10 Essential Photos to Take of Your Children

Published in Prince William Living 
PWLiving April 2016 Beau _ Norman
As a photographer, you’d think that my house displays tons of amazing photographs of my children. Wrong! Everyone is guilty of being “too busy,” myself included. Take the time to capture these memories as they do pass by so quickly. Once you have them captured, be sure that you are downloading them and actually doing something with them other than posting on social media or emailing to grandma and grandpa. Here are 10 essential photos to take of your children each month. I am also sharing some of my favorite apps and websites that will help you organize, edit and display your masterpieces around your home:
  1. A Portrait: A monthly portrait is a great way to track time. What expression do you get when you tell your child to smile? Find out by capturing his reaction each month in the same location. This is a great way to gauge the changes in your little one’s face over time.
  2. New Mannerisms: Especially in the early stages, little ones gain new expressions and new mannerisms almost daily. They learn new mannerisms by watching us. These little bursts of imitation seem to come and go, so make sure to grab the camera while they’re fresh and cute.
  3. Siblings, Family and Friends: As difficult as it may be to gather little (or big) ones together for a photo, give it a try. It’s nice to have monthly photos recording their growth and play together. You might even get more than you bargained for when you put them together. Who cares if they are being mischievous? That will only show off their personalities.
  4. Playtime: There are serious moments, and then there are the fun ones! Whatever they do to learn, interact and develop, get the shot.
  5. Bath Time: Bath time is a nightly ritual full of photo opportunities, so be sure to grab the camera at least one night out of the month. Fill the tub with bubbles and let the fun begin!
  6. Squeaky-Clean: After the bath is a great time to let your little one play, free on the bed. Snap away while she crawls and jumps before bedtime. You are sure to fill your camera with smiles and giggles when she crashes into pillows and blankets.
  7. Favorite Toy: What toy can’t your child live without this month? If it changes from month to month, this will be a great photo op, one that he will love to look back at years from now. Photograph him while he’s playing and let him stand proud for a perfect little pose.
  8. A New Trick: It’s amazing what children learn over the course of a month. What is she mastering this month? Is she taking lessons or teaching herself a new trick? Whatever the craft, be sure to capture the moments as she learns what it means to practice and discipline herself.
  9. A Picture with Mom: Put down the camera and join the fun! Chances are good that mom is taking most of the family photos, so relinquish control of the camera from time to time and make sure you’re being photographed with those sweeties. Hug and kiss and let dad shoot away.
  10. And a Picture with Dad: Don’t forget dad! Equally important are the photos with dad. Parents age at the same rate as kids, so document dad as he ages gracefully with baby by his side. Think about capturing dad doing a routine task with the kids like story time or bike riding. Whatever role he plays in your family with your kids is one that’s photoworthy.
PWLiving April 2016 IMG_9932 Once you have captured your photos, it is time to organize and print them. There are several great apps that you can download for help. Do some research and check to see which app works best on your platform. I use several different apps that download and backup the photos I take on my cell phone. This ensures that I always have my memories just in case my phone is lost or damaged. There are lots of great scrapbooking apps that allow you to print up to 12” x 12” pages when you make your memory books. You can also use apps to create printed photo books that are bound to highlight special occasions and seasons or compile a family yearbook every year. A tradition we have is to give these photo books as gifts to our family for holiday gifts each year. Hopefully, this will encourage you to take the photos that are crucial to memory making. Amanda Causey Baity (acausey@ princewilliamliving.com), Prince William Living’s marketing director and photo editor, lives on a farm in Manassas with her family. You can follow her blog to see more crafts, recipes and farm life at vandorenfarm.com.
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