Natural Light, No One Likes To Be Flashed
Open the windows in your house and let the light filter in. Everyone looks better in soft, even, natural light. It's flattering. You can do this outside too at sunset for a golden glow or in the shade during the middle of the day to keep the light from being too harsh. Play with the light. Let the uneven lines from your window blinds casts interesting shadows across your baby. Put your baby sideways to the light and use it to dramatically light just one side of his face. Or turn your baby's back to the light and get a bit of backlit flare. Have fun with it.
Beautifully posed portraits are nice but babies sitting in wicker baskets on plush animal skin blankets with balloons all around aren't real life. Your baby with drool stains down their onesie, crying because they have been grouchy all afternoon, gnawing on a chew toy, giggling at your funny faces... all those things are real and they deserve to be documented just as much as the pretty posed and perfect moments. You will love to look back on these moments just as much, if not more, than the perfectly posed ones. Don't forget that reality is beautiful too. Plus, you need to build up your folder of blackmail images for when your kid is a teenager and starts dating. ;)
Keep Your Camera Handy
The number one reason I miss out on taking photos of our son is because my camera is too far away or is packed up. If I keep it out in the living room or on the coffee table, I'm much more prone to grab it on a whim for an impromptu sofa photo shoot or to catch something that is happening on a split second notice. Even if your camera is your iPhone, keep it out and nearby. You're much more likely to capture those in between and awesome daily moments if you don't have to run to the back of your house for your camera.
What Do You Want To Remember?
What do you love about this moment in time? What is hard? What are you proud of? What is your favorite outfit? What tricks does your baby do that are new this week? These are the fleeting things that you will love now but might be lost to the black hole of time if you don't freeze them in a photo. I love to take pictures of our son in the outfits that I love the most, because he's only going to fit into them for a short period of time. I also like to catch his new tricks- grabbing the bottle with both hands, almost sitting up, stuffing both fists into his mouth... those things will be gone as soon as he learns his next new skill and I want to remember them later on. So I catch them in photos.
Commit to a Project
Mine is my When We Were Young project and my monthly photos. I've committed to them and that keeps me from slacking off. I have a goal of creating albums for each so that we can look back and remember all these wonderful little in-between moments and see how much Cadence has grown and changed. There are so many projects you can pick from, or make one up that fits your life. A photo a day, or week, or month is an easy one to start with. A photo on every holiday themed for the day would be funny. Photos with the same toy or in the same chair over time show how much your baby grows. You'll be glad you stuck with it later on. I am already so happy that I've been doing my projects and I'm only about halfway through.
So grab your camera (or your camera phone) and start documenting! You'll be so happy you did. xo.