Kids grow up surprisingly fast. One minute, they’re crawling for the first time, and the next, they’re acting in their first play at school. Needless to say, taking photographs of your little one - at different stages of his or her life - is a great way to cherish these memories. And yet, although high-quality cameras are widely available these days, it’s not always easy to capture the photos we want. Often times, when parents look over the photos we took, they’re disappointed with the quality.

In this week’s article, we’ve decided to explore some easy-to-apply tips for improving your baby photos. Not only will these simple tips help you improve your baby photos, but they’ll help ensure you keep them safe for years to come. Take a look.

Keep your Camera Handy

The first and most important thing to remember is that ‘preparation is key’. You never know when an amazing photo opportunity is going to present itself, so having a camera within reach at all times is a great way to stay prepared. With the quality of cameras on mobile phones these days, however, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t want to go down the camera-phone route, aim for small and easy to carry camera, but one capable of taking high-quality cameras. This way, you can simply keep it in your purse or in the car or nearby, at all times.

Not only will you be able to capture those spontaneous moments, of course, but the more photos you take, the more your little one will get comfortable around the camera. Often times, babies get a little distracted by the camera - as they’re curious about this shiny toy in your hands. This can ruin the moment. The more they get used to you snapping photos, however, the less they’ll notice the camera.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Just because you’re not a professional camera, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay attention to the basics of good photography. One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve the quality of your photos is to take advantage of natural light. If you want to capture that heart-warming shot of your baby playing with her coloured blocks, or laughing and smiling, move her closer to the window. Avoid room that have no windows or are dark by design, and seek out the rooms in the house that catch the sun.

For outdoor shots, there’s a special time during the day which creates absolutely wonderful light for photographs. Known as the ‘golden hour’, this takes place in the hour directly after sunrise and the hour before the sun fully sets. During this time, the light is softer and more pleasant in colour.

Choose the Right Background

Another good rule of thumb to remember, when choosing your shots, is that less is more. Don’t choose overly complicated or busy backgrounds or settings for your photographs. Too many objects and details in the background of your image will only clutter the composition. Instead, make your baby the main focus by shooting against a simple, uncluttered background.

In a similar vein, try resist the urge to include props in your photos. Although many people like to include flowerpots, oversized hats, and other props in their baby photos, getting this right is actually harder than you think. That’s why,  by simply focusing on your little one, your photo will be improved considerably.

Experiment with Details

After awhile, you’ll have plenty of photos of more traditional poses and situations. One great way to add a bit of variety, and create some visually interesting photos, is to narrow the field of focus a little bit. Get in tight and take a close-up of those tiny hands. What about those feet? That little whorl of hair on her forehead? That adorable nose? By experimenting with these different perspectives and focal lengths, you’ll get some truly great photos for posterity.

Capture your Baby’s Growth

One of the amazing things about babies is just how quickly they grow. One minute, they’re learning how to crawl, the next, they’re walking around the living room on their own. That’s why it’s always a good idea to try and capture these changes in your photos. When you’re child is older, and you’re looking back to those days, these photos will act as a document of your baby’s progression into childhood and beyond.

One obvious way to do this is by showing your baby’s size in relation to other objects. A photo of your baby’s hand held in yours will give a sense of scale, and size. A photo of your little one held against you or your partner’s chest will help show this too.

Upload, Organise, Save and Back It Up

Although the age of digital photos has certainly made it easier and cheaper to take large numbers of photos, it’s also - paradoxically - made us a little more complacent about properly storing our photos. With traditional photos, we would go down to the local pharmacy and have our rolls developed. Once home, we would then collect these into our photo albums and store these somewhere safe, for future use.

Unfortunately, these days, many of us let our photos languish on our desktops or on computer folders - without remembering to back them up or properly organise them. This is a mistake. Once you’ve uploaded your photos to your computer, make sure to properly name, date and organise these into folders. Not only that, but purchase an external hard drive, and back these photos up on your drive. This way, if you something happens to your laptop - such as theft, technical issues, or loss - you won’t have to say goodbye to your photos too.

Happy snapping!