The Importance of Capturing Images in your Baby’s First Year

MyBump2Baby Expert Podcast


The Importance of Capturing your baby's first year
  • The Importance of Capturing Images in your Baby’s First Year

Today we speak with Sue Kennedy, a photographer based in Harlow. Sue speaks about capturing the everyday moments on your phone, Sue shares some of her top tips on getting your perfect pictures at home, capturing those special moments in the first year. The importance of being part of your baby pictures and backing up your images.

Here are Sue’s Social links:

The link to the ideas of what to take of your baby is here:

You can reach the checklist – 15 photos every parent should take via the link above or sign up at: 

Blog: Mums are you in any photos?

Carla  0:09 :Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert Podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything pregnancy to preschool.

Today we are joined by baby and child photographer Sue Kennedy. And today Sue will be sharing the importance of capturing images in the first year of your child’s life, tips on making sure you keep the image safe and also tips on taking the perfect picture. Hope you enjoy.

 Hello, and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast today we have a lovely special guest, Sue Kennedy who is a baby and child photographer in Harlow, and she is going to be sharing her top tips on capturing your perfect baby photos in the comfort of your own home. So hi Sue.

Sue  1:13 : Hi, Carla, nice to be here.

Carla  1:14 :  I know it’s lovely to speak to you. So this is a subject that I think is very important. I know it’s something that when I’ve looked back over my phone, I’ve tended to forget to take these baby photos, or I’ve changed phones and I’ve not saved certain ones. So I’d absolutely love it if you just give us a few tips on on capturing perfect baby photos if that’s okay.

Sue  1:38 : Yes, of course. So it’s funny that you should say about capturing them on the phone because obviously that’s what a lot of people do. And I think that’s fabulous. I think capturing the everyday moments as your child is growing because they’re going to change really fast in these next few years. So my, I’m going to keep it really simple with three top tips on what I would do or what I did when I was photographing my own daughter when she was a baby, because obviously she went into the studio but not every day.

Carla  2:11:  Yeah of course. 

Sue  2:13: She’s probably the most photographed child ever. And it’s a bit like the window cleaners cleaning windows, they sort of disappear when you want to do proper photographs of them. But hey. So my suggestion to parents are home grabbing photographs of their own children is really, it’s about making sure, decluttering the background of the image, so sometimes you don’t have time they’re being cute, and it’s really fast. But if you do get the opportunity to position them, so there isn’t 10,000 toys in the background. Then do that unless that’s telling the story of them. You know, they just tipped the Lego box over their head and you want to capture that then it is about being in the moment and being, capturing that character that they have when they’re discovering their cheekiness. I would also use natural light as much as possible that the, the cameras are brilliant on phones these days. But I prefer the look of natural light. And that can just be as simple as window light. And it means that you, you won’t get movement in the picture. It should be a sharp picture because there’s enough light for the phone camera to capture the detail that you want. And so you can either be window light, patio windows are brilliant. 

Carla  3:38: Sue sorry, can I ask you a question? Do you put them on the other side of the I’m guessing, not photographing at the window, the window light behind you then I’m guessing when you take in the picture, is that the way to do it?

Sue  3:52: Well, I would say that say you had like a double bed by the window. You’d have the window. You’d have the baby on the bed maybe lying down in front of you. And then you would behind so that the light is bathing your baby’s face. And you’re not blocking it.  Does that make sense?

Carla  4:12:  Yes. Yeah, I wasn’t sure. I don’t know whether it’s the same as selfies, but I know I like to get get in front of the window for those ones, but yeah, no, that makes sense.

Sue  4:22: Yeah, I suppose with a selfie you would be facing the window but obviously if you’re taking maybe shooting down onto your baby lying on the bed.

Carla  4:30:  Oh, that’s lovely. Yeah.

