Capturing Life by Neyssa Lee » Capturing your family & teaching moms how to capture everyday moments

Photograph Their Snuggles

As our kids grow, we don’t want to forget to photograph their snuggles! I know I love to capture their smiles and that glimmer in their eyes. But what about a softer side? I was going through some photos and found this photo of Sawyer snuggling her baby. She carried that baby doll around everywhere (until she was replaced by Minnie Mouse). But when she was sad, upset, or recovering from a tantrum, she’d snuggle with her doll. I might have forgotten had I not taken the time to photograph their snuggles together – Sawyer and her baby.

As I looked at this photo I was also reminded of a photo recipe in Me Ra Koh’s book Your Child in Pictures. The recipe in her book is about capturing the “Objects of Affection” since what your child snuggles varies from child to child along with the stage he or she is in. Sawyer’s object of affection has changed several times and she’s only 2.5 years old! Talk about a fickle girl!

Does your child have a favorite object to cuddle up with? Use this recipe to help you photograph their snuggles!

Photograph their snuggles, photography tips, photo recipe, toddler girl with her baby doll

85mm lens, ISO 1250, Aperture F/1.8, Shutter Speed 1/400

SET UP: Having the camera out and ready will help you capture this spontaneous moment. Pay attention to when and why your child snuggles with her baby the most. For Sawyer, it was after a tantrum, just before nap time  or after her brother told her no (which happens 100 times a day). Since I couldn’t pin point the exact moment it would happen, I made sure I had my camera out on the table. If you have to dig out on the camera bag, you’ll for sure miss out on trying to photograph their snuggles.

CAMERA SETTINGS: Since you don’t always have control of when and where the snuggles will happen, you may not have them sitting by the brightest window in your house. In the image above, I selected an ISO of 1250 to allow in lots of light. For your aperture, having that blurry background will help the moment shine. Shooting wide open will help you capture that emotion. Finally you’ll want a shutter speed that is fast enough to capture the moment. For toddlers, I suggest not going below 1/250.

COMPOSITION: Here is where you have more creative freedom to tell the story of your child snuggling her baby. I decided a vertical image where Sawyer and her baby filled the frame would have the most impact. There is nothing else to distract from the moment. I also decided to be on the side where I see the baby doll more than I see Sawyer’s face. But I loved how the way she holds her baby was center stage. There is also the detail of the way she’s leaning into her baby and that she still has her pacifier in to really tell the story of Sawyer at this stage.

Sawyer now snuggles Minnie Mouse, or the Easter Ducky a friend recently gave her. She also does not have a pacifier outside of bed time (I know, I know, it’s time to break that habit). But by looking at this image, I’m reminded of Sawyer 6 months ago, how she has changed and how she is still the same little girl.

Now it’s your turn. Photograph their snuggles! Then share with me your results on my Facebook page! I love to see what you were inspired to capture.


P.S. Struggling to get the settings right or frustrated that auto mode did not capture the moment as you had imagined? Sign up for my May 2nd Photography Workshop and learn how to capture these ever fleeting moments of our children’s lives. Click here to learn more and register. Seats are limited.

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1 Month Old in Photos

Last week, our little Hudson turned 1 month old. I’m not exactly sure where that month went. Wasn’t I just pregnant with her? She is starting to be awake a little bit more, which the kids love. They get so excited when they can see her eyes!. I started with a quick 1 month old photo on the blanket I made. Remember her newborn photos on the blanket?1 Month Old in Photos, Baby GirlShe’s also making more eye contact. And she’s pretty content (when she isn’t hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change) to hang out and watch the world around her.1 Month Old in Photos, Baby GirlI’m in love with this image. I love her little curled toes. I just want to kiss those little feet!1 Month Old in Photos, Baby Girl, Baby FeetThis month we celebrated Easter. In case you missed my favorite family photo, click here. But I also took a few photos when she was a little happier (inside in the warmth). 1 Month Old in Photos, Baby Girl, Easter DressHudson spends a decent amount of time our Tula carrier. With two other kids, we have to be able to get out of the house. She loves being snuggled up with mommy or daddy in the carrier. 1 Month Old in Photos, Baby GirlMilo is still constantly loving on his 1 month old baby sister. It is so sweet that he always wants to know where she is, and can’t wait to hold her again, or play with her.
1 Month Old in Photos, Baby Girl, siblings

1 month in and we can hardly remember a time where she wasn’t a part of our family. Although we are still getting used to “zone defense” we are loving having Miss Hudson in our lives.


P.S. I am back to work photographing families. However, I’m only taking on a limited number of sessions this spring. Make sure you email to book your session soon.

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