The first year of my daughter’s life has been a blur. For a lot of it I felt like I was playing a never-ending game of catch up; we’d nail one routine, and then a growth spurt or a regression would happen, and boom, everything would change again. Why (oh why) are her naps 20 minutes long again?

In between my bleary-eyed googling, I’d also realize that the cute outfit that once enveloped Willa’s tiny newborn body no longer zips up — and sadly, I don’t have a single photo of her in it.

If you have an iPhone, follow these tips to make sure you capture your baby as she grows.

1. Always have your iPhone nearby

When your baby surprises you with a sweet fit of giggles or somehow gets herself into a hilarious position, the last thing you want to do is go fetch your phone. Make it a habit to always have your phone nearby for those candid moments– but try not to reach for it so much that it interrupts the actual moment.

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2. Shoot regularly and often

I take a lot of photos of my baby. But even I often look back and wish there were more. I wish I took more sweet newborn photos. I wish there were more photos with me in them — the ones I am in from the early days, I look like a hot mess. I wish there were more videos showing how she sounded and moved and slept at each age.

If you can’t take a photo every day, try to take a few photos every week.

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3. Take advantage of iPhone features to capture baby in action

Did you know you can shoot video AND take photos at the same time on your iPhone? Next time your baby is doing something especially adorable, you don’t have to choose between filming and capturing the perfect still. While you are recording video, you can tap the round button next to the record button to take photos as well.

Another great feature for the super active baby is Burst Mode: hold the shutter button or one of the volume controls, and the camera will rapidly take a lot of photos for you. Just make sure to delete the ones you don’t want later. (If storage is not an issue for you, use Precious app, which automatically finds the best photos taken in a series for you so you don’t have to do the work yourself!)

4. Use natural lighting

Don’t let lighting ruin a perfect photo. Instead, take a few seconds to consider the lighting situation while shooting. Make sure baby is in a well lit spot. Turn on soft indoor lights if needed. Don’t shoot against the sun.

5. Keep the background simple

Some of my favorite photos of my daughter are of her on our white bedspread or against the clean patterns of our living room rug. Simple backgrounds really make her pop. Similarly, taking the time to remove clutter or other distracting objects nearby goes a long way in keeping the focus on your baby.

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6. Shoot lots of angles and activities

Before Willa was mobile, I took many “birds-eye” shots of her lying on a bed or the carpet. These shots would always show her face and upper body, and sometimes her full body. While I love these photos, I wish I had varied my shots more.

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  • Get low and close to capture really intimate photos
  • Take close-ups of her cute little hands, feet, and ears
  • Take photos of her in a diaper and naked
  • Don’t forget to take photos from behind
  • Step back to take photos that provide context and show your baby’s relative size to you and familiar objects
  • Get photos with you, your partner, and other important family members
  • Take candid shots
  • Take lots of frames of each moment to make sure at least one turns out
  • Take videos

7. Organize and share regularly

Many parents take hundreds of photos — only to have them collect dust in the camera roll. One way to make sure photos are enjoyed is to curate and share them regularly. We love using the app Cluster to share photos and videos with the grandparents – it brightens their days to see new posts, and also ends up being a nice photo journal of Willa growing up. I try to post a few photos and videos a day.

If you don’t have time to curate Precious makes it possible to enjoy and share your baby photos without doing much work at all. It automatically finds the best photos for you, and instantly turns them into fun slideshows, videos, and printed products.

Download Precious for free here.