When I first started my photography journey many years ago, my whole reason for picking up my camera was to ensure that I could capture all the things that made my son special . It's amazing just how quickly it all changes, and before you know it they have moved onto the next "phase" of their own journey - and you blinked and missed it :)
When you are in the thick of the daily grind, it can sometimes be hard to stop and think about what's important to capture. So today, I'm giving you five different things you can capture so that you can document this current "stage" of your children.
Ready? Let's dive in....
I personally love lifestyle/documentary photography when it comes to capturing my own family (which probably has a lot to do with the fact that no-one EVER wants me to take their picture, so I have to sneak it in) but I also think that "pure" portrait photography has it's place when trying to capture the stages of your child.
There is nothing quite like seeing how their faces change, year on year, from being smooth skinned babies to chubby toddlers to the gap toothed smiles of school age children and beyond.
So, even if your over-riding goal is to capture your children "as is" I do also suggest that you whip out the camera for a plain old portrait session to capture their faces, on their own, at least once a year.
One of the things I love about seeing old photographs is seeing how rooms change over the years, and nothing seems to change quite as much as your kids bedroom!
The decor in our son's bedroom has changed around four times so far - from the soft pastel baby stage, to the more primary coloured backdrop of the preschooler to the more "grown up" vibes of his room kitted out in his favourite colours (and currently undergoing it's next transformation!) .
So make sure that when taking pictures of your child in their room, take one where you pull back so that you can capture the room (a wide angle is good for this, to fit more of the room into the frame) then taken one where you get in close and show the smaller details.
Their Favourite Things
A great way to capture the ages and stages of your kids is to photograph their favourite things, be it favourite clothes, shoes, toys, food, books - anything that they love to do or have.
You could capture them with the item in the frame, or just the item on it's own!
BTW, If you want some prompts to give you some more ideas of what to photograph, make sure you sign up to be a Live Snap Love subscriber! It's totally free, but that will mean you get access to our exclusive, members only resource library, which has loads of free downloads, including a ebook with 100 everyday life photography prompts!
At each stage of their lives, your child will interact with you, and others around them differently.
They will also have special relationships with other family members - for example, I'm definitely the one my son comes to for cuddles (and food), but Daddy is definitely the one that makes him laugh the most!
However, please don't limit yourself to just capturing them with other people - dig out the tripod once in a wall and capture your OWN interactions with your children. (Need some help? Read this post with a step by step guide to taking self portraits)
It's maybe just a boy thing, but my son has a different, but similarly all consuming, obsession at least once a year. It's all he wants to play, wear, write and read about. (That laser focus will come in handy one day I'm sure) We've had Angry Birds, Pokemon and Plants vs Zombies to name but a few, and each one of these obsessions have been documented.
What is your child current obsession? Find a way to document it! One thing I would have loved to do is do a whole themed shoot around it - it would be so much fun and a great way to get your child to enjoy getting their picture taken. Or how about just photographing all the ways he / she obsesses so you have a little photo series of all the ways he or she incorporates it into their lives?
I hope you enjoyed these five ideas for capturing the ages and stages of your kids!