Many parents seek out a photographer or photography as a hobby to help them document the little things that make their child who they are.
For many it starts with babies and the desire to capture the fleeting phase of infancy. The tiny fists that stay curled up for a few months before beginning to explore the world around them, the wrinkly feet that have yet to take a step, and the chunky baby thighs and cheeks that everyone wants to pinch. To help capture your baby be sure not to overlook the details of what you love about your baby when photographing them. Before you know it that gummy smile will be sporting some teeth and the dusting of hair will grow and require daily combing. Be sure to focus on these details while you can!
Before your eyes you will see your tiny baby grow into little people with their own interests, likes and dislikes.
It’s true that children everywhere love many of the same things: the playground, toys, and laughing with friends and siblings.
But, the details of what they love vary greatly from child to child and it is these details that make each child uniquely them. One child loves the slide another always goes for the swings. One child loves ballet another loves playing Minecraft. One child is an artist and another is a soccer player. One has a pout you can spot from a mile away when she gets tired while another has an infectious smile. It is these differences that make children who they are. These details of childhood are the ones parents are likely to look back upon fondly when their child’s interests change after a few years and they move on.
To better photograph the details of childhood get in close. Focus on precious eyelashes or fill the frame with your baby’s feet. Walk around until you get the best angle and don’t be afraid to try different perspectives.
Using a shallow depth of field is a great way to help focus attention on little details like a little girls love of nail polish and how quickly it always seems to chip.
Use the rule of thirds to draw attention to one detail of your child’s behavior, like the way a young ballerina loves to play with her tutu or focusing on her very, very favorite shoes that she wants to wear all the time.
Remember that details aren’t necessarily always small. A boy’s love of hanging upside down on climbing ropes is a detail you will want to remember from his childhood as is the way he always puts his fingers in his mouth when he becomes engrossed in a book. A little girl loves dressing up from head to toe in costume jewelry may be a defining detail of her childhood. You may need to step back to fully capture these details.
Sometimes the details of childhood can be captured without your child in the frame at all, like the way he always lines up superhero figures or the mermaid she always leaves just so after a bath.
Make a list of all the little things you love about your child that makes him who he is. If you have a very young child schedule some time to photograph the little things. If you have an older child keep your camera at the ready to snap a photo when your child does the little things you love!
Jamie Davis Smith