The holidays and photos go hand-in-hand, right? For many of us, family Christmas cards were a yearly staple. As parents in the present day, it’s hard to imagine how our parents got any decent photos of us before smart phones and digital cameras were available to snap an unlimited number of shots. But at what point are our cameras getting in the way of enjoying these precious moments?
There Is No Such Thing as the “Perfect Photo”
There are bad photos—accidental selfies, blurry shots, thumbs that take over the entire frame—but there’s no such thing as The Perfect Photo. Yet thanks to digital photos eliminating paying for film, we often take dozens to hundreds of photos in a day trying to find the best possible shot.
Think about which pictures you like most from your childhood. Are they the ones with forced smiles and poses, or are they the weird, off-centered, full of life photos where you decided your favorite teddy bear was the star of the show?
The truth is that mementos of a memory should never replace the actual memory. No matter how many photos you take, you’re never going to capture everything about an event or moment. At best a photo can make you smile and think, “Remember when?” You’ll want to manage more than, “Remember when I took all of these pictures?”
Remember: You Are Your Child’s Role Model
There’s been a lot of research and general talk lately complaining about how often children use screens, as well as their effect on children’s social skills. While there are many ways to limit screen time for children, remember that you are their role model for behavior. If they see you constantly looking at them from behind your phone or camera, they may think this is the best way to interact with others.
We’re not saying to throw your phones and cameras away and go back to the dark ages of family portraits only. Rather, be mindful of how often you take photos of your kids—and how many photos you’re taking—compared to the time you spend away from the screen.