Sue  4:32: It’s the same principle but you want you don’t want to be blocking the light. And then I touched on it a little bit but keep the the posing you do with baby safe and relatively simple. So pictures of babies in arms. I always love it when I have a baby and dad’s arms because I think it shows wonderful scale. Because you forget, they’re gonna grow so fast. When you’re a new mum. You think they’re going to be tiny forever. And then suddenly you look back and they’re a teenager. And it’s and people telling you this, but you never believe them. So

Carla  5:10: I know that yeah I got that a lot people like, just treasure this moment as walking around like a zombie like, I just want it to pass. I want them to walk, I want them. You want them to do all these things and move to those next stages. Once they do you’re like, Oh, I just want to rewind and there’s no way to so yeah, I absolutely agree with you. It just go so, so quick. So it’s very important to capture these images. Well, all the way through the first year. I just think they changed so so much, don’t they?

Sue  5:38: They do and it is important to capture the milestones. I mean, I’ve got pictures of my daughter with baby rice all over her face. And I wouldn’t put it on the wall but in her first year album, it’s it’s lovely to note that and you know that milestone you know when they take their first steps and things like that. I actually started journaling when my daughter was quite young and just capturing an image a day, not always of her, but something that resonated with me, so that I, because I realised when she was about three or four, she liked looking back at the images that I taken and reminiscing. And unfortunately, we’ve lost some grandparents. And it is nice for her to look back and remember times with granddad and that because because they’re little sadly they’ll probably forget most of these memories. So it’s nice to have the photos, too, to reminisce with. They’re part of her family history. And I’ve gone off on a complete tangent now.

Carla  6:43: Oh, do you know what, that’s part of the beauty of this. So yeah, no, that’s uh, yeah, no, I absolutely agree. I think you know, for memories as well and for children and for you as well in capturing those those special moments.

Sue  6:59: Even if they are mucky moments. I mean, we’ve got, she fell over the muddy puddle. Well, I was a mother that took that picture.

Carla  7:06 : You were Oh, yeah, exactly. Oh, aye. Do you know what I’ve got one of George actually, we went to picking pumpkins in October. And he was so excited. And honestly, he was screaming by the end of it. He was facedown. Well, not facedown. That sounds a bit harsh. He was in mud all over him. And I’m one of them mothers that also whipped up the camera because I just think you are never going to get this moment again, it looks so funny. And yeah, no. It is just about capturing those moments. And also, I think it’s a case of asking dad as well to capture images of you with your child because I do think sometimes it’s, I go through my phone now and I think there’s hardly any of me and George unless I’ve taken them because I hadn’t asked to get a picture or, you know, I’ve just kind of been doing so we’ve missed out on loads and loads of memories from holidays and stuff like that where we’ve forgotten to take pictures, really. So it’s very important.

Sue  8:04: And that happens a lot. And I have a big thing about mums being in photographs. I don’t like being in them either, I’d much rather be behind the camera. But I, I whenever I do like a newborn session, I used to ask the parents if they wanted to be in a photograph with their baby, I don’t do that anymore. I just take it and it’s quite close up snugly image. I’m not trying to get the remains of the bump in or anything like that is literally cheek to cheek. And so many people have said to me, they are really glad that I did that for them, even though they didn’t want to do it because my, my perspective is they can get to the viewing and reject it. They don’t have to buy it. But if I haven’t taken it, we can’t go back and take it because that moments gone. And, you know, a lot of people do buy them. And I think I’ve learned with my own daughter, she’s, you know, she’ll look back at old photographs and laugh at what I was wearing. I mean, she’s only 11. So, but they, they like to see what you were like. And it’s important for them as well. And so I don’t do a lot with the parents in the photographs for the first session because I want to focus on the baby, because they’re changing the fastest, but I think one or two with mum in there. And also I was reading an article a few months ago that really sort of resonated with me, I, I just lost my father and we were clearing out the house. And I was finding all these old photographs and then I read this article, where a mum had basically said she. It was almost like she was she’d done everything for her children as they were growing up, but when you go to look back through the photographs, she was invisible. She wasn’t there. And that I thought really, something clicked to me. And I thought you’ve just got to get in, in the photographs with your children and they it’s they don’t care if you’re not looking your best?

