Becoming a mother was a life changing experience for me. And not just the everyday changes like no longer being able to EVER sleep in again, or finding the time to do anything that didn’t involve my child. It was more than that. It was deeper … Just when I thought I had mastered the art of selflessly organizing my life around his, it was time to let go.
My baby starts first grade this fall, and the sentimental mom in me decided, when he started preschool, to begin the tradition of photographing his first day of school every year until he officially leaves the nest. I may not be able to keep him home with me forever, but I sure will have a lot of memories that we’ll treasure forever.
For those of you fellow sentimental moms who love documenting those first day memories, here are five tips that will help you master those photographs:
1) Make this a fun tradition. First days inevitably happen every year. Just like birthdays. Pick one element that will remain consistent every year, whether it’s a black chalkboard plaque or your front door, and photograph your child each year with it. (Editor’s note: Check out our free printable first day of school signs, here!) He/She will literally grow up before your eyes …
2) Allow yourself time to really enjoy this experience. In other words, don’t attempt this shot when you’re already running 10 minutes behind. Plan your morning so that you have at least 10-15 minutes to play around with ideas and really capture their expressions and emotions.
3) Get to know your camera. Find the most flattering light on your child. When in doubt, take out your smart phone and get a snap shot before the moment passes. They say the very best photographs are the ones actually captured. Trust me, you will love it just the same.
4) Don’t forget to capture their last day of school, too. Amazing, the changes that happen in a year!
5) Share your captures. Facebook it, Instagram it, blog it. There is an amazing community of moms out there who understand exactly what it feels like to let your baby go out there into the world, and chances are – they are a little bit emotional about it all, too. Embrace this milestone in your child’s life and proudly share it with all. We are your biggest cheerleaders.