After three kids I have hundreds of snapshots of their major milestones – sitting, smiling, rolling over. When Matthew needed his first haircut (He looked a lot like Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”), I wanted to truly document it, to create a story in pictures that would have meaning to us. When I look at this documentary, I feel like I’m there again, and I can only imagine how it will pull on my heartstrings when he’s a grown man.
We all have things that we’d like to document in your own children’s life. So I came up with some tips to help everyone better record all those special moments. And as I was writing these tips, I had a bunch of ideas of special moments and unique milestones that would be fun to photograph. So, I compiled a list of 30 ideas to spark your imagination and creativity.
And Here are the 8 Tips to Document Your Child’s Milestones…
1: Enlist Help
There is no way I could’ve documented this milestone, if Daddy wasn’t there. Someone had to hold Matthew and try to keep him calm. So first line up another adult or older sibling as a helping hand.
2: Set the Scene:
You’ll want to grab a few images that show us the big picture. Where are you? Who is there? What time of day is it? Something that explains what’s happening if I’m a complete stranger to you and your family.
3: Capture the Essence of Your Child
You’ll want to get images of their true personality and expressions and how they reacted to this new experience.
You’re stories will be way more interesting if you have different view points. Get low, get high, get close, move away. And here’s another tip if you’re new to photography – do not center all of your images. Try putting your subject closer to the edge of the frame to create a different feeling in the photo.
5: Expect the Unexpected…
I’m sure there will be something that pops up that you weren’t expecting. Go with the flow. You’ll probably get an image that’s a keeper through it. We weren’t planning to bribe our not-quite-one-year-old with a lollipop, but you know, third child. So he also got his first (and unexpected) lollipop this day.
6: Keep Shooting
You may think nothing is happening, so you set the camera down. And then, boom, a special moment. Keep the camera ready. You may overshoot and take way more photos than you really need to, but you’ll probably get a better story. Which brings me to my next point…
You must edit, because you do not need 100 photos of this one event. CULL and DELETE! Go through all those and pick out only the images that really speak to you. Pick the ones that help tell the story. If you have 3 or 4 of one particular scene, pick your favorite and then delete the rest. You and your hard drive will thank me. Depending on the milestone, I would guess you should have about 5-10 images.
8: Share and PRINT!!!
So you have this awesome story. Now share it. I love Instagram for this. There are a ton of great hashtags you could use. Some favorites are #documentyourdays, #candidchildhood, & #childhoodunplugged.
AND FINALLY, take those photos and print them NOW. If you don’t, you’ll forget about them. Keep it simple – whatever that means to you. I’d probably print my 3 favorites and put them in a frame together. You might want to make a small book. But whatever you do, don’t skip this step.