Photographing Moments that Matter Most A guide to documenting everyday moments

Snuggling is just one of the reasons I love you so much...

To get started, think about what you treasure most about your family and start photographing that! You don't have to wait for the perfect moment or buy a fancy camera. If you have a DSLR by all means use it. But don't make storytelling with photos an extra burden. What are the details and moments you never want to forget? How your son snuggles with you for no special reason? What about when your daughter picks you a bouquet of wild flowers after school? No matter what those moments are, they are the ones worth capturing. Plus, they keep you from having to ask your child to look at the camera and say "cheese", which we already know they hate. If you want more natural looking portraits hanging on your wall or in photo albums, the best times to capture them are when your children are doing something they enjoy doing.

If you've never written a letter to your children, this is a great way to tell the story of their life at that time so they can look back and see what life was like through your eyes. Here are a few prompts I recommend when writing a letter to your child:

1) What do you want to remember about this time in their life? What are their favorite hobbies, interests, foods or movies? 2) What do want them to know or never forget? Perhaps they started painting or playing a musical instrument at a young age. Or maybe, you realized at the age of three that he or she is left-handed like grandpa! 3) What piece of heritage do you want to want to document? Perhaps you named your child after a family member, or his/her name has a biblical meaning. 4) Share how much you love them. This is a great time to write down what you love most about what they're accomplishing at this stage of their lives. 6) What do you treasure most? Personally, I love that my children love crafting with me, baking in the kitchen and singing. These are characteristics I document regularly through photos, videos and writing.

Capture their natural joy and curiosity...

Next, don't just store all your photos on a cloud and never print them. Use apps like Artifact Uprising or Mixbook to get those memories documented. I love how easy it is now to create a printed keepsake album and add your own text to personalize it. Create one volume per year or for each season of the year! By all means, DO back up your photos to a cloud. I recommend Google Drive, Google Photos, iCloud or Dropbox. (I am not an affiliate of any of these services so I don't make any money if you choose to use them.) This advice is coming from someone who's computer motherboard recently went bad and it also damaged my external hard drive. There are a lot of photos that I have backed up on cloud storage, but there were many photos that I lost which were not on a cloud because I thought they were safe.

Albums are great for adding photos of milestones, birthdays, achievements, travels as well as adding text to remember specific details and stories of moments.

Choose table top frames and folios to keep memories closeby.

Wall galleries show a story of your family and encourage children to see themselves as part of the family.

You might be wondering how to actually capture these moments on your own if you're not a professional photographer. Trust me, before I learned photography, I was horrible at taking photos. Many were out of focus or had too much distraction going in. They certainly weren't the gorgeous pictures of families and children I'd see in the magazines. My first suggestion is to start with a good camera. Yes, your phone is the perfect start. Many smartphones are equipped with a camera that has auto focus and can brighten your photos. Always clean the camera lens before taking pictures to ensure a crisp photo. Using an app like MOLDIV, Filmborn or even Lightroom mobile (which is free) can immediately enhance your photos. Next, rather than just posting or printing your photo straight out of camera (SOOC), use an app like VSCO, MOLDIV, Lightroom or Snapseed to straighten, crop or add dramatic effects. Finally, be ready to capture the best of your family moments - during games, while the kids play at the park, or even while they're crafting or playing at home.

Daddy loves to tickle...
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” -Eva Burrows

Journal little moments you don't want to forget in a note app or you could even use the free Project Life app! If you enjoy scrapbooking, then the Project Life app is great for creating pages for your albums and even has a print feature (Persnickety Prints) to make it easier to make your precious moments tangible! If you've never tried it, the app also comes with a few free kits so you can test drive and see how quick and easy it is to document your story.

The two photos above are layouts I created on my phone in the Project Life app, and there's also a Facebook group to learn tips and tricks or just for inspiration. Most layouts only take about 5-10 minutes, so it's a really quick way to document your photos on the go. If you prefer, there's also a desktop version as well as physical scrapbooking Project Life kits.

“Having somewhere to go is Home. Having someone to love is Family. Having both is a Blessing.”
Time is not measured by the years that you live...but by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give - and each day as it comes brings a chance to each one to love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone that would brighten the life or lighten the load of some weary traveler lost on Life's Road - so what does it matter how long we may live if as long as we live we unselfishly give. - Helen Steiner Rice
Created By
Angenise Rawls


Rawls Photography & Design

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