Columns » A Photo Life

Take pictures of your children early and often


  • Sean Cayton
For the last twelve years, my wife Cathy and I have been photographing our children. It started with maternity photographs of Cathy, then each child shortly after birth, and now day-by-day as they grow up and as the moment strikes us.

We're nearly halfway through their early childhoods and we look back at the images we've made with great joy. We will cherish forever this portfolio of our children. And, it's a nice illustration of how important it is to take pictures of your children early and often.

Along the way you might create a picture or two that transcends the genre and becomes something more akin to fine art.

As a parent, you are the expert. You know your child and their personality best. Record some of these moments that show your child's personality. Whether it's a laugh, smile or a good cry. These are moments that will never happen again.

You will also discover, as we have, that these pictures become more and more meaningful over time. These are pictures that often age well.

You don't need to be a professional, just a careful observer. You might even find those in-between moments are ones that are the most treasured.

We have three children; Abby, 12, Harper, 9, and Jacob, 7. As they age, there is a natural and unavoidable space that grows between us as parents and them as children. This is another reason why I love the early pictures of their childhood so much!

Make sure to take plenty of candids, but also ask them to pose every once in a while. You might find their poses offer a revealing glimpse into their unique personalities, too.

The other piece of advice I can give: Take your camera everywhere, watch your children carefully and document with joy their early years.

Sean Cayton is a wedding photojournalist of 19 years and operates a successful, award-winning wedding photography studio in Colorado Springs. He's also an award-winning photojournalist. Sean is happily married to the love of his life (also his business partner) and is father to three beautiful children. When he’s not working, Sean can be found outside flying kites with his kids, hitting golf balls or casting a fly rod to hungry trout.

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