The Best Baby Gift Ever

Your Baby in Pictures
by Me Ra Koh

When I was pregnant with Bambino, the church where I worked gave a lovely shower for us. We received so many beautiful baby gifts, but one in particular stood out. It wasn’t expensive or flashy. It was a copy of Me Ra Koh’s book, Your Baby in Pictures. I love taking photographs, but there I was on the verge of having my very own subject to document 24/7. I wanted to have beautiful photos of my baby. Your Baby in Pictures gave me amazing ideas for how to set up and take beautiful photos of Bambino at every stage of his first year.

Koh — a gifted photographer and mom who can be seen on The Nate Berkus Show and gives workshops across the country, around the world, and online — breaks down a child’s first year into milestones which a parent will want to record. It is far too expensive to have a professional pop by every time a child reaches one of those time markers! They happen too frequently. So, Koh gives the reader easy recipes for great photos. She provides ideas about composition and lighting and action — the things even a professional may not master every time.

Her 40 recipes include:

  • Tiny Yawns

  • Tiny Hands

  • Tummy Time

  • The Push-Up

  • Baby’s Best Friend: The Family Dog

  • Your Baby’s Heritage

  • Those Chunky, Adorable Baby Legs

  • Climbing the Stairs

  • The Big First Birthday

Koh includes examples of how and when to capture these beautiful images, and tips on what to do whether you are shooting with a DSLR or your phone — and anything between. One of my favorite tips is about how to crop a mama’s arms. Holding a baby sometimes flattens out arms in an unflattering way. Koh shows how a little selective cropping can make mama look better in the photograph.

Koh’s approach also differs from that of many baby photographers. You won’t find babies wrapped in strange blankets and stuffed into baskets. Chapter 2 is entitled “Refuse to Say Cheese: Capture the Story.” She emphasizes capturing the beauty of reality with children — the unpredictability and the sometimes grittiness of that first year. Never ugly. Always an expression of love. But with an eye to the real, not the artifice of some baby photography.

A few of the photos I took using Koh’s recipes

And here’s the thing: parents have the best perspective on their own children. You can pick exactly the right time to take pictures. You can be flexible and work around naps. You can keep your camera loaded and ready to go in the kitchen or in your backpack, so you don’t miss that perfect moment when light streams in around your son playing with his stuffed frog or your daughter being licked by the family dog. Koh’s suggestions for where and when to do both formal and informal photos are liberating and inspiring.

So thank you to my friend Kim, a veteran mom of four, who gave us one of the best baby gift ever! Now this is one of my standard baby gifts to give!

Other Books by Me Ra Koh

Me Ra Koh has two other books:
Your Child in Pictures
Your Family in Pictures
They are both excellent as well!
They would make great first birthday and Christmas gifts!

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