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As you all know my darling little niece was just very recently born. Paula already has 3 boys so this little girl’s arrival you can imagine was greatly anticipated.
Paula and Josh invited our Mom and I to be in the room to welcome the little Miss. As you will see throughout this post I had a whole lot of fun *playing* photographer for a day.
As I was looking back through the pictures I was thinking about the moments that were captured and couldn’t help wanting to share a few thoughts about *capturing moments*. I heard a comment once in regards to photographs that has stuck with me since I heard it. I quite literally have the thought run through my mind each time I’ve turn my camera on since I heard it. This isn’t an exact quote but it went something like this – “am I trying to capture a MOMENT or am I taking a Portrait?” she (I think it was a she, I’m racking my brain trying to remember who said it) went on to explain if you’re capturing a moment it doesn’t matter if the picture is perfect. It doesn’t matter if you’re using your phone, an inexpensive point & shoot camera, or a more expensive dslr quickly switched over to auto mode, you want to capture that moment, the moment your child blew out their candle on their birthday or the surprise when they’re seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time, these are things you can’t really recreate and you want to capture that MOMENT. On the flip side – if you’re taking a Portrait you’ve got plenty of time to make sure the lighting is right, the subject is sitting where you want them to be, etc… AND if everything happened to go wrong you could invite them back the next day and try again.
When I turn on my camera the thought that runs through my head is something like this “can I take these pictures over again?” If the answer is yes (sometimes even a soft yes) then I keep the camera set to manual, mess with my exposure, iso, etc.. and have fun taking the pictures. If the answer is no I am basically telling myself I’m in a hurry, not because I’m in a hurry to leave or move onto the next thing but because this moment is going to be gone and if I want to remember it I’ve got to act fast, that may mean I grab my phone because it’s closest to me or that may mean as I’m turning my big girl camera on I am flipping over to auto mode. These situations won’t be the same for every person which is why it’s a good idea to ask yourself this question as you’re taking the pictures.
On the day Paula’s little girl arrived I took pictures that fell into both categories. There are the more *set up* photos and there are the in the moment “snap the picture and pray it’s usable and even if it’s a bit blurry they’ll still want it because it is that moment” photos. I double-dog dare you to look through the photos in this post and tell me which ones were taken in manual mode vs. auto mode and iphone vs. dslr. I even am not sure (aside from the phone/camera photos because I took them) on all of them.
So, since I explained all of that you can now throw those excuses out the window the “I can’t get good pictures because I don’t own a DSLR” and the “I can only get great pictures if I hire a photographer” excuses. I want to clarify right now that I do NOT consider myself a photographer at all and that many of these pictures fall into the snap and pray category. If you can hire a professional photographer I think that is amazing and cannot ever imagine you would wish you hadn’t, if I let myself dwell on it too much I am very sad I never did. This post is for those who can’t, or who just don’t feel comfortable with having someone they don’t know well in the room with them.
The photograph that is up there at the top is probably my very favorite. I love the smiles on everyone’s faces, the pure joy. If you’re ever taking pictures of a baby’s birth THIS is the shot you don’t want to miss.
But there are others too! Below I am going to share some of the photos I took, maybe these will help you get an idea in your head of what photos you want to be sure to capture.
I loved taking pictures of the room *in waiting*…
pictures of objects….
and pictures of people, all in waiting for that HUGE moment of new life.
I made sure and got pictures of Paula while she was in labor (some of these pictures you can tell she’s very thankful for her epidural).
Mom and Dad before the pushing starts, one last *calm* moment.
And, in the first shot up there we got everyone’s reaction to the new baby except Mom’s – I quickly turned and was able to get some great 1st sight photos of Mom too.
A shot of the clock with the arrival time.
Of course you need to get pictures of all the babies 1st poking/prodding.
First photos with Mom…
I also made sure and got pictures of everyone else that was in the room. Paula was lucky and had one amazing nurse throughout the whole delivery. We wanted to be sure and remember her!
This is just a sampling of all the photographs I took that day but a good example I think of the pictures you would want to be sure and get.
Here’s a quick wrap-up of some of my tips.
1. If your camera is digital (and I am feeling confidant it is) take a lot of pictures! You’ll never know which one will be the favorite shot and you can ALWAYS delete the unwanted.
2. I think turning the photos all black and white keeps the focus on the subject of the photo instead of what is going on around them. I also find it very flattering, especially of Mom who may feel like she’s not at her most glamorous.
3. Try different angels, especially with the pictures of the baby.
4. Some people may not mind shots of the actual delivery (we lovingly call them crotch shots) and if that is the case feel free to take whatever photos you want. We knew ahead of time Paula didn’t want those shots and I found standing up by her shoulder made it very simple for me to get great shots and I didn’t have to worry about things being in the photo we didn’t want in the photo. (Same holds true with video, I have video of my kids births and as long as the person videoing is standing at the shoulder we’ve not had any shots we didn’t want).
Some photos I didn’t get but wish I did.
Picture of the room #.
Close up of baby’s ankle bracelet.
Photo of doctor with baby (aside from the 1st shot).
It seems like there were more so I may continue to add to this list.
In closing, I REALLY hope this inspires you to get in there and get the pictures taken even if you’re not a professional or can’t hire one.
If you have an ideas to add we’d love to hear them!
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