Perfect vs. Good Enough

My family and friends knowingly laugh when I say that I have a Type-A personality. I like to get things done, and I like to get things done a certain way.

As I’ve gotten older, and especially now with two young children, “Good Enough” works for me. Striving for perfect is great, but at some point, you do what you can, and let it go.

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There was a woman I used to sew with, and we met in a quilting class. She was so focused on making sure her quilt would be absolutely perfect, that each seam would line up exactly, and needing a specific type of frame in order to finish the project….

Last time I checked, it was still uncompleted two and half years after the class was over.

You can envision the most beautiful, specific baby album you want, and devote countless of hours of energy, time, and money into creating a masterpiece that you will never finish because you are burned out, or you can put together what you can, with what you have and be content that it’s finished and ready to be enjoyed.

Your child will appreciate a finished album that s/he can flip through, rather than the one that is still floating around in your head and unable to be enjoyed.

Don’t get bogged down with the details. Start and rest assured that you can always go back and re-do any page that feels incomplete to you.

Done is better than perfect.

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(This post is from my 31 days to a baby album series. For more information, head over here.)

Patience and Baby Pictures

Your photos don’t have to be perfect. With my children’s photos, I don’t stress if the image is a little bit blurry, or not technically correct.

Taking photos of babies, especially as they become more mobile, requires a lot of patience and a lot of shutter clicks:

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I’m pretty confident 15 years from now my kids won’t be saying, “Gee mom, that white balance is awful.” But I know they’ll love seeing photos of themselves in their albums.

baby31series(This post is from my 31 days to a baby album series. For more information, head over here.)

Baby Photography Ideas

In keeping up with the 31 days challenge, here are 31 baby photography ideas:

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  1. Your child’s lovey/favorite stuffed animal
  2. Close up of their hands/finger/feet/toes
  3. The space s/he plays in
  4. Take a daily/weekly/monthly photo of your child
  5. Reading their favorite book
  6. Playing with a favorite toy
  7. Making a mess
  8. Bathtime routine
  9. Mealtime
  10. When s/he is asleep
  11. In the middle of a meltdown
  12. In the middle of a store
  13. In their carseat
  14. Doing arts & crafts
  15. Generational/family gatherings
  16. In their favorite outfit
  17. In their pajamas before bedtime
  18. First events (potty training)
  19. Whatever they want to “help” you with (cooking, gardening)
  20. Soothing accessories (pacifiers, in swaddles, on the baby monitor)
  21. Relationship moments (building something with Daddy, helping Grandma clean)
  22. You and baby together (especially important if you’re the one taking most of the photos)
  23. What’s in your diaper bag
  24. What the closet/dresser drawer looks like
  25. The laundry pile
  26. A size comparison (next to a ball, stuffed animal)
  27. In a grocery cart
  28. Misbehaving (take the photo first, discipline later!)
  29. In time-out
  30. Snuggling in bed together
  31. In costumes/adorable outfits

I know, some of these are obvious, right? For me, it’s really easy to forget about including photos of myself with my kids, and maybe some on this list will serve as a good reminder for you too.

baby31series(This post is from my 31 days to a baby album series. For more information, head over here.)

Before You Take Your Photo…

There are a few things you should consider asking yourself before you take your photograph.

I’ll walk you through what went through my mind with these next few images.

What is the story I am trying to tell?

In this photo, I wanted to capture my nephew’s excitement of watching our neighbors shooting fireworks down the street (Side note: Yes, it was crazy, and I have no idea why it’s allowed in our neighborhood in Texas).

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What are the points of interest in this image?

I changed the perspective by kneeling down to get a better angle of the height of fireworks, and frame the story of the photo better. While it was a better photo, the basketball hoop and backboard (in need of repair) was distracting.

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Where should I place myself and/or the subject(s) to get maximum impact?

I switched to a vertical orientation and the more distracting parts of the photograph are gone.

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These weren’t professional photos, so I wasn’t aiming for perfection here. I wanted to capture the moment and with this photo I can shape my story around my nephew’s visit and how we watched a fireworks show from the comfort of our driveway.

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(This post is from my 31 days to a baby album series. For more information, head over here.)

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Photographer

Of course the steps below won’t necessarily apply in scrapbooking, but these are good ideas to keep in mind. At its core, scrapbooking is all about the words and the photos.DSC_8574

  1. Know Your Camera What are the settings on your camera? Do you know the difference between macro and landscape mode?  Do you have a portrait mode or an action/sports mode? Can you turn on and off your camera flash?
  2. Read and Find Inspiration Read and learn as much as you can about photography. The library has great books and resources. One of my favorite books is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen. Flip through fashion magazines to study the styles of different photographers. Go on YouTube to learn more about post-processing.
  3. What’s Your Passion? Some photographers are better at certain types of photography. Fashion, landscape, nature, portraits, etc.
  4. Learn the Digital Darkroom Become familiar with photo editing software. Learning something simple as adjusting the curves and white balance will improve your photos.
  5. Keep a Portfolio Practice taking lots of photographs. Post them on Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and be open to improvement and critiques.

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(This post is from my 31 days to a baby album series. For more information, head over here.)