Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Taking Fabulous Pictures of Children

Ever since the introduction of the first cameras long ago, parents have been snapping memories of their children. Every new stage of life often was accompanied by a photo session. Today with the invention of digital cameras, the interest is more widespread than ever and parents are snapping all kinds of memories and smiles to preserve for the future.

In the past, photographs were taken at special occasions mostly. These times included birthdays, each grade of school, holidays, and family vacations for the most part. Often a big production was made of it and everyone dressed up the boys in their little suits and the girls in those frilly dresses.

Why only special occasions back then? Well one reason was because not only did the film for the camera have to be bought, but often the flash needed a separate purchase. Remember those old flash "cubes"? After those things were purchased, then the film had to be sent off to be developed and that was more money. Parents often made the decision that even though little Emily may have been adorable with pureed sweet potatoes all over her face it wasn't a reason to put money into having a photograph of the moment.

After digital cameras started appearing, though, all this changed. Suddenly dozens of pictures could be taken and there were no film, flash, or developing costs. Most everyone already has a computer, so downloading photographs is not a bother. The option to have them printed out still exists, so people who need the tangible photo to hold in their hands are happy, too.

Scrapbookers are happy because copies are easy to make. Grandparents are happy because it means more pictures of their grandbabies. Parents are happy because now every moment can be captured and the cost of many of the digital cameras is decreasing from when they were first introduced.

One thing that I personally need to work on is keeping my cameras within reach. Yes, that's plural. I have not been able to make myself switch totally over to digital yet. I have a great digital but I also keep my 35mm in working order and with film in it. I just like the quality of 35mm a bit better, so there are some occasions that I prefer using the traditional camera.

I need to keep my digital camera in a more accessible place. I have it in its case in the hall closet and it really should be easier to grab than that. I hope it will not take missing a fabulous shot of a lifetime to remind me to do that!

Try to photographically document what daily life is like in your household. If you are into scrapbooking, there is even more reason to do this. The kids may get annoyed with mom or dad constantly having a camera in their face, but the pictures will be so much fun to look at. A picture of a child reading their favorite book is a great idea. Do they have any chores that have been assigned to them? Document it!

Do you have guests stopping by your home for whatever reason? If so, snap a picture of them. Do the neighborhood kids come over to play with your kids? Let them pose for a picture. Does your family enjoy doing any activities together either inside or outside of the house? Again, document it! Don't forget pictures of pets.

Even though you will be taking many photos throughout the year, be sure to also take plenty during the holiday season. Even if you don't keep scrapbooks, you can buy photo albums that are specifically made to hold holiday photographs.

If you are like I am and enjoy having actual prints of your digital pictures, you may want to go ahead and have double prints made of each picture. Not only is it nice to be able to share them, but if you want to do scrapbooking and end up cropping some of the pictures for framing, you will still have a copy of the original. Caption and date all photos that are printed out.

In fact, something I have wanted to do but never got around to doing is to make duplicates and then store one set in another home with family members. If you don't do printouts, the same applies for your digital pictures. I've often heard people say that when there's a disaster, the worst thing to lose is family photographs. Take steps to preserve these memories.

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