My favorite photographer

by Barbara J Posted on May 17, 2011

« Back to Family, Photo Tips

I recently discovered photographer and storyteller Me Ra Koh, and I want to share my take and ideas on one of the Chapters in her book, “Your Baby in Pictures.”  This book is a parent’s guide for photographing your baby. Me Ra Koh is an inspiration to me and this book gives new parents so much information on capturing their little one’s first year.

Chapter 2, Refuse to say cheese, tells parents it is not necessary to make our children smile for the camera. It is about slowing down and stepping back, no smiles necessary. See the moments unfold in front of you. Discover the elements of the story you want to capture rather than simply taking a bunch of snapshots.

Snapshots verses Storytelling

Me Ra Koh defines two types of images: snapshots and storytelling.

Snapshots (image recorded with a camera) help record history and are based on who, what, when and where – a family outing, standing in front of a Christmas tree, a pose for the camera.

This type of photograph records a moment that happened. Of course there is nothing wrong with snapshots to complete a statement or moment.

Storytelling images capture a deeper feeling than a snapshot. Instead of looking at the camera and smiling, the goal is to capture the story happening right in front of your eyes, with one or more of these elements; action, tension, emotion or suspense.

The background in your images can help tell your story as well. Walk around your home and look at your lighting see what is pleasing. Turn the lights off and use lighting from the windows.

I love the storytelling images, but think both types of photography are important to complete the story of your child’s life.

Resting in his bed! (Storytelling)

My daughter with her little baby girl! (Snapshot)

I did not get my way! (Storytelling)

Resting with her baby. (Storytelling)

Playing with my favorite chew toy and looking at the camera. (Storytelling)

I am telling this newborn baby’s story through his hats. He is not telling the story through his actions, but I think it has so much to say through his face and eyes. (Snapshot)

What kinds of images do you love to capture? Let me know by commenting on this article.


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Where's my photo?
  1. BarbaraJ Says:

    My book created just for this article, Link

  2. BarbaraJ Says:
    This should take you to my book created for this article. The firs tis the custom path books.

  3. Joey Says:

    Love this article and these helpful tips. Awesome job! I’m going to forward this to my friends who had their first baby last week.
    Thanks Barb!

  4. conniee4 Says:

    Love it that you passed all these wonderful tips along to us! Super super article!

  5. AnnAbbott Says:

    You can combined the two and tell the whole story in a photo book. A snap shot of the kids standing in front of the Christmas tree surrounded by storytelling photos of the kids tearing into their presents on a page makes for a perfect photo journalistic page. A page with no word and it tells the whole story.

  6. Tiffany M Says:

    well, with two little guys in my life… i snap EVERYTHING :D

    love the post and your gorgeous examples!

  7. petiam Says:

    Love this article! It describes what the two types of photos are so well. Though I often aim for the ‘Storytelling’ shots, I believe you need both for a proper photo book. Great tips. Thank you.

more about Barbara J

I’m a dedicated Shutterfly fan and a member since 2006. I love all things Shutterfly and was ask to become a Shutterfly Guru in the Fall of 2009. I am retired and living on Lake Livingston, in East Texas. I love photography, travel and then creating photobooks! I am a walking ad for Shutterfly, and sharing what knowledge I have of Shutterfly with the community and also in my travels. It is an honor to be a part of a wonderful team of a dedicated Shutterfly family. I love digital scrapbooking, and also the new ANCP photo books from Shutterfly. If you have any questions or need any assistance feel free to contact me on the Shutterfly Forums. Also please visit my sharesite at

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