I think she was about 4 days old when I decided I wanted to take a photo of her every day for at least her first year.
At the time I thought no biggie, being a blogger I take quite a few photos almost on a daily basis anyway so this should be easy. Well, it certainly was easier said than done.
What I didn't consider was..
- lighting conditions
- baby mood
- baby movements
It seriously wasnt as easy as I thought it was going to be, especially not if I wanted to maintain some sort of standard, which I had to knowing these photos will be passed around to relos in Europe.
Month one, November, was a bit of a haze for me. Fresh from labour with a newborn and settling in to my new life, the early photos were haphazardly taken, almost like an after thought.
Month two, December, was much better. I've settled in to our new routine and I had been attempting "photo shoot" shots towards the end of November and felt I kinda knew what I was doing.
Month three, January.... Well... I like to think I finally have a system that makes the daily photos, and the subsequent monthly video recaps easier and seamless.
For those who may want to follow suit or maybe looking for a different way to capture moments. Here are my top tip/tricks.
Btw all photos and videos are taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Tip #1 ~ Find a regular spot.
All photos taken while she's on the change mat.
This is pretty important. My number 1 spot is the change table. Why? Well...
The lighting in the room is quite reliable and if I need more light I can turn the light or lamp on or direct the blinds.
She seems to be the happiest first thing in the morning and we usually change her nappy first thing in the morning so might as well take advantage of that.
Plus it's so easy to change the background of the photo simply by putting a different blanket over the change mat.
Most of all having a regular spot will help with your photo orientation which will make the video part easy.
My 2nd fave spot is her playmat.
Tip #2 ~ Take a video
Screen captures from day 78's video.
Listen.. I have tried to make her smile and then quickly take a photo. Hell I even started using the burst shot function but still I'd miss some great moments and I would spend hours trying to get a shot I was happy with. This can and has taken considerable time, time I don't really have.
When you take a video you don't miss as many moments and it's simply a matter of playing the clip, pausing it, scrolling through the clip and taking a screenshot of the shot you like best.
Besides, photos are great and all but videos are better.
Bonus: You can turn your fave vid bits into a gif.
Tip #3 ~ Edit, edit, edit!
Top left is the original image. Top right is the image after editing with Spark. Bottom left us the image after editing with Snapseed. Bottom right is the final image with text.
Unless you're in a studio with the fancy light system and an SLR it's gonna be hard to get great quality photos every single time. And even though I get great lighting most of the time there are still cloudy days or early morning shots that simply doesnt cut it.
What I use..
Images on the right are from Spark. Bottom right image is from Snapseed.
Has been my go to app for a while now. It's what I use to make my cover photos or any photos I want to add text to. It's also the best at editing contrast, saturation and brightness. I've tried heaps of apps to do that and none can beat the quality and simplicity of Adobe Spark. The downside with Spark is the huge image size you end up with.
Is a great little app with heaps of handy presets. Another that's easy and simply to use for those who want decent quality but dont want to spend a lot of time editing. Another great thing about Snapseed, or finishing up with Snapseed is it compresses the Spark image size.
Taking a photo a day and going through the effort of editing, although laborious some days has been worth it.
I can honestly say it's been great documenting Bella's growth like this. Even though she's only 80 days old already I can see how much she's grown.
The edited photos, especially the good ones, we print out. We actually gave the grans and my father in law a huge frame filled with her photos from her first month and they thought we had it made professionally. It really went down a treat, we loved it so much we're getting two more frames for us and my parents.
My last and most important tip is to BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS!
This is one of the reasons we send copies of the photos to our families and I share them on Facey and I post them on the blockchain.
I've been down this road before and had loads of photos of my first daughter when she was a baby then my computer crashed and I lost everything. That's not happening again.
I hope that helps!
Do you have any go to photo tips or a photo editing app you depend on? Please share in the comments!