Do you take a ton of photos on your phone? What about video? Who is the subject matter most of the time?
When my husband died suddenly seven years ago at age 37, I was lucky that I had taken so many photos and videos. But, it was all about my son…which is typical. We wanted to catch him making that funny face, documenting his new wiggly dance, listening to him speak in complete funny sentences at such a young age. But the result was not many photos of mom or dad! In the videos I can hear my husband’s voice occasionally, but rarely see his face. I see this happening with other couples. We stop taking photos of each other, and just focus on the kids.
This fall season, while picking out pumpkins, tasting fresh apples, getting sticky from donuts and cider, please make it a point to capture photos of the kids but also the Mr. or Mrs. AND BOTH Mr. and Mrs. For single moms this is especially hard, but ask people around you to take photos. Better yet, ask your 3-year old to take a photo – you know they have years of experience with your phone! Find another family and offer to take family pictures for each other. I guess “selfies” have helped tremendously in this area, too.
Take more videos. Record the everyday ramblings of not just the kids but of dad cooking bacon on a Saturday morning. Record mom as she asks the kids to pick up their rooms…because someday they will miss that voice, even asking them to do chores. Record the contagious belly laughter. It might make you cry someday to hear it again, but you’ll be glad you captured it.
Finally, DO something with these photos and videos. Take time each week to at least email yourself your photos, or upload them to a photo site like dropshots or shutterfly (or dozens of other options). Move the videos to a safer place or get them transferred to a DVD. You will be glad you did. I have spent many hours making photo books on Shutterfly and Snapfish. (I wish they were compensating me for advertising for them!). My books generally take 10+ hours to make, but I do it in stages over several nights: upload photos, choose book, edit/crop photos, add text & stickers and review. I save the book in my cart until there’s a half off sale…which is often. (Traveler’s tip: Great Wolf Lodge offers a free 8×8 Shutterfly book – be sure to ask for the coupon!)
So this fall…………click, click, record and repeat…a lot. Enjoy the moment without needing to get “the perfect” shot. Instead, focus on getting mom & dad’s photos and voices documented. Record the laughter and the tantrums. (You heard me. Document those, too!) Instead of checking facebook while at a family outing, record the chillens picking on each other or holding hands. You’ll miss their squeaky little voices! And as a family, look at the photo books together and recall those quality family moments. Even if the kids moan about watching the footage, they’ll be grateful for it…someday. And, as scary as it sounds, you won’t all live forever, and to be able to listen to voices again…trust me – it’s a great thing.