Okay, to be more specific, I’m giving myself a grade as it relates to photographing and making photo books of my second born – well more like a progress report. This is a follow up post to my earlier post from this summer, Do Second or Later Born Children Have Less Photos Than Firstborns?
Six months have passed since my little guy was born and I’ve been slowly adjusting to being a mom to two young boys. If I think I didn’t have time before we expanded our family, now I realize how much more time I had when we had just one kid. With one child my husband and I could switch off so the other could work or catch a much needed nap. We’re very lucky to have lots of help, but when it’s just me and my husband the day feels like a marathon that we have to finish just so we can pass out after the kids are put to bed. I guess I make parenthood sound so attractive huh? (Really, I’m enjoying every minute of it!)
So far I’ve made the following custom photo products related to my second born (click on the links for more details):
- 100-day celebration book
- birth announcement cards
- baby thank you cards
- holiday cards
- family 2016 calendars
- maternity flush mount album
- photo magnets
Hmmm…now that I see the list I don’t think I’ve done too badly actually! Some of them encompass the whole family and not just the baby, but I think that’s a bit inevitable. My firstborn has more photo books featuring just him at this point, but I’ll make sure that the baby has his own as well.
So amidst the hustle and bustle, where does memory keeping and photography have a place in our day? Well I have to thank my camera phone for giving me a quick and easy way to capture the every day moments I don’t want to forget. The downside is – and I suspect for many of us – you end up with a lot of photos in your phone and it becomes a lot to manage. I delete any photos I know I don’t want to keep and save one or two of the best versions. Every few days I connect my phone to my desktop and download the photos to Lightroom, do some editing (usually brightening, color correcting and sharpening) and then “flag” the ones I want to use in my photo books. I also add keywords to the photos so that I can find them easily by just typing in either the location they were taken, the subject matter (i.e. birthday, food) and/or the subject’s name and other identifying markers. By doing this, I can refer back to a curated subset of photos when I’m ready to make my books – it’s a time-saver.
My phone is also where I jot down notes of my baby’s milestones. I just use the “Notes” app on my iPhone but there are several apps which are meant specifically to keep a journal on your baby. Kidfolio is one that I’ve used before, but mostly I just use that to keep track of baby’s doctor visits and vaccinations. I also read about a number of other memory keeping apps for parents on this app review site www.smartappsforkids.com. This was the most recent post I found on the subject while searching on Google. I plan to check out some of the apps mentioned there.
Another project I’ve been successful in keeping on track is my monthly photo shoot with my little guy. Every month I take out my DSLR and snap photos of my baby sitting on the same white chair with the large stuffed lamb I had personalized with his name. (He was born the Chinese Year of the Goat/Sheep.) The lamb is the object I’m using a point of reference for his growth. I’ve been doing a little twist in months that are relevant, like a santa hat for December and a Halloween costume in October. When I reach 12 months, I’ll put together a canvas print of his progression just like the canvas print below of my firstborn’s 12 months. As you can see the object we used for his photos was his dad’s guitar. I actually continued this series with him even after he turned one – taking a photo every six months until he reached age three and I put those in my yearly photo books for him. My husband jokes saying that if it were my choice, I would make him do this every year to age 21. Sure, why not?
So, what haven’t I gotten around to yet? Lots actually. I suppose when you have another child your focus naturally becomes divided. I still have my firstborn’s 3rd and 4th birthday books to do. I’m also part way through his “baby book” which is actually a huge book covering his first three years – something I tried to finish before baby #2 came but was unsuccessful. A good amount of it is done though – it’s just a matter of finalizing it. (More on the details of this baby photo book in process here.) I’m pretty excited about that one. I’ve designed spreads featuring our family tree and a story of our family history. With much of our families living out of state or overseas, it’s harder to preserve our roots but I’m going to give it my best shot!
I’m also behind on my Disney photo books. Our family trip to Disneyland in September 2013, and trips to Disneyworld in 2014 are yet untouched, but I do have a number of Disney-themed photo books already completed like a super cute Disney ABC book. I have a lot of tips on how to make a fabulous Disney photo book!
Another item on my to do list are canvas prints. If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of repurposing my layouts. That includes taking layouts that I’ve designed for photo books and putting them up on the wall for some personalized wall art. I usually make my son’s birthday invites every year – it’s really easy to take that image and create a canvas with that. It’s a nice memento to have hanging up rather than sitting in a drawer.
Well, that’s my progress report for my first six months. I think I would give myself a B+. I know that parents have a lot more pressing things to do than making photo books, but just set yourself up for memory keeping success by taking lots of photos and jotting down notes on your phone, baby schedule tracker or on a trusty notepad. Then when you have a spare nanosecond to catch up on those projects, you’ll be ready to go! Remember it’s never too late to make a photo book!