The moment that you first laid eyes on your sweet little newborn, you were so in love. Everyone told you "Don't blink. They grow so fast!" or "Enjoy every moment! They will only be little once". You might have even felt a little overwhelmed at all of the advice coming your way. But whether you have been on this parenting journey for just a few days, months, or even years, we can all agree that the above is true. These tiny little humans grow before our very eyes. Sometimes, we are so caught up in the new life of midnight feedings, dirty diapers, and sleep deprivation, that we look around and wonder....where did it all go? When did they get so big? Or maybe you scroll through your cell phone at old photos (maybe just from a month ago) and realize your baby has changed so much, and all you have left of that very moment is a single photograph. If you're like me, you love to take photographs of your children, and it's even more fun when you can capture their true personalities in the most beautiful way.
Newborn Photography Jacksonville | Florida Photographer | Photography Tips
Photographs are vitally important for us to look back on, and relish those moments in life. At the time, the moment have seemed insignificant, but it is actually apuzzle pieces to the story of life! I have been wanting to put together a blog post like this for quite some time, and am so excited to finally share with you. Let me begin by saying that I truly believe that any (non professional/paid) photograph of a child is "perfect." Especially when it's your own child! Even if the lighting is off, focus isn't quite right, it's still a moment in time that will be cherished and is priceless. Of course, when you hire a professional, those technical aspects are considerably more important! But for the purpose of everyday memories, don't sweat the small stuff. However, if I can get a magically lit photograph of my child and his/her REAL expression, that's even better! I have compiled a few tips that I hope will help you along the way to documenting everyday moments with your children.
1.) Look For The Light. Lighting is a key component to photographs. The good news is, you don't have to get fancy! My biggest tip? Find a window. Yup, that's it. Just a window is all you need. The more the merrier, but even a small one will work. In this image below, my son was sitting next to our sliding glass doors, with his right side near the light, and his left side near the darker part of the room. This gave some nice shadows! (Shadows are good, they show depth!)
In this next photograph, you can see that the light is behind the subject. This is probably my most favorite form of lighting! As long as you have enough light coming in to illuminate the face, you're good! Even if it is just a bathroom floor, like you see here, the light makes this little moment beautiful! And do you notice the little blankie next to her? That's one of those sweet details you will see in tip #3!
2. Embrace the Mess. I know, I know. Those messes. They are everywhere. And often times we find ourselves running around like a crazy person trying to clean up after our kids. I get it. I really do. However, sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to make some memories from the mess. The image below was not planned at all. In fact, I remember having a particularly stressful day already, and my 5 year old wanted to "help" wash the dishes. In my exhaustion, I reluctantly said "sure go ahead" and she went to town. Minutes later, (and many more suds), my little guy pulled up a stool to join in. As I sat across from them, I realized I needed to grab my camera. They were playing so well together, just laughing and chatting, I had to capture it. Of course I wasn't too happy about my daughter spraying the faucet in her hair...but it's a memory. A sweet memory I can now laugh about. And do you notice the light? The only light coming in was from the tiny window above the sink. Another perfect example of "finding the light."
3. Find the Details. When our babies grow before our very eyes, there are so many little things that may eventually fade from memory. The little toys they played with, a little boo boo on the knee, or maybe even quick little moments in the day to day activities. If you can, try to find moments like these to capture. At the time, they may seem insignificant, but years from now, you'll be glad you did!
Check out this next image. Why is this photo important? I'll tell you why. Because I want to remember the way he lined up his cars when he played, and the way he always steps back in admiration and his accomplishment.
And the way his tiny little fingers look when he was plays with those cars, and how he curls his toes for concentration.
And I want to remember how much she loves that reptile. (Even though I don't always share the same sentiment!)
4. Just Play! If you want to capture the true spirit and smiles of your kids, just play! There will be moments when you want that adorably and perfectly posed portrait, but sometimes forcing them to sit and pose will only give you that fake "cheese" smile and nothing more but a headache. But when you get in on the action, you get real!
5. Catch Them Making Their Own Memories. Sometimes, when it's quiet, we wonder what they are up to. More often that not, it could be trouble! But sometimes, we find them doing something absolutely precious and unexpected. These are the moments where they are in their element, not being posed, and just letting their imagination run wild. Keep your camera handy for these!
This first photograph is one that I took over five years ago, when I first started my photography journey. It's not technically perfect, but it's still one of my favorites! I just love the way she is adoring her baby doll.
THAT'S IT! I really hope some of these tips give you a little inspiration to capturing the day to day memories with your babies. I encourage to not only document them, but print them. It seems so old fashioned these days, but you will be amazed at how much your kids will love sitting down and looking at their memories that you have helped preserve!
Feel free to leave comments below, and even some of your own photographed memories! I would love it if you shared your own inspiration!
Diana is a newborn photographer serving Jacksonville, St Augustine, and surrounding areas of Northeast Florida. If you are interested in booking a portrait session, contact me today!