Snapping photos, making memories

By Published On: February 29th, 2016

We spent a full year trying to get pregnant, and […]

maxWe spent a full year trying to get pregnant, and it finally happened (!) on July 16, 2014. We were the happiest. And you know what we decided to do? Record the pregnancy and the new baby with a 365-photo project. Taking daily pictures as we welcomed Max into our family—his tiny new shoes in the closet, our dog cuddling him as he slept, and family members holding him for the first time—allowed us to creatively capture the little details we never wanted to forget. An added bonus? We became certified masters of aperture, shutter-speed, and ISO.
Are you considering a photo project to document a pregnancy or a new baby?  If so, here are five suggestions to make the most of your pictures:
1)  Capturing tender and inspiring moments requires easy access to a camera. Max might see his first snow on a quick trip to Target or—even better—discover that riding in the shopping cart is his all-time favorite activity ever. Target actually is a fun factory for a little babe: Max loves riding in the cart, scoping out all the colorful products and, perhaps the best bit, playing with the dressing room mirror. So anyway, I always bring the camera, and I’m ready to snap-click when an inspired moment strikes.
2)  Teach multiple family members to use the camera. Teaching your husband about focus, for example, will ensure that everyone gets captured in the pictures and recorded in the family album. I might spend the day exploring with Max, and then Jon comes home to find us laughing on the couch. What’s happening? Max is trying to give me his pacifier—and OK, OK gross factor—I take it and pretend I need a nook just like he does. Max starts laughing as I suck away, and then Jon coyly captures the perfect (albeit germy) photo.
3)  Candid photos offer an opportunity to learn about your little babe’s personality. Slow way down, and spend a bit of time observing how your little one interacts with the world.  What makes them laugh? Capture that photo. Do they love playing in the fridge or hiding behind the curtains? That’s your shot. Staged photos have merit (sometimes you just wanna document month 1-12, for example), but I love images that record unique personalities.
4)  Capture the details. Group pictures of the family picnicking or vacationing are great, but you know what I love just as much? Images intended to record the first sprig of hair or the first hint of a tooth. I took photos of Max clenching his fist to document his fierce determination, and I snapped pictures of his wide-eyes to record his intense curiosity. You’ve heard it a hundred times, but, in life and in photography, it’s important to focus on the little things.
crawl5)  The really deep down good stuff rarely makes it onto camera, and that’s 100 percent OK. The best moments occur when the whole family is locked in a moment together, and everyone is too busy laughing and enjoying one another to remember the 365-project.
Every day I’m snappin’ pictures, printing them out and adding them to our family album.  Can you guess how many photos I have? Hundreds upon hundreds of heart-happy pics. I love the images for how they create a visual history of our family, and I hope the album helps Max feel confident about his place in this big spinning world.