You roll your eyes and quickly scroll past the 316th picture she posted of her child… that week. You wonder if her child’s only memory of growing up will be her mom stalking her like paparazzi.
You hold in your surprise when your daughter’s fiancé informs you he has no childhood pictures. “My parents wanted us to remember them participating with us, not taking pictures of us. Plus, they hate cameras.”
Two extremes. Both have valid reasoning. And shortcomings. And like all other extreme camps, there’s a middle ground to be found. I love looking at old pictures. If I’m cleaning and my endeavors cross paths with pictures that need to be cleaned through – woe to anything remaining on the to-do list! They don’t even have to be my memories. My parent’s childhood memories tucked in my grandparents’ dresser drawers are also captivating.
But the face of family photography has changed. We no longer take one picture to document an event, groan when the developed product is blurry, shrug and keep it as the one we’ve got. Now, hundreds of pictures can tell the tale of special events. While I do want tangible memories, I want to enjoy the making of those memories, as well. Now taking pictures is no chore for me, clearly. But during this hike with my husband, I want to be hands free and focus on undistracted connection time. And this trip to the park, I’m going to yell and holler and run around and zip down slides WITH my son.
So the happy middle ground must look something like this (at least it does in my life): Keep your camera in a handy spot for those pop-up memorable moments. Deliberately plan on taking a trip to the park WITH your camera and shoot away, but the next 4 times, go and enjoy undistracted family time. The pictures in this post are from a time I deliberately brought the camera to the park to capture my son playing with his friends. We’ve been to the park with friends multiple times since with no camera involved.
Of course, you may also want to plan a time to bring a friend to take the pictures so no one is lost behind the camera. Or you could ask your favorite photographer… I’m sure they would love a let-loose session of just capturing your family’s fun times!
Enjoy your summer of capturing memories- and making them, too.