Deborah Ajaja is the Founder of Colour Celebrations, a brand which creates luxury milestone cards for babies of colour, with a mantra ‘to help families celebrate their beautiful cultures in an inclusive way and capture babies’ memories that will last a lifetime’. Deborah is taking over the iCandy Life Blog in a four part guest series, part one offered tips on moving house with a baby and in part two she is sharing her top tips on how to take the perfect baby milestone picture…
Congratulations! You’ve had a baby! It’s been a rollercoaster ride but now your precious little one is here and you want to capture every single moment. And rightly so! Children grow so quickly, blink and you’ll miss it. From my experience, it is so important to make a conscious effort to take pictures and videos, recording as much as you can and committing these special moments to film and camera to ensure that those memories never fade.
This month we also celebrate Black History Month in UK, paying homage to the black experience which has shaped us to who and what we are today. As a Black mother myself, it is so important to me for our experiences to be highlighted and honoured and for my baby’s cultural firsts to be celebrated. It is something I am very passionate about, that is why I created the Colourful Motherhood campaign to celebrate the British motherhood experience raising black and mixed-race babies today.
Whether it is a cultural or developmental first, if you don’t equip yourself, there is a strong chance you may not get a good photo at all! So here are my tried and tested top 5 tips for taking the BEST milestone pictures for your child.
Get your tools ready – The last thing you want after getting your beautiful baby dressed, is to be faffing around for your camera, cleaning the lens, or having to charge your battery. Get all tools and props ready and situated before you finalise the focus and subject of the picture – your gorgeous baby. If it helps, lay these items out to the side so they’re ready and waiting. You can also prepare your tools by taking test photos in advance so you know exactly what to do when you pick up the camera.
Select your backdrop – You don’t have to pay over the odds for a fancy studio to achieve the perfect milestone picture. A simple background at home such as plain bed linen or a throw blanket works perfectly. Cushions can also create a textured prop for a photo. But beware of clashing colours and patterns as they may distract from the beautiful baby in focus. During lockdown, I learnt that a simple blanket, a happy baby and a milestone card is literally all you need.
Fix your lighting – Lighting is essential for any good photo. Natural light always works best, but where this isn’t possible, accessories such as ring lights are a welcomed alternative. You can almost always achieve great lighting at home. Try different rooms and place your backdrop furniture in different positions and at different times of day to see which configuration works best. TIP: Try and face the light to achieve a natural, bright glow without washing the photo out.
Use camera functions and apps – Whether you’re using a camera phone or an actual camera, get to know what functions exist! There are many great pre-settings which will take the brainwork out of getting a fab photo, enhance the lighting, blur out messy backgrounds and capture your gorgeous baby photo memory. Great examples are the Portrait mode on the iPhone and the VSCO photo editing app.
Have fun! Happy babies are the cutest babies! So try and have as much fun as possible with your little one when taking the photo. Remember, the aim is to capture memories that will last a lifetime and celebrate those key cultural moments. The photos might not always be perfectly poised; a smiling baby, a magnificent milestone, a cultural first and an engaged photographer will create memories you won’t forget in a hurry!
Find out more about Colour Celebrations Colourful Motherhood campaign here.
Deborah Ajaja, Colour Celebrations