A Note To New Moms

A Note –

I’ve asked a few of my friends to pop in for a guest post while I’m busy soaking up all those newborn snuggles! I’m sure you follow most of these amazing women who will be sharing, but if you don’t, you are in for a real treat!

I’m so excited to have Carly guest posting on the blog today! Carly and I have been best friends for what feels like forever now, we met a handful of years ago in NYC over tea at the Plaza. After that day we became *instant* best friends and have gone through so much life together over the past years. And most recently, becoming new moms together, ah! Her little boy Jack will be one in August, so we are constantly swap “mom” texts all day, which is… THE BEST. I love having friends who are just ahead of me on this motherhood journey that I can gather all of the wisdom from, and Carly has been just that for me.

So today you are in for a real treat, especially since this topic is near and dear to my heart. Friends, TAKE THE PICTURE.

Capturing Memories With Your Kids

Guest post by: Carly Riordan
creator of Carly and author of Business Minded

Hi! I’m Carly—one of Ashley’s friends and also a new mom. I was so honored that Ashley asked me to write a guest post for her during her maternity leave. I was more than happy to return the favor as she put together such a thoughtful post for my blog when I just had my son, Jack.

When I was thinking about what to write for Ashley’s blog, I was thinking about what things I’ve really embraced during my first year as a mom and what might be the most helpful for others. While I wouldn’t say this is crazy “helpful” topic, I do think creating and capturing memories as a mom is so special. I am all about living in the moment, but I think it’s also important to take photos and videos for the memories. When I’ve talked about this on my Instagram Story, I am always blown away by how many people share thoughtful replies with how meaningful photos and videos of their parents and their childhood are to them. Especially when someone loses a parent, being able to have the photos and videos to look back on is such a treasure.

Carly Riordan

(And I should add another note here that a lot of people have shared stories about how self-conscious their mother was about being photographed or captured on video so they have next to no photos of their moms or photos with their moms growing up! My friends, don’t worry about your body. Don’t worry about your hair. Don’t worry about what you’re wearing. If there’s an opportunity for a photo, don’t lean away…. lean in!! Your kids won’t care about what you look like or what you’re wearing… they just care that you’re YOU!)

Capture The Everyday

I know it’s a “big thing” to take super produced, professional photographs with their families once a year. Take those, for sure… but also try to capture everyday moments. Our family favorite photos aren’t the ones where my sister and are perfectly perched in matching outfits with ideal lighting photographed by a professional, they’re the ones where we’re silly, in our favorite outfits, doing regular things. Our smiles are more natural. The memories are more real. And the photos just scream “us.” Sure our hair is messy, we may be in a sweatshirt that we outgrew six months before, and we usually have a few bumps and bruises and bandaids on our legs, but isn’t that what childhood is???

Use Your Phone

The best camera you have is the one you have with you. Don’t skip taking a photo or video just because you don’t have your “big camera” with you. Your phone is always in your back pocket and you can capture beautiful photos and videos with it, especially as technology continues to improve. (I often think about the 3 megapixel camera I brought with me on a trip to Italy… and now we have phones that film 4K video and fit, literally, in our back pocket.) 

The key to good photos and videos with your phone? NATURAL LIGHT. Open the blinds, turn off overhead lights. And don’t forget to “zoom in” with your feet—that is, don’t zoom in with your camera but instead get closer to your subject by taking a few steps in. Even cropping a photo after you taking it will result in better imagery than zooming in with the camera. 

Oh, and go ahead and splurge for the $10/month iCloud storage for photos. You’re going to need it and it’s the best way to ensure you never lose a memory, even if your phone gets lost or damaged.

Learn Photography (Maybe!)

And on a same note, don’t let your intimidation of the big camera hold you back. Learning how to take photos in manual mode with my mirrorless DSLR was one of the best things I did before having a baby. I had to learn for work, but it’s a skill I’m so grateful to have as I started capturing beautiful photos of my son without needing to hire a professional. (Which can be expensive and inconvenient, and again, difficult to capture “everyday moments” with.) Not only is it a fun way to capture great photographs at home, it’s also a fun hobby. Who knows, maybe it could turn into a side gig or full time job down the road?!

Nowadays there are so many ways to conveniently learn how to take photos. And you really don’t need to be a professional or need a crazy expensive camera. If you are going to invest, though, I recommend getting a mirrorless camera that allows you to control it remotely with an app and splurging on a 35mm lens.

I had a friend teach me some basics and then I also took a course specifically for mothers. There are plenty of free options on Youtube, too—I recommend looking for videos specifically for the camera you have mixed in with general photography principals.

Thank you, Carly, for the perfect reminder to catch those fleeting moments!


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  1. I couldn’t agree more! I am old enough to be your mother and digital photography was not available for most of my kids’ childhoods. We took the picture, couldn’t see if it was “off” and had to wait a week to get it back! Having now lost parents and some friends, I regret not taking MORE pictures. There are vacations no one knows I was on because I was always taking the pictures – ha! Embrace the technology available today. You won’t regret it.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree, take those photos! My boys are now older teens, and every year for Christmas I give them an album highlighting their year – photos from sports games, school events, family parties, vacations, and random snaps from throughout the year. I put captions to help remember what was going on. The photos are not always great, but they capture the little as well as the big moments, and it is so fun to go back through the books later. They love their yearly photo books, and now send me pics from their phones they want included!

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