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Gugu Guest Post: Baby Photos 101

November 28, 2017

In honor of Giving Tuesday, Gugu Guru has teamed up with First Candle to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), including spearheading research, education for parents, and bringing comfort to grieving families. First Candle is committed to the elimination of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and preventable Stillbirths through education and research while providing support for grieving families who have suffered a loss. First Candle is hosting a series of events this Giving Tuesday on pregnancy, parenting, and more – we are thrilled to be partnering with them for this event – check us out at 10AM EST discussing self-care and baby registries – as well as blog posts on our blog today, too!

This Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to learn more about First Candle and support their research and support for families in need. You can learn more about First Candle on their website – and donate to their cause as well

Our friend Alex Mooney of Pics and Paws Photography is here to break down how easy it is to photograph your little one. You can find Alex on Instagram and Facebook. Check out more posts from Alex: Photographing While Babywearing, and Tips for Photographing Your Kids

A baby changes everything.  This is not a new concept; however, I’d argue that as soon as that baby arrives, your momtog (or dadtog) game is infinitely stepped up.  Your subject goes from selfies and/or dog photos to capturing that sweet, adorable, perfect little bundle you just welcomed into the world.  Heck, I’m reminded of this every.single.day. when I look at my pre-baby timehop from five years ago and there is maybe a single photo shared from that day of my dog…and not a good photo of him either.

So once your little lady or dude (or both, cause #multiples) arrives you want to step your photo snappin’ game up because you cannot wait to share that little one allllll over social media — or at least in that 10 person group text you’ve got going on with your fam.  I’ve got a few baby photos 101 tips and tricks for you to capture the best snaps you can of your little one so he or she can be forever printed and hung on you walls — or at least part of your Instagram feed.  And you don’t need a fancy camera to make this happen!  I mean, if you’ve got one, USE IT, but if not, the camera on your phone works just as well.

First, LIGHTING.  This can make or break your snap.  Try and embrace natural light if at all possible…but if your babe is look extra adorable in a dimly-lit space: use that flash.  Natural light is my best friend and I get seriously depressed on dark and gloomy days because I know my snaps will not be the same as they would be with the sun shining through my window.  I also like to play with the shadows and try and arrange my babe (or myself!) in a place that minimizes the shadows on baby’s face/body.

Secondly, keep snapping!  Digital photography is wonderful because you can quickly delete all of the not-so-great snaps.  However, if you are going in for a pic and are trying to snap that perfect ONE, you may miss a lot of other great candid ones in that waiting.  Take advantage of burst mode or a fast shutter on a DSLR and snap away.  Some of my favorite pics are the accidental ones I snap-crazed snapped that I did realized I was actually capturing!

Thirdly, embrace babe’s lifestyle.  I do very few ‘posed’ photos when I am snappin’ newborns…which are really limited to swaddling baby and putting her in a basket.  Other than that, I want to capture baby in the here and now and what their little baby life consists of: yawns, stretches, snoozin’ in their crib, crying (cause #reallife), their hands and feet and other adorable little features, and all of that other baby goodness that goes by way too fast.

Fourthly, find an editing app that you like!  Editing your photos can add a little something extra to your image you captured.  You can crop it to your liking, brighten it up (back to my first point if you have less than optimal lighting), add a filter or effect to it (I’m a big fan of the film and matte looks), and even black and white it for a more moody effect.  My go-to mobile editing apps are VSCO, PicTapGo, and Lightroom.  Nearly every photo I share on social media is tweaked first in one of these apps and then shared in its newly-edited glory for the world to see.

Lastly, GET IN THE PICTURE.  Hand your camera or phone off to dad (or your 4 year old) or set a timer and have them snap YOU with baby.  I don’t care how tired or haggard you look — get in that frame.  You’ll regret it one day, I promise.  Make sure you capture some of YOU with baby in the picture too!  That baby will grow up one day (faster than you’d like, by the way) and look back and want to see pictures of HIM WITH HIS MOM.  So drop the loathing of self-portraits and get in the pic for your kiddo’s sake.

My biggest advice: snap, snap, and keep snappin’ that sweet little babe and ingrain those sweet little baby memories into your mind — and camera roll — forever.

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