The saying is that the first born has more photos than any of the other kids. This may be true for kids born in the age when film cameras were the only option or in regards to professional portrait sessions, but with the advent of digital photos it is easier than ever to document and share your child’s growth.
Most people I know these days have a smart phone that has a camera (and video). Some of these cameras take pretty good quality pictures and there are great apps for editing pictures. Parents can share photos by message, email, or social media instantly.
Parents can also upload images to photo printing services or stores for grandparents, other family, or friends to pick up or have delivered to them. For instance, at the park the other day, I took a photo of my 18 month old son, it was adorable. I uploaded it to Walgreens via their app and then called my mother to pick it up at her local store.
There are also websites that allow parents to create photo books easily and relatively cheaply. One of my favorite ones is Shutterfly.com. They have coupon codes and sales regularly so I just keep an eye out. Parents can order prints, calendars, photo-books, mugs and what have you easily.
While some families use their phones as their only camera other families opt to invest in a DSLR. As photography is a growing hobby lots of parents and relatives enjoy dabbling. DSLRs can be expensive especially when purchasing lenses and other equipment but it can spell savings down the line in terms of not having professional pictures taken as frequently.
With the financial savings however, comes a time and patience commitment, editing images and learning the software can be time consuming and challenging. Most parents and families will still want to have a photographer for family portraits though.
DSLR cameras are available at big box stores such as Target and Best Buy as well as online retailers and specialty shops. The biggest advice I can offer in terms of purchasing a DSLR is try it out, play with it, hold it, and feel it first. Some cameras just feel better to some people than others. There are websites and tutorials to help even the most technology challenged among us learn how to use the software and the devices.
Another option for families, are point and shoot cameras, they are quick, less costly and easily portable. They often do not have as many features, but can be perfect for day to day things. They have improved greatly in quality in the last few years.
Another important thing to capture is your kids’ artwork and school projects, kids can create a mountain of art and projects in a short time. Unless you have unlimited storage, this can be problematic. I often take pictures of pictures and projects that I can’t save and then save the image. So at least I have some record of it. This only means I take up a few megabytes of storage (cumulatively terabytes maybe). There are apps as well that support this and facilitate it.
Children grow up so fast saving and sharing memories of their childhoods is one of the best parts. The saying goes- they days are long but their years are short. This is so true. I can hardly believe my oldest is 9 years old. I could swear just last week she was a toddler. Now she is just so big I can hardly believe it. So looking at photos of her, and sharing them with her is a great thing. I can show her just how small she was, show her the funny things she did. I have photos of her first friends, of her first steps her first finger painting. Those moments and days are long gone- but they will always remain in my photos.
I take hundreds of photos. Granted, I do not print the majority. But having the memories is so great. I can make slide shows, gifts, and I swear, one day, I will catch up on scrapbooking. Right after, I catch up on the laundry. I email and share my photos via Facebook and other social media so my friends and family who do not live nearby can share in the fun.
My friends and family who are far flung can also share their lives with us. I wouldn’t get to see my friends in Germany, nearly as much without the ability to quickly and easily share photos with others.
Enjoy the memories, even when you are frustrated. Even when you are overwhelmed. Whether or not you use a smart phone, DLSR, a point and shoot, or a professional photographer, memories are made to be cherished and shared.