Friday, November 04, 2005

Photographing "Everyday" Special Occasions

The title seems to be a contradiction of terms, doesn't it? It truly isn't that, however, and its purpose is to remind us of something very important. If you are like I was for too many years, you bring out the camera for special occasions only. That is when you remember to take your photographs . . . when a holiday, birthday, or a few other festive times come along.

Try to get into the habit of snapping photographs of the "everyday" and even mundane things that go on in your household each day. What may seem too ordinary to snap a photo of now may be exactly the perfect event to spark some wonderful memories in the future.

Keep your camera stored in a place where you will have easy access to it. Think of the future and things that will make you and your children smile ten or twenty years from now. If Johnny insists on eating cold cereal every single morning in his fuzzy turtle slippers, snap a picture of him with the bowl and fuzzy feet. If little Kate falls asleep every night using the German Shepherd as a pillow on the sofa, capture it on film or digital camera.

There are so many things to make memories with! Does your family spend time playing board games or doing jigsaw puzzles? Take photographs of children playing with their favorite toys and by all means, don't wait for Christmas to do that. Capture guests who come to visit in a photograph and take pictures of any dinner parties or other parties you host either for adults or for children.

These photos may end up being stored on the computer, on disk, in photo albums, or in scrapbooks, but no matter what becomes of them, you will be glad that you have them sometime in the future. It is a good idea to print duplicates or order duplicates if someone else is developing traditional film for you. Store the second set of prints in a place other than the same home for safe keeping. You may also consider opening an account with an online email service that offers large storage space (i.e. Google's email option called gmail) and store some of your best and favorite photos there.

Other things to snap photographs of (although there are countless possibilities and you will come up with many of your own!) include:

-- Any household chores the children perform
-- Children with their favorite books
-- Your spouse or partner cooking a special dinner (make note of what he or she was cooking!)
-- Some of your family's favorite activities
-- Any firsts that occur from first steps to first solid food to first Halloween, etc. (everything that is new for a child in the family)
-- Visitors and neighbors who stop by
-- The family eating a favorite meal or snack
-- Washing the dog, or dressing him up!
-- Watching a sunset from outside or from the window
-- Playing in the rain, snow, or pile of leaves

Don't forget to make notes on the backs of printed or developed pictures about what it is that was going on if that is not obvious from seeing the picture. Write down names of people who aren't in the immediate family and jot down the date on the photo. This becomes easier on computer-stored pictures, of course, because they are already dated.

You will be glad that special "everyday" photos were added to the usual snaps of holidays, birthdays, sports participation, vacations, school plays, and family reunions.

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