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First Year: Everyday Settings with Baby to Remember

Jen here with a First Year post about capturing everyday settings with baby to remember!

For the last few weeks, Logan has been pulling herself up to stand. I just love it when I’m preparing lunch in the kitchen, and I look over to see Logan’s little hands holding onto the top of the playpen and her eyes peering over the top. She’s such a big girl but still little enough that she can barely peek over the top.

First Year: Everyday Settings with Baby

I’ve snapped many photos of her standing in her playpen using my smartphone but wanted to make sure I captured some images with my DSLR, too. I broke out Me Ra’s book, Your Baby in Pictures, and flipped to the last chapter for ages 9-12 months to see if she had a photo recipe that would help. I found the one called Everyday Settings to Remember, and although this recipe was geared toward capturing baby standing in her crib after she wakes up from a nap, it worked perfectly for Logan’s playpen images. Here’s what I did…


Me Ra recommended bringing as much natural light into the room as possible. I opened up the curtains in our living room, but that didn’t help much to brighten the room on such a dark and dreary day. So I brought Logan’s playpen over to the sliding glass doors, and that brightened up the playpen area and gave me the light I needed to create great images.

I turned off the interior lights in the room and turned off the flash on my camera. I set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and selected the low f-stop of 2.8 so I could get a buttery background in my images.


Experimentation is the key to this photo recipe. I had fun taking images in vertical and horizontal formats and found I liked the horizontal ones best. I took some tight shots where only a little of the playpen was in the image and pulled back for some wider images that showed more of the setting. I also used a whole variety of perspectives. The sky’s the limit here in what you can do, but that doesn’t mean to say your baby’s patience is limitless – after about 10 minutes of smiles, Logan was ready to be picked up. haha


For all my images below, I focused on Logan’s eyes, recomposed the shot to return to my original composition, and clicked the shutter to capture the image.

Here is the first image I had envisioned – Logan’s little hands grabbing the top of the playpen and her eyes barely peeking over the rail.

First Year: Everyday Settings with Baby

The most important thing I did to create the above image was crouch down and make sure my camera was at her eye level. If I had stood above her and shot down, the image would not have told the story I wanted it to tell – of how she peeks over the top of the playpen at me.

The next image was taken during a break in standing. It captures her love of running her fingers down the mesh sides of the playpen while she’s looking at the world outside. I stood right over her to take this shot.

First Year: Everyday Settings to Remember by Jennifer Tacbas

For the next image, I was standing slightly above Logan but stood back from the playpen a little. I love how thoughtful and serene she is here as she looks outside.

First Year: Everyday Settings to Remember by Jennifer Tacbas

And here is one of my favorite images of the few minutes I spent photographing Logan this morning! I just LOVE that scrunchy face she’s giving me and that beautiful smile! I am one lucky Momma!

First Year: Everyday Settings to Remember by Jennifer Tacbas

Now it’s YOUR turn! Try out this photo recipe for yourself, and then post your favorite image to Me Ra’s Facebook page so we can all admire your work and everyday settings with baby! We can’t wait to see what you capture!

Meet me here in two weeks when I share with you images of Logan’s latest milestones.

First Year Cheers!