Wednesday, May 22, 2013

birth announcement tips and tricks ~ by Rachael McAdams, guest blogger

Was there something in the water nine months ago? It seems to be baby season right now! I know a ton of ladies who are about ready to pop, some with their first and even more with their second bundle of joy. It all brings back memories of Charlotte's birth, and that wonderful time in our lives. During those first few weeks, while we were busy getting acquainted with our little girl, changing diapers, and trying to get sleep, I was also trying to find the time to send out birth announcements to our family and friends. It was insanity. Research, selecting the photos, the cards, getting the addresses was a lot of work! I ended up sending mine out as Christmas cards, I just couldn't get my act together any earlier than that. 

But for all of you ladies who are about to pop, my guest blogger, Rachael McAdams has put together some great tips for you. These will save you time and energy! Thanks Rachael for the wonderful ideas!

Family Photo Tips & Birth Announcement Etiquette

So you have decided you want to do a full family photo for your new baby’s birth announcement. This is a great way to bring the entire family closer together after bringing your baby home. Once you take a variety of different shots, take your time and go through each of them one at a time and narrow your selection down to two or three photos to use for your child’s birth announcement. Tiny Prints and other online photo printing companies offer services where new parents can create their own, specialized birth announcement using the photos you took of your newly expanded family. You can then customize exactly what you want the announcement to say.

Here are a few suggestions to make your photos the best they can be for this special announcement.

  1.  Clothes: Don’t wear clothes with many different patterns. They will be distracting in the photo. Instead go for solid colors or a simple pattern. Think about your flesh tone when choosing your outfit, as well. If you are very light and have freckles, for example, don’t wear black, as it is too opposite from your skin tone. Go for yellows, greens, and blues.
  2. Lighting: Make sure your subject is facing the light source instead of standing in front of it. If they are in front of the light source, all you will wind up with is a silhouette or a very dark photo. If you want to take a silhouette, however, then this is exactly how to do it. Remember that if you are using your smartphone try to add some light to the subject. One of the biggest photography weaknesses with most smartphones is their inability to take great photos in low light conditions.
  3. Avoid Digital Zoom: Avoid using the digital zoom at all costs. This is a pretty useless feature. It will make your photos look grainy. Instead just move closer to the subject.
  4. Children and Pets: Taking photos with children and pets can be tricky. When children are young, they really aren’t interested in sitting still and pets are never interested in posing for the camera. Make sure you get down to their level and move in close when taking your photos! Remember children and pets are MUCH smaller than you so your photos will immediately be better when you sit down on the floor or wherever they are located. Pick a time of day when kids and pets are fed and well rested. And make sure you take lots of photos. The more photos you take, the better they will be and you’ll have a better chance of taking that once-in-a-lifetime shot.
  5. Use Apps: There are plenty of apps available to help you improve the shots you take. One great photo app is Instagram. This app has plenty of filters to give your photos that little something extra that can take a good photo to a great photo!

Now when it comes to birth announcement etiquette, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you should send out the announcement as close to the actual birth as possible. Is it expected you send them out the day you come home from the hospital? Of course not. But they should go out before the baby is six months old. Pick out an announcement design before the baby arrives to save time. This way when you get home all you need to do is add all the specifics.

It is important to remember that you do not need to include a personal note in the announcement. When you use a website, like Tiny Prints, to create your birth announcement, there are services available that can have your announcements addressed and mailed for you by simply uploading your address list. This will save time and stress on your end so you won’t have to worry about hand-addressing each envelope or running out of stamps. Think about using your Christmas card list as a basis for your announcements and go from there. You will probably want to add to it. When it comes to who should receive your new baby’s birth announcement, send them to anyone who would normally be a part of happy family news!

Thanks to the extra time you took to get your photos just right, and remembering a few points of etiquette, you will definitely have a memorable birth announcement for your new baby that involved the entire family!

Rachael McAdams is a new member to the SAHM community and is loving every minute of it! Rachael has been a writer for years but has recently been delving into the mommy blogging world. She loves writing about various subjects, but especially enjoys providing advice to new moms. If you'd like to follow Rachael, you can find her at @livealittleNYC.

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