Capturing The First Year

Capturing The First Year {eight months}


A few months in to Capturing The First Year, quite honestly I remember questioning what I’d gotten myself committed to! I worried that I wouldn’t find the time to complete the challenge or that I would start to lack the inspiration and even motivation to continue these monthly check-ins! Raise your hand if you find you start things but rarely finish them! And I am not taking about a glass of wine here :-)

Surprisingly two things have happened….

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1) As a former studio photographer, I am relatively new to natural light photography and I felt intimidated by the idea of shooting in manual. Through the consistency of creatively capturing the twelve months, my camera has become a familiar friend. There is a predictability of camera settings and locations around the house where I know the light will work to enhance my image. I now work WITH my available light. When I venture out of familiar spots, I always have a pretty good idea of where to start. I absolutely promise you that if you can’t dedicate hours to classes on photography courses that bite-sized learning and regular practice will go a looooong way as you develop your photography skills.

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2) Somewhere along the way, in the busyness of life and all its interruptions, (including preparations to move house and currently surrounded by packing boxes!) I have never been more excited to keep clicking away! New baby developments and milestones are so much fun and photographing is fast becoming my way of storytelling. Snapshots of precious moments (admittedly) on my iPhone used to be my go-to, but this habit is now secondary to my good friend, aka my dslr :-)

I find constant inspiration from fellow mama-photographers on Instagram & blogs oozing with fresh ideas and skill up the wazoo! (by the way, if you haven’t already, come join me over on Instagram!)

Capturing a sequence of events has been engrained in me as well as becoming ever aware of the beauty in the every day. I never imagined that photography or an area of interest could bring about so much gratitude!




Mobility has suddenly opened up a whole new world for Mattheus and provided his curiosity with a means to explore. Scooting, army crawling, it’s all happening! And this right here was the moment…. The magical world of grown-up gadgets, my phone specifically, was the driving force behind his first scoot! LOL! And I mean he BOLTED for it! (You can make out the rectangular blur on the bottom left of the image below!)

I spend the majority of my photo-taking time on my belly, allowing me to see the world at his level. I want to see his world! (Time to suck up those dust bunnies!)

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Your use of light will have a big impact on your image and not just the image quality. This series of images were taken with patience, waiting for Mattheus to reach areas that were well illuminated through the stretch of the house. I wanted to refrain from positioning him myself and allow him the freedom to explore at his own level of ability. Our job is to anticipate where that source of light will be best available. Below is an example of how the addition of light can impact your picture. By waiting those few extra seconds to reach a well lit area, your subject is brought to life and becomes the focal interest of the image.

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I am a firm believer in following their lead when it comes to shooting. I may move an object or something unsightly in the background but I avoid physically moving a mobile baby and rather I move myself to get a better angle, encouraging their attention in the direction of a window or light source. Always keep it playful!

If you’re working in lower lighting conditions consider upping the ISO and opening up the aperture. Have your speed no lower than 1/100th sec as movement will create motion blur. Motion blur can be used effectively to show movement at times, such as this image below with his beloved Sophie The Giraffe!

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As well as his movement, I can’t resist my portraits! The far off gazes and inquisitive expressions. Portraits work best when the lighting is softly and evenly diffused. Avoid direct sunlight at all costs.


With the amount he is getting around these days, I like to keep my camera at the ready! Though you cannot always predict which settings you will need at a given time, as far as possible I try to reset my camera to my indoors go-to settings after each use incase I need to grab it and shoot! This cheeky little man often makes a grand entrance with his little grin :-)

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Though I take many pictures with his siblings, Capturing The First Year was for the purpose of recognizing Mattheus’ independence and personal growth. However, seeing as his big brothers have been a huge motivator for him moving, I had to include these shots for this months entry :-)

At the rate this child is moving I feel like the next installment will be ‘Moving To College’! Until then, sign up to receive the newest posts, connect on Pinterest or instagram. I absolutely love hearing from you all, so don’t be shy about reaching out!



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