Having my firstborn was staggering. It was as if I had invented the world. Nothing — absolutely nothing — about him was too small to ignore. Every burp, every cough, every hiccup, every piece of pungent nose-pinching digestive output was critically analysed as though he were the one and only male human baby specimen in the galaxy.
Within a week, I had thousands of baby photos in my camera roll. Several hundred were of his tiny little feet. Aside: Baby feet! Are so damn cute!
At the paediatrician’s clinic I stood commisterating with a bewildered new dad who told me in disbelief, “I thought I only took a few photos. How did I get 9,000 photos of the baby on my laptop in three weeks?!”
I know, I know, I wanted to tell him. We’ve been inducted into that exclusive club of people like surgeons and serial killers whose photo grids are made up of pictures of body parts.
It’s the magic that a baby weaves upon a new parent; this tiny being’s enormous ability to deconstruct and destroy space, time, and parental sanity.
Or perhaps it’s the lack of sleep?
Anyway, at that time during the 00s, I was using a non-smartphone to take all these photos of my little one. Let me tell you, trying to manoeuvre a wriggly baby onto your boob while angling a phone (with no front camera) for a breastfeeding wefie is tough. One of these had to go.
But I felt that I HAD TO memorialise every single moment of my baby’s existence. What higher calling on earth could there be for me now that I was a mother? It was my maternal DUTY, dammit, to document every breathing moment of this Life of my loins.
In hindsight, post-pregnancy hormones probably played a part in this particular pantomime. In the early weeks of baby blues I would cry as he cried because I had no idea why he was crying and what to do, and then snap photos of both of us crying.
I cried even harder when I tried to get pictures of his little eyelashes, his little fingernails, his little ears, and his little mouth, only to fail because my phone camera could not take close-up shots so all I had was a collection of blurry body parts.
What I needed was a phone with a macro function. Like the new iphone13 Pro.
Yes, the iPhone 13 Pro
Now you’re going to say that I am blatantly advertising for Apple. They don’t need it. Moreover, I don’t even have the iPhone 13 Pro. But I love what it can do. And I would have loved to have something like this when I was a new mum — heck even now. Here’s why:
First, the beautiful. This allows you to do what I couldn’t at that time: take close up pictures of Baby’s tiny features to coo over with anyone who will tolerate your non-stop gushing over your baby.
Second, the practical. The macro lens is useful when the baby falls and has a bump, when the baby has a rash, when the toddler has stuck something up their nose/ear/any other orifice, or acquired a technicolour bruise after falling off their balance bike.
You will take photos of bump, rash, bruise, or scrape and send them to friends, family, and even the PD. You will compare them to images online. Sooner or later you will research and read medical documents online, make notes, and question your PD’s diagnosis. Your PD may ask if you are the doctor, or if he/she is.
Convoluted discussion threads on Whatsapp over the providence of rashes, spots, and bumps will become part of your life. It can get pretty confusing, but the macro lens will help to make things a lot clearer.
Note: Macro is only available in the iPhone 13 pro models
If this does not tempt you to have another baby so that you can capture your precious one in full colour movie-style glory, are you even a mother? But seriously, the Cinematic mode is amazing. If you like taking videos of your kids, you’ll love this.
It lets you create videos that have automatic focus tracking from one subject to another. This means the subject (baby) stays clear while the background (messy house) is blurry and vice versa as you move the phone.
That blurred background is what professionals call bokeh and it’s not just an effect, it’s like the holy grail of photo taking. And yes, with the iPhone 13 Pro you can execute it like an action star while clutching a breastfeeding baby under one arm. Cool.
Furthermore, the iPhone 13 devices are the only phones in the world that enable editing of this depth-of-field effect in video — even after recording. Double cool.
Note: Cinematic mode is available in all iPhone 13 models.
Wide camera, Night mode, and more
Billed as “the most advanced dual-camera system ever on iPhone” this basically makes everything you shoot look better. That’s because of a new Wide camera with Night mode that captures 47 per cent more light (for instance if you’re taking photos during nocturnal breastfeeding sessions, or when the vampire child decides that 3am is the perfect time for play).
There’s also something called sensor-shift optical image stabilisation (OIS) that keeps things steady — so no one suffers from motion sickness when watching that video of your toddler running towards grandma which you took while running after your toddler.
Note: Sensor-shift OIS was first introduced in iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Making memories last
As you know, the one great truth about parenting is that children grow up too quickly. The days are long but the years are short blah blah blah and all that. One blink and they’re towering over you and giving you eye rolls and snark.
As a young mother whose love for her child overwhelmed all rational thought I believed I would never forget the precious moments we shared. Now that the kids are older — as am I — I realise my mistake. Memory fades. Cruelly, the more you try to cling on to it, the further it disappears into the mists of time.
What helps preserve it? Photos and videos. Years later when you look at the ones you took of your children you’ll be glad you made these memories on a device that preserved them well. Take it from the mum who only has Minecraft-pixel style videos of her firstborn.
Featured image: Pexels