Activity #461: Compose a picture with your other babies

When I saw the web site of Janet Moran, a photographer in the Chicago area, I immediately fell in love with this image. Assuming that this family values their piano, I thought that it was a brilliant idea to include your first baby in a portrait along with your new (real) baby. Whether your first baby is your Vespa scooter, your 12 year-old cat, or a carefully tended vegetable garden, take a picture that includes your two loves.

I emailed Janet and she explained, “A precious family asked me to come over and take pictures of their new baby. When I walked into the home the first thing I saw was the piano – dad is a musician among other things. What better place for a sleeping three week-old than the piano bench (newborn babies are pros at sleeping in whatever position you place them)”

She offered these fantastic tips for rookie moms and wannabe photographers:

Environment
When taking pictures it’s great to look at your home with a fresh perspective. Is there a family heirloom that you can sit your toddler on or inside? What was your favorite pastime or talent before baby? Do
you collect anything? Arrange your collection on the floor and allow your child to explore while you photograph.

Lighting
natural light makes all the difference when taking pictures. Choose the room in your house with the most sunlight. The best time to have a photo adventure outside is early morning or late afternoon when the sunlight is warm and soft. Turn that flash off and go outside even if it means you have to take Aunt Betty’s winged-back chair out the front door with you.

Clothing
Chose an outfit you’ll miss seeing when they grow out of it. Color is the key; high on contrast and texture – low on logos and graphics (leave elmo and dora at home). Shoot, shoot, shoot! Digital means you can take lots of pictures for free.

I wish I lived around Janet so I could hire her!

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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