A Photo A Day - Tips

8:21 AM Mallory Nicole 0 Comments

Let me start this off by saying I am not a professional photographer. I use a Canon Digital REbel XTi and a speedlite external flash. I do love photography, so I have taught myself this and that about it, and have taken some photos for people, but I don't consider myself professional by any means.

On December 31, I decided I would take a photo of Soren everyday for 1 year. I missed the first two days by accident, but have managed to do it everyday since. It's a big undertaking, but now it's part of our daily routine. It has been so fun, and Daniel and I already love going through the photos from January and seeing how different Soren looks.

Usually I post only photos that look good, but I want you to see that I take a lot of photos each day and different things can go wrong. Above are photos of Samson walking through the frame. Some days he just stands in front of the camera to by annoyance. If Samson isn't walking into the frame, then he is causing distraction. Soren LOVES watching Samson, so I have hundreds of profile photos of Soren.
 Some days Soren cries and we have to go through multiple attempts to photograph him. Other times he just seems to have lost his ability to sit up, or he blinks during photos and ends up looking drunk. There has been spit up and drool, and the biggest pimple ever (big for an adult, humongous for a baby). There has been bad lighting, and blurry photos.

After time you get your stride, you learn to laugh at the drunken looking faces and may even include them in your final album. It is rewarding and I know it will be worth it at the end of the year when I have a documentation of the year Soren changes the most.

Here are some thoughts on doing your own album:

1. Have a plan.
December 31 I decided that I would get him at his different stages. While he couldn't sit, I would lay him down for a photo. Now that he sits, I take photos of him that way. When he's crawling, I'll include some photos of him crawling by.
I also wanted to keep the background consistent as long as photos were from home. This way background doesn't distract from the face.

2. Don't worry about sticking to the plan.
I know. What's the point in having a plan? It's like having a baby. Before they are here there are things you want to do, but then you meet your baby and they don't want to do those things. You may get into the photo a day and find what's not working. It's alright to change.

3. Don't over do it.
I thought it would be cool to have special things to signify holidays, when he's hit a new month and document each milestone (those that can't be photographed). I knew this would be too much for me, and I wouldn't succeed. Since I am a designer, I plan on going through the album and writing on different photos to signify a new month of life, a birthday and major holidays.

4. Have a fun song to sing or a toy to distract.
When Soren was a couple of months old Taylor Swift's song "I Knew You Were Trouble" was on ALL OF THE TIME. It was stuck in my head. I'd sing it to him while changing diapers, and he started smiling at it. He recognizes the song and smiles at it every time, so I sing it to him everytime we're taking photos. Keep your distraction consistent, the familiarity helps them know what is going on.

5. Don't worry about having a smile in every photo.
When I am choosing the photo for each day, I try to get a variety of facial expressions. I want to remember all of it!

6. Keep up with your photos.
Every two weeks or so I upload photos onto my computer. I choose a photo that I like from each day and edit it. It is then saved with the date as the file name. You don't want to be overwhelmed with hundreds of photos at the end of the year; it's likely you would never get your album finished if you had a flood of photos to go through.

7. Decide how you are going to display the photos before you start.
This may determine how you handle your photography. You can buy an album and slide photos in there. You can go to a somewhere such a Blurb to print a book (they provide templates so you don't have to worry about the design).

And some days you get such sweet photos that you might want to print in a large size.

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