Carla  10:00: Yeah, I think the thing is, it’s the danger now of like social media, as much as I love social media, there’s a lot of pressure. And a lot of people that always put the best kind of makeup, and all that kind of stuff that, you know, on. And I think sometimes when someone says, Oh, can I get a picture? Oh no, not today. I mean, God, I’ve done that so many Oh, no, no, I’ve not got my lippy on or whatever. But it’s not necessarily that you need to put it on social media. Sometimes it’s just a case of taking the image. And, you know, when you mentioned the newborn photos, I had mine done and when I look back at the image of me and George at the time, I didn’t want to do it either. But, you know, I remember that moment. And I remember exactly how I felt in that moment. And it really is it you know, they’re not all to be shared, you know, keep them for yourselves. You don’t have to post them on Facebook, Instagram at all, but they’re memories for your child. So that you know, God forbid if something happened to anyone, you know, they can remember and they can see, you know, the love and the good times that you have had.

Sue  11:09: Yeah, and even if nothing happens, they just they’re still like looking back on their memories that that’s just children’s nature. But it’s one of the reasons I started to journal was because I didn’t want to necessarily put them on social media, but I wanted them in a organised place. And I printed the book once a year so that we always have a record, which brings me neatly onto the subject of backing up your images. Because sadly, I’ve met a few families over the years that have come into me purely because they’ve lost all their images, either the phone’s been stolen, house has been burgled or whatever, and they’ve lost all the early baby images. And because they weren’t running any kind of backup and they haven’t printed anything and the best way to backup your photographs is to print them, and it’s so easy these days to create a little album, get it printed and lose it in the cupboard. No, I mean, store it safely.

Carla  12:10: Yes. Oh, yes. I’ve got a few of those cupboards actually was looking at me now that’s one of those cupboards where there’s things in there. But yeah, I daren’t open it at the moment to be honest with you. Cause serious injury to me. But yes, no, that that’s brilliant. So you’ve mentioned the three top tips decluttering. So, like you said, removing anything in the background that might ruin the beauty of the image, but then

Sue  12:38: Yeah thats not telling the story.

Carla  12:40: Yeah, that makes sense. And keep it simple and safe. Like you say, and natural light. 

Sue  12:49: Yes. Obviously don’t put your baby in a precarious position. And I also don’t think most parents would anyway, but I don’t like to state the obvious, but sometimes it’s to be said.

Carla  13:01: Just in case. Yeah, of course, of course, it’s very important that we keep the baby safe. Exactly. So yeah no that that sounds absolutely brilliant, some some great tips there. So where can parents find you Sue and how can they get in touch with you?

Sue  13:1: So the best route would be to my website, which is And they will find a, there’s a couple of resources that I’ve got on there, I’m sure we’ll put the links in the show notes. And I’ve got a checklist with 50 ideas of poses that you could to prompt you something to stick on the fridge so that as babies growing up, you think, right, let’s capture that milestone, and it’ll just be there to prompt you. And then I’ve got a little app that goes onto your phone as well to give you some ideas when baby first arrives on the type of photographs that you can take and I’ve also got my Me and my baby magazine, which has got some useful tips in there as well.

Carla  14:05: Excellent, excellent. So we’ll put all of those links in the show notes. But thank you so much, Sue for coming on and speaking to us today.

Sue  14:15: No problem. Thank you for having me.

Carla  14:16: And you’re a baby and child photographer in Harlow. Is that correct?

Sue  14:21: Yeah, Harlow in Essex.

Carla  14:23: Excellent. Right. Okay. Thank you very much Sue.

Sue  14:27: Thanks Carla, take care. 

Carla  14:29: Thank you.

Thank you for listening to my bump 2 babies expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to and you will also be able to find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, businesses and services in your local area.

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