First, a disclosure: I know the author of this book and she is a lovely person. Second, I won mine at the EVO conference I attended in May. There was an Oprah moment where the presenters announced that everyone should reach under their chairs and that ten people would have won a copy of Elevate the Everyday: A Photographic Guide to Picturing Motherhood. It was a little bit thrilling to find that “WINNER!” card with my fingers and feel lucky.
Heather and I met Tracey at our first blogging conference. We were wowed by her because as a professional photographer, she had already published two books, and was much further along in her motherhood journey than we were. She still is. And with that perspective in mind, she has written a guide for moms to help them document their lives through images. She provides prompts and examples of beauty in the small moments as well as tips for landing on compositions that work.
If you want to improve your photography, this book may help, without getting too technical.
Here are a few nuggets I gleaned from Elevate the Everyday:
1) Try shooting from a bird’s eye view. I did this a fair amount with my babies by standing above them on the bed.
2) The images you take of yourself holding your baby in your arms in the mirror will be favorites in future years when they are too big to fit in your arms. I can attest to this. It’s happening.
3) The “trimmings” as Tracey calls them are the details that mark the moment in time. That thing your child insists on carrying around or wearing around his neck can be the subject of a photo. Her feet dangling from a chair will remind you later that her legs did not yet reach the ground. The toddler toothbrush lying on the counter of the sink, the mess left after a long LEGO session. I love this picture of Julian from a vacation we took when he was two-and-a-half. He was really into water play, so when we needed some downtime, we gave him a few containers from the kitchen of the condo we had rented, and set the hose on a trickle. He kept busy this way every afternoon.
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