Documenting Baby's First Year

Of course every parent is going to snap a mountain of photographs of their new arrival. But how do you get great pictures without having to sift through hundreds of shots, all of which look awfully similar? Think of your child’s first year as a timeline to illustrate for the future. Start by making a list of the key moments you really want to chronicle. You could include hundreds of items, of course, but here’s a manageable list to get you started:

  • Coming home from the hospital
  • Meeting the rest of the family (sibling and pet reactions to the new baby)
  • First night’s sleep at home
  • First bath
  • First time rolling over
  • First time sitting up
  • First steps
  • First words
  • First "real" meal
  • First haircut
  • First birthday party

You’ll undoubtedly experience many more such moments as your child grows up (be sure to take your camera any time baby leaves the house), but having a written checklist of some of the biggest moments to come doesn’t hurt and keeps photo-taking at top of mind. And remember: You can capture these moments with both still photos and video.

Think Like a Baby

Many baby photos have one thing in common: They are shot from high above the child, looking down. There’s a reason for this: Adults are used to photographing other adults, and they stand up when doing so. But these shots don’t really capture the experience of infancy and childhood. Some high-angle shots are great, but mix them in with low-angle shots by shooting from ground level—both directed at the baby and shot from the baby’s point of view. For example, try to capture the baby’s hands and feet as if he or she is looking at them. You’ll be amazed how this perspective shift can make an ordinary photo really special.

Getting the Best Pictures

You’ll want to set your camera to use a fast shutter speed: Kids don’t keep still, and the fast shutter helps to minimize blur. This also rules out using a tripod since you’ll have to go where the baby goes, so make sure your camera includes an image stabilization feature to help capture clean pictures even when you’re on the move.

Photo Credits: Samsung

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