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on March 15, 2011
I discovered Me Ra Koh a few years ago when I ordered her DVDs "Refuse to Say Cheese" and "Beyond the Green Box". I found that I loved her warm, informal style and was greatly encouraged to re-learn what I'd known about real photography.

How wonderful to find that her book has the same Me Ra character--a friendly, down-to-earth friend who comes alongside you and shows you what she's doing with her camera to capture a certain sense. I grieve over the fact that I didn't have this knowledge when my own babies were new & squishy, since I was in such a sleep-deprived exhaustion that these "photo recipes" were what I needed Me Ra provides clear explanations and cuts right through technical confusion to open up a whole new world of photographing memories. She explains why it is she's doing what she's doing, which creates continual "a-ha" moments that make learning a new hobby so approachable. What sets this apart from any other book out there is the loving treatment of all those unique baby moments from someone who has obviously been there and cherished them: the fleeting hair swirl, baby feet, the love pats while feeding, inked-up baby feet at the hospital, .

Babyhood, much to my sorrow, is all too fleeting, and I only wish I'd had this book sooner so that I could have had this knowledge while my own were still in the newborn phase. Without question, I am giving this as my favorite New Baby Gift.
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on January 1, 2012
I guess I'll just add my 5-star review to the pile.

This book is so wonderful and helpful and came at the PERFECT time. I have one of those "fancy" cameras and not a lot of knowledge about it. I keep thinking I'll "learn one day" but keep it in its Auto mode 99% of the time. Well, at 39 weeks pregnant I decided that pictures of our first newborn were an absolute necessity but we couldn't afford to pay a photographer, so it was high time that I learn how to use that puppy!

In her introduction, Me Ra Koh explains that when she bought her first big-girl camera, she felt lost and people who were "in the know" talked above her head or in terms that seemed like a foreign language. Hello, kindred spirits, sister! I have more than one pal who takes photographs professionally - a couple who are freakishly good and make a great living at it. But when they talk about their photos, it's like they're speaking Japanese.

I grabbed a Cabbage Patch doll from my childhood and began experimenting with my camera the day I got this book. Little by little, chapter by chapter, Me Ra introduces you to quick tips and tricks to get great pictures - even in Auto mode. Then she gives you projects with "recipes" for a great photo - so I can take my camera out of Auto mode and set the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed for myself and get accustomed to what these settings change in each picture. I find myself taking more than one picture, changing settings with each one, and then comparing. I'm actually learning, and it's fun!

I'm 39 weeks and 4 days and baby has still not made his entrance into the world.. but I've got some great pictures of my Cabbage Patch doll! This is THE book for new parents and/or people who are nervous about photography. It's YOUR family and YOUR baby. Have fun!
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on March 15, 2011
This is a great book for any new parent out there--the helpful information about how to take a photograph, how to use your camera as well as capture the moment is great. As a new mommy and a photographer also, I was encouraged to see my baby with new eyes all over again! Thank you MeRa for the great book!

MeRa is fabulous throughout the book and in person--you won't be disappointed!
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on August 23, 2011
I bought this book based on the great reviews here, and the fact that my first child (daughter) is to be born in about a month.

I greatly appreciate the author's writing style --- helpful, not condescending, slightly humorous at times, personal, etc.

I would consider myself an intermediate photographer: been shooting with DSLRs for a few years, have studied various books/manuals on digital photography, frequently post process using GIMP. While I didn't really learn anything new in this book concerning camera settings (ISO, shutter, apeture) I really appreciate it as a refresher course on some things. Overall my favorite part of the book (and the reason I bought it) is the great example shots. They serve as a great jumping off point for shots I hope to get with my newborn.

I also really appreciate how the book is divided into months of life, making it a easy, logical read.

