rings true in both professions. In a blink of an eye these little babies are going to be off to college and the photographs that you capture today will be your most treasured possessions tomorrow.
I have put together 7 simple steps to help you capture more meaningful images of you children as they grow, and not one of them has anything to do with getting a fancy camera or learning about aperture.
Take a minute and think about what you love about each stage your child is in? Is it how your baby sucks his two fingers? Do you love those little feet walking in their first pair of shoes? Is there a 2-foot tall stuffed penguin that your child can’t get enough of? All of these things are fleeting, and make for incredible photographs documenting this stage in their life.
The best camera is the one in your hand. I actually use my iPhone camera much more then my professional camera when documenting my family because it’s with me. Check out some of the fun photography related apps, such as Instagram, which adds vintage filters to your images. Don’t let a moment pass simply because your regular camera is at home.
The fastest way to drastically improve the wow factor in your baby photography is to change your perspective. We are used to seeing the world from an adult’s vantage point, but maybe not from the level of your toddler. Lay your baby on the bed on her side and place the camera on the bed to take a picture of her at her level. Lay on the floor to take pictures of your preschooler playing.
Simply getting a little bit closer and having your child fill the frame is another simple way to improve the composition of your image. It eliminates distraction and there is no question as to who the subject of the photograph is.
When at all possible try to avoid using your camera’s on camera flash. This is harsh direct light that often results in crazy red monster eyes. Instead, open the blinds of your home and place your child near the window. When they are facing towards the window it will light their face beautifully and light up their eyes.
Capturing true expressions takes work, but it pays off with images that showcase your child’s personality. Laugh, joke, and play peek-a-boo. Don’t forget to capture different expressions. Even though you think that pout is forever seared into your memory, there may come a day that it becomes one of your favorite images.
Don’t forgot to take the time to periodically print your images! It’s so easy to capture digital images, download them to the computer and then forget about them. Print photos for scrapbooks or create yearly family photo albums at any of the consumer photo sites.
Above all, just make it a priority to capture your everyday in images. When you look at your photos in 25 years, they will transport you back to this moment in time so you can fondly remember the messy house, sticky fingers, and a 24-inch stuffed penguin.
Editorial provided by Nicole Begley, owner of Nicole Begley Photography, a professional on-location children’s and pet lifestyle photography business based in Wexford, Pennsylvania. (PD512)