Running from the Law: My Heartfelt Advice

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Heartfelt Advice

Day 8 of the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge:

"A piece of advice you have for others..."

Good gracious, this is tough topic.  I went back and forth about what advice I wanted to give you.  As I mentioned a few days ago, it's a little weird giving you guys advice when I feel so unqualified.  However, there is one piece of advice that I love to give to anyone and everyone that will listen, regarding anything and everything they do.  A universal truth that applies to life, but is especially important in the life of a child:


You all know that I'm crazy about photography.  I'm addicted.  I can't help myself.  I've had a camera in my hands for as long as I could remember.  But never in my life have I taken more photos (or more significant photos) than I have this past year of my child.  I think taking photos of his childhood (babyhood?) is one of the most important things I can do for him (and me).  It's a way to preserve his tiny baby perfection.  It's documenting our life and solidifying our memories.  It's capturing those oh-so-important moments with the love of our life that we'll never be able to get back.

We all know how quickly the time goes by and how fast our little ones grow up.  As much as I try to live in the moment, I know there are a lot of moments I'm going to forget.  I want to remember the way he looks when he sleeps, the expression on his face when he sees the cat, the way he tries to use sign language, his surprise face, the zombie-like walking he does.  Not to mention all the little every day details that I want ingrained in my memory: the curl in his hair over his ear, the size of his feet, the dirt on his fingers, the length of his eyelashes, the fullness of his lips, the color of his eyes, the tip of his nose.  

They're not super little for very long.  Most of that time is spent by us in a constant state of sleep deprivation, worrying and surging hormones.  Luckily, we tend to quickly get over just how hard those first few days weeks months were.  If I didn't have a hundred photos of that time in Mac's life, I'm not sure how much (if any) I'd remember.  And as big of a pain in the ass it was to get out the camera and tempt waking a sleeping baby, it's so worth it.

Even after the new baby smell wears off, time just doesn't seem to slow down.  The milestones come one after another, fast and furious.  The memories of those little achievements are replaced with the next big thing.  Rolling turns to crawling turns to walking turns to running.  "Dadadadada" turns into "Dad, can I borrow the car?"  The moments fly by in the blink of an eye.

I try to have my camera out, fully charged and ready to go so I can grab it at a moment's notice.  Of course I always have it with me for the big moments, the vacations, the sporting events, the trips.  But I also want to make sure I capture photos of Mac just doing what he does - playing with the pots and pans, chasing the dogs, devouring pasta, emptying the laundry basket, climbing the stairs, getting a diaper change, throwing a ball, playing with the remote, knocking over the trashcan, eating sticks.   Some days I'll take 400 photos and some days I might take 4.  Sometimes I will go an entire week without taking a single photo and am shocked when I go back to see how much he's changed in that one little week.  Missed opportunities.  Don't put it off until tomorrow, because he'll never again be as little as he is today.

So my advice to you - get your camera out (I mean your real camera, not just your iPhone), clear your memory cards and get snapping!  Get pictures of all those little details and moments in your day that you just KNOW you'll never forget, because forget.  Take hundreds of pictures, just to keep a couple of the best.  They don't all have to be perfect.  He doesn't have to be smiling or even looking at you.  And If you're worried that your photos aren't as good as everyone else's - don't be.  Your child is never going to look back on photos of himself as a baby and say, "I wish my baby photos looked like s0-and-so's photos."  No, he's going to say, "Look how little I was.  Look how young and pretty you were, mom. Look at dad's hair!" And if you're concerned, just know that practice and experimenting are the best ways to get better at photography.  Your skills will improve with each photo you take and you'll have those pictures of your little one to always look back on.  That's a win-win, my friend. 


  1. Couldn't agree more and you sure have captured some magical everyday moments! I always look forward to your pics of Mac and they remind/inspire me to snap some of my little one. For that, I say thank you!

  2. He's perfect. Keep snapping away momma :)

  3. Such good advice! And to not put it off to tomorrow? How easily I sometimes do that and then tomorrow turns in to five tomorrows from then. What I also need to learn to do is to go through my photos better and store them properly. That would ease lots of headaches!

  4. Good advice - a suggestion for a future post. Maybe a few quick DSLR tips? I'm a new DSLR owner and have yet to fully have the time to jump into learning and understanding all the features. I would love a few tips - since your photos of the little man are always so perfect. Although it helps to have such an adorable little model!

  5. Great advice. I'd love basic info or where you learned how to use your camera better. any good online sights. I always have lighting issues and I don't know what any of the terminology means (shutter speeds, ISO).

  6. amen! that's great advice girl! xo

  7. I completely agree. Great advice!

  8. i especially need to get better at taking photos during the week--i'm better on the weekends, but weekdays just fly by. thanks for the advice and reminder!

  9. I die. He's just the cutest little thing!

  10. great advice! but here's my question, how do you find the balance between just enjoying life & your time with Mac, but not always being worried about missing out on a photo opportunity! Around Elyse's birthday I realized that I was all stressed out...and it was because I was worried about taking pictures of EVERY SINGLE event, and every single adorable outfit!

    Any advice on finding the you take amazing photos, I need a tutorial! I'm ashamed that I have a DSLR that normally never leaves Auto! Ughh...

    1. Such a great question! And I'm not sure I know the answer (as usual). I pick up my camera here and there, snap a couple pictures and then put it back down so I can be with him. I try not to carry it around with me all the time, which also helps. It's out on the counter and ready, but it's not "on me" at all times, which takes some of the pressure off. I'd much rather be "in the moment" than watching the moment happen through my camera lens. I think you just have to do what feels comfortable for you. Usually something happens (or Mac does something adorable) and I am there to see it first hand. And then I think, "crap, I need to get a picture of this," so I go grab the camera, hope he does whatever adorable thing he did again and then snap a couple pictures. Then we go back to playing. Mac doesn't really tolerate having the camera around a lot (he wants to touch it, lick it, hold it), so I have to be quick about it. It's particularly hard if it's just the two of us hanging out - in that case, I hardly ever get a photo taken. I usually need Ryan around to "watch" the baby and play with him while I snap a couple pictures. And I try not to force the issue. If he's not in the mood or not having it, no picture. That happens quite a bit. I want him to get use to the camera, but no expect that it will be in front of my face ALL THE TIME. If we have an event or something, I'll spend a few minutes taking pictures and then put it away for the rest of the time. I try to get "picture time" out of the way first, so I can relax and enjoy the rest of the event. There are a lot of times I wish I'd gotten a photo of that moment, but I have to just let it go and know that there will always be another one soon. I hope that helps!

      And there have been a lot of requests for some DSLR advice/tips, so I'll try to put something togehter on that topic. Like I've said before, I don't really feel qualified to give advice since I'm not a professional or had any sort of training, but I'm happy to share what I do and how I take pictures with you. Expect something like that this summer.

  11. Oh my gosh, he is simply adorable!!!

  12. YES!!! TAKE MORE PHOTOS!!!!!!!
    I so very much regret having only few pictures of my kids! It never occurred to me to take pictutes of just daily life... I have a 3 wk old grandson and my daughter sends me a daily photo..... Everyday,I cannot wait to see it!!!
    I am your newest follower...pls follow back if you can.

  13. Aww, I love this! I'm always looking to take more photos, regardless of what's going on. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  14. agree with "our family"'s comment - i just got a dslr and would also love some tips!