Nobody ever really admits to wanting to buy a DSLR just to take photos of their kids but, sometimes, I can't really think of a better reason. A couple's second child usually has fewer photographs and keepsakes made, but I'm trying to buck that trend with Beth. I really wish I had photographs this good of April when she was a baby.

Beth Speirs

*Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8*

*1/200 @ f/1.8, ISO 400*

Shot with the Child Lens (a.k.a. the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8). People are probably sick of me boring on about this lens, but it really is sensational. One of the beauties of this lens is the lightning-fast autofocus. It's really, really, really fast and this makes it one of the best of all my lenses for keeping up with flying children. Beth doesn't move that fast - yet - but even babies don't sit very still for very long.

If you're looking for a nice prime lens for portaits, I'd really recommend looking at this lens.

I've been on a bit of a simplicity kick in photography recently. I discovered the Monochrome picture mode on my 30D, which is pretty cool. I don't know what it does when you're shooting JPEG, but when shooting RAW it causes the LCD preview to be rendered in B&W, so it feels like you're really shooting Black and White.

When you pull the shots into Aperture, the RAW data still has the colour information, so the images show up in colour. My next step is usually to apply a Monochrome filter to the first image, then lift it with Lift and Stamp and stamp the filter onto the rest of the images in the project.

Aperture tip: Did you know that, when stamping onto multiple images, you can stamp one image, then shift-click on another image and the stamp will be applied to the intervening range of images? Think of it as analogous to shift-click to extend the selection. That way, you can turn an entire project into B&W with two keystrokes and three clicks. (See: Performing Image Adjustments manual p13-14).