The Importance of Capturing the Moments

Audrey's c-section

When I found out I was pregnant with my 1st baby back in January 2004, the first thing my husband and I did was buy our “family” a camera. We wanted to document everything – my growing pregnant belly, our 1st nursery, my baby shower, doctor appointments, and of course – the very 1st moments of our baby entering the world. Purchasing that camera, it was one of the most incredible buying decisions we’ve ever made. I can look back – 11 years ago – and see the building of our family. That same Canon camera documented Alex, Ben and Henry’s pregnancies and 1st moments, too. Those are moments and times and memories that are priceless. Those photos I will cherish for the rest of my life and look back at with my children and smile, laugh and yes… even tear up at.

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newborn baby

When we found out we were pregnant with our 5th baby in October of 2012, we actually invested in another Canon camera. I wanted to document everything and anything with our 5th baby, which I knew would be our last baby. My husband and I did a great job at making sure we captured everything from our boys, we didn’t want to miss a minute with our daughter.

I’m not kidding, from the second I found out I was pregnant (it was Halloween night 2012), my husband started capturing the photos of “us.” I look back now and smile at our little “secret” that we knew about… and then we have captured everything throughout, till even present day this morning!

Audrey's daughter

When it comes to capturing those first family moments through the lens of your camera, my biggest tip to share with you is to just start snapping away. I’ll never forget buying our Canon camera in 2012, I told the salesman that I’m not AT ALL a professional photographer, but I just wanted a quality camera to capture our family – in the here and now. He looked at me and said, “Everyone’s a photographer, just shoot what you love.” That statement has always stuck with me as I’ve captured our family behind the lens. My love. My passion. My heart. My inspiration is my family. When I capture “them,” I am a photographer.

Audrey's kids

In order to capture photos that will transport you back in time and leave you smiling at the memories and the moments, you want to make sure you have a good lens on your camera. Canon has many different options in terms of lenses – there are different price points, sizes and features. For me and my husband, we wanted to make sure we had the ability to get some good close-up shots, especially when the kids were little babies. You can’t beat those little toes and noses at birth.

Audrey's kids

Also, it’s not all about the posed photos. The most beautiful photos we’ve taken are the candid ones of the kids, especially in the first moments. The photos of the tongues sticking out or the “one” child not smiling, those are the ones you will look back on and laugh at and have a story behind. It’s the moments.

Audrey's daughter

Another tip – always have your camera on you. We bring ours wherever we go. It’s a staple for us. We don’t just capture vacations and occasions, we love to capture anything, real moments in our family. We love always having the camera with us because it gives us the chance to (literally) just snap!

Audrey's daughter

We’re starting a summer of firsts with our daughter this year – first swim lessons, first time on swings, first time with painted nails, first s’more treats, etc. It’s been so much fun being able to document these beautiful moments. We take 100’s of photos each week… no joke… but for me and my husband, we love being able to capture our growing family. Time passes by so quickly, so it’s important for us to make sure the moments from pregnancy through birth through the 1st year and so on are captured… as much as we possibly can!

What are your favorite pics you've taken of your kids?


Audrey McClelland is the founder of MomGenerations.com, an online destination for mothers. She is the mother of 4 boys and a girl and has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, the Rachael Ray Show, The Daily Buzz and in publications such as The New York Times, The New York Post, WWD, Parenting Magazine, Pregnancy Magazine and Redbook.

All images courtesy of the author

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