At $10 I highly recommend this book, and it even if you don't learn anything new from it it makes a wonderful coffee table book because who doesnt like great pictures of babies?!?!
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on March 15, 2011
I love love love this book! I am a family portrait photographer, but I have never been over the moon about my newborn photos. Now I am! If you are an advanced photographer you will get a ton of ideas for natural posing and things to do during the shoot. And if you are a beginner, this book, and everything else Me Ra Koh is the thing for you! Me Ra's style is simple great photos- and she gives you just enough technical information to get there. The photo recipes are so helpful to get you started. A great way to learn is to copy someone you admire, and the more you shoot the more your own style will emerge. Get started with newborns with this book!
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on January 8, 2013
I bought this before the birth of my first child. I absolutely love it and will be giving it away as gifts to friends! I am not a professional photographer, rather the average mom who loves to capture special moments of my family. I take the "memory keeper" role very seriously. This book walks you through exactly how to set up some beautiful candid shots. It offers tips on how to show "mom" in the picture in the most flattering way possible. I love that the author is so sensitive and respectful to the insecurities new moms have after giving birth! This book gives ideas what characteristics/milestones to make sure to capture at what age so as not to miss out on the joy of looking back and remembering the little moments that make life so wonderful.
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on March 15, 2011
If you are a new parent or just wanting to learn more about photographing babies, you too will love this book. I even think you will love it if you are new to photography and just want to better your skills and learn about telling stories with your images - even if you don't intend to photograph babies. There is such a wealth of information within these pages.

Here is what the author's goal is with this book (from the preface pg. viii), "This book isn't about wowing you with my abilities. Rather, this book is about empowering you to capture the first year of your baby's life, whether you have a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera or a point and shoot model. My goal is to remove as many obstacles as possible and inspire you with photographic ideas you may not have otherwise considered." And she starts right off in Chapter 1 with great pointers on choosing a camera, easy camera settings for taking better pictures, tips for finding great light, common mistakes to avoid, and 10 tips for getting great shots. Chapter 2 focuses on storytelling elements and how to get away from "Cheese" pictures.

Then, the rest of the book digs in to capturing your baby's first year with 40 photo recipes broken down by the different stages of baby's life (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, & 9-12 months.) Every photo recipe tells you when to plan on taking the shot, what kind of preparation you might need, what to focus on if you have a point and shoot and what to focus on if you have a DSLR, tips on how to compose the image, and then actually taking the picture. That is just the bare bones of what's in this book. Beyond that, it is filled with other tips, from getting good focus, to capturing silhouettes, to how to deal with grainy pictures, to how to make mom and dad look good, to tips on photographing a busy on the move 9-12 month old and more - all mixed with beautiful imagery, design and writing

This book is definitely on my list for top 10 baby shower gifts!!!

edit: One more bonus to this book... there are 9 different behind the scenes videos that you can find out how to watch by reading the book, where you don't only see MeRa in action, but you hear her talking about the photo recipe. So good!
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on August 7, 2013
Bought this book to give as a baby shower gift and the parents to be really seemed excited over it. It's their first baby and they have a new dslr camera so I thought this might give them some out-of-the-ordinary ideas. The mom-to-be also does scrapbooking and she said this would help them get great pics. I looked through the book when I got it, and was impressed with some of the ideas in it. I am considering buying one for me.
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on March 15, 2011
If you want to take AMAZING photos of your baby then THIS is the book for YOU!!! I have had the opportunity to learn directly from Me Ra and my images have improved 100%...and I credit it to her! I have been following her blog for 2 years now and her style of writing is so easy to follow and helped me even put my camera on manual (gulp!). So even if you do get the opportunity to meet/learn from Me Ra directly I would say this is still the MUST HAVE book to take the best pictures of your baby's 1st yr. All my girlfriends with new babies coming will be getting a copy for sure!
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on April 12, 2016
Great book with wonderful insight on how to capture those precious moments. I have a DSLR and know the basics and a bit more. This book includes the camera settings under each picture which has been great!!! I do have a 50mm which blows the kit lens away.
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