Preserve those beautiful moments in your baby’s life
Before your baby is born, you can picture quiet evenings while your baby plays at your feet and and your are creating that perfect baby book filled with beautiful pictures and memorabilia with color coordinated pages. But then reality hits home and you are too tired to even snap those pictures, the baby book vision may go the way of poopy diapers and laundry piling up.
Once baby arrives and takes over, we need simple strategies to ensure that those precious moments make it into our albums and baby books without taxing our minds or time too much because, let’s face it, parents have no time.
Step one - Collect and/or Record
The first step is to make sure you collect or record all the memories you want to preserve. Save that the arm band from the hospital, save that first clip of hair from babies first hair cut and snap pictures of those wonderful firsts. A plastic box or canvas bin is perfect to keep all your baby book ‘bits’ in one place until you’re ready to work on it. Planning what to keep and having it all at hand where you know where it is makes the impossible possible. If writing in a baby journal just doesn't seem to happen, use a calendar and jot down notes about any exciting events or milestones each day – or if you are like me use your IPhone or droid to make quick electronic notes. With my friend Siri on my IPhone I can just say "Take a note. Joey rolled over today for the first time" It automatically puts a note and logs it by date. You’ll be grateful for the dated reminders later.
Step Two - Have a Plan
The main barrier to actually producing a gorgeous baby book is planning the format. Will it be a simple photo album, an entire scrapbook with a theme, or just a collection of memorabilia, pictures and some journal entries?
Remember the saying KISS (Keep It Simple Silly). Whatever format is most suited to your needs, deciding in advance and having a basic blueprint in mind will make it easier to actually start and maintain this project. A binder with blank pages or a photo album that allows for various sized pictures will work great. Put a title for every new subject or event, insert memorabilia, pictures, awards and achievements (no matter how small) and some notes on the topic. You can insert pages that have a background or decorate each page as you go along. The important thing to remember is that this is your collection of memories of your child so regardless of how the page looks, it is having those moments captured and organized that really counts. You want a book that somewhat retells the story of their childhood for them to enjoy, and maybe even share with their kids when they get older. Having a simple flexible format also allows you to keep adding pages as your child gets older.
Step Three - Finding time
This is the key obstacle to creating a baby book – there is never enough time! Once you have a basic idea or format for your baby book and all the materials in one box, you need only set aside five minutes a day or about fifteen minutes a week to add the pieces to your book. The hardest part is actually getting started because it seems like such an enormous project. Plan on five to ten minutes to decide on a format and just start – even if that only means one page done. This will make it easier to schedule 5 to 10 minutes a day or week to make a page or two. It’s a good idea to have a small box or bin of supplies you need such as pens, glue, envelopes and any decorative pieces you might like to use.
Step Four - Display
A baby book is not the only display option, there are many different ways to exhibit your precious moments. Besides the store bought baby book, you can make your own customized one, an elaborate scrapbook, a photo book that is mailed to your home (various sites such as shutterfly.com, snapfish.com and mypublisher.com offer this service), an online album, a series of emails to family and friends, and good old fashioned pictures in frames exhibited around the house. Box frames where you can pin in certain memorabilia are especially nice for displaying newborn ‘bits’ and pictures, and once you decide on what to include, they only take about five minutes to create and hang. Another option for the more tech savvy parents is creating picture and video slideshows on the computer. Software such as Apple’s iMovies or Microsoft’s Windows MovieMaker are user friendly ways to get this done, but the whole process is time consuming, even more so if you’re new to the software. The outcome is an entertaining video clip capturing special moments. Choose one or more of these display methods depending on your preference and time.
Step Five - Equipment
For time starved parents, a good digital camera that also shoots video is a wonderful option. It means you carry around one piece of equipment and it will take all the pictures and video snippets you need. Sometimes, your pictures stay in the camera or on the phone until it dies or gets lost. Don't let that happen to you. If you go digital though, make sure you back up your picture files on CD or an external hard disk, especially if you don’t print and preserve right away. You may want to buy some frames as you snap pictures and decide on where they should be hung.
Step Six - Taking great pictures
Babies seems to draw camera attention wherever they go so snapping great photos is not very hard. Outdoor photos work best because natural lighting means you don’t have to fiddle with lighting yourself and usually gives crisp colors and a fresh look to pictures. Zoom in and get close to your baby. Pictures with a lot of background and a small stroller with a tiny little lump sitting inside it do not show very much; really close in on your baby’s face, expressions, or even just on his fingers and toes. And get down to your baby’s level, too, so you’re not always snapping pictures from a bird’s eye view.
Step Seven - Get creative
When you are taking your pictures, get creative and use props and ‘costumes.’ Never underestimate how cute baby looks naked or half naked. Baby in a basket with bunny ears, a diaper and a few plastic eggs is a great Easter shot. Baby in a field or flowers is priceless. You don’t need major equipment, just a few good ideas and well-chosen photo locations. If you zoom in enough, the background can be as little as a vase of flowers strategically positioned or a small patch of grass.
Step Eight - Sometimes the smallest things...
…take up the most room in your heart. Those first few weeks of your baby’s life pass by in a blur, and you will never have those precious moments again. Schedule a newborn portrait session it is the perfect way to capture the sweet innocence, delicate features, and angelic expressions that fill your heart with joy. A newborn marks a fresh chapter in the life of a family. Preserving this special time with artistic newborn photography is truly an act of love.
Our custom portrait sessions are a unique and personalized experience. As parents ourselves, we know the importance of preserving your family’s most precious moments. We strive to create a relaxed and memorable newborn photography session, while capturing a variety of posed and lifestyle family portraits to truly capture the emotions of this special time.while has the expertise in artful lighting and retouching to bring out the best in your portraits. We create one-of-a-kind art that you will treasure forever.
Take the time to enjoy your children and really listen, watch, and play with them because the most beautiful, portable and easily accessible way to capture memories is to carry them in your heart and mind.