How To Use Photos Of Your Children by Kit Hitchock, Child Photographer

Once you have taken some gorgeous photos of your children, what do you do with them? Often we download our digital photos onto the computer and there they stay. We look through them occasionally, but don’t really do anything with them. In a way it was easier in the old days: we got our prints back from the shop and then could stick the best ones into the album or carry them around in our bags to show friends and family. However the age of digital photography has given us a whole new range of options to use photographs of our children in creative and fun ways to enrich our lives.

Enrich Your Lives

The traditional photo album is still at the heart of your photographic family life. Keeping albums as the years go by is a wonderful way of documenting your children’s lives in a lasting way. It is up to you whether you want to make it a masterpiece of scrapbooking creativity, or just an unfussy collection of the photos that really have meaning for you, labelled with dates, names and places, to help you remember those elusive details years later. If you don’t have a good quality home printer it is cheap and easy to order prints of your digital photos online. Digital photo printing services are very competitive and give professional prints. You choose exactly which photos to print and you can also get multiple copies to send to grandparents of the best ones.

Print Photos Of Your Children

If you have a good quality color printer at home then you have even more options for printing out your photos. Some camera software packages give you options for creating A4 pages of photos, so that you can create a whole album page on the computer and print it out, captions and all. You can then slip it into a plastic sleeve in a folder and create an instant album. For good results you will need to buy photo or archival quality paper to use in your printer. Once you have printed enough photo pages out, perhaps once a year, you can have them bound into a book to make your instant album more permanent.

Share Photos Of Your Children Online

Another fantastic way of creating a special photo album, is to use an online photo sharing service. You use their software to lay out your digital photos into album pages and they then create an actual printed book for you. This way you can have your own coffee table quality book to commemorate important events in your family. These would make really special gifts for the grandparents. You could put together a book with all your best baby photos to remember your baby’s first year. Or make a yearbook with photos of your children through the seasons. Or make up an album around a special vacation. The possibilities are endless. This option will take a little bit of work from you to create your perfect layout and select the photos but the results are well worth it.

Create Personalized Photo Gifts

Online photo sahring services offer other formats too. You can create a calendar with your best photos, again a great Christmas gift for the family, or use photos of your children to make personalized Christmas cards or postcards. Remember to order your books and cards well in advance of the holiday season, as delivery times increase the closer you get to Christmas!

Print Photos Of Your Kids On Canvas

Another great traditional way of using photographs of your children is to have a special photo wall in your house somewhere. If you have lots of space you can keep adding framed prints on canvas over the years, hanging them close together to make a patchwork frieze of photos. Use frames in a simple style, preferably all in one color, for a unified effect. In a small house with limited wall space you can you decide on the number of frames you have space for and then update the photos each year, taking the old ones out of the frames and putting them into an album or special folder as you replace them with the new photos of your children.

More Gift Ideas Using Your Children’s Photographs

There are also lots of less traditional ways of using your digital pictures both for yourself and for personalized gifts. If you do an online search you can find online photo services offering to print your photos on everything from keychains, to mugs, to mouse mats and baby bibs. There are also some good quality digital gadgets for storing and viewing your photos. How about buying a digital photo keychain which can store 100 images of your kids as a gift for your parents. Or a digital photo frame that can display all your favourite pictures of your children in a slide show?

Share Your Children’s Pictures With Family & Friends

Of course one of the best things about digital photos is how easy they are to share with friends and family who live far away. This internet age has made it so much easier to stay connected with family living far away and photos have to be one of the best ways of sharing our lives. It is so easy to e-mail photos that we could quickly send the grandparents every week to keep them up to date with what our children have been up to. If Grandma can’t be there for a special birthday, she can still have the photos of her grandchild smiling at her from her computer that very evening… if Mom has the energy left to sit at her computer for a few minutes after a hectic birthday party!

Share Your Kids Photos On Social Networks

If you’re on Facebook, you probably already know how easy it is to share photos with your friends there. It is a great and safe photo sharing environment, as only your friends can view your albums and pictures. You can upload photos straight from your computer without having to resize them and group them in albums for your Facebook friends to look through.

Be Safe With Photographs Of Your Children!

Blogging is another popular way of sharing photos and stories about your life, but I suggest a few precautions if you want to post pictures of your children on your blog. Remember that, unless you have a password protected blog, your photos can be viewed and copied by anyone and re-used elsewhere on the internet. To protect your children’s privacy, you might prefer not to post portrait style photos on your blog or any that identify them too clearly. You should also not use their real names in a way that can be connected to their photos.

Quickly Archive Your Kids Photographs!

Whatever you do with your digital photos, one thing is more important than any. As soon as you download your photos on to your computer and erase them from the camera, make sure that you back them up. Back them up on a separate external hard drive that you keep for your photos onto another drive on your computer. Burn your special photos onto CDs or DVDs and keep them in a safe place. So many people have lost a whole chunk of their photographic records of their children through computer failure, so don’t let that happen to you! Get a supply of archival CDs, DVDs and storage holders or boxes to protect those special images!

Don’t Hide Those Photos!

By using your photos of your children in one of the ways suggested above you will have already made yourself a more permanent back up that doesn’t rely on the whims of computers. A beautifully printed photo album is the best back-up of all: one you can keep for the rest of your life and one that won’t get outdated by technological advances. So enrich your life and get your favourite pictures of your kids printed now – don’t leave them hidden away in your computer files where no-one can see them!

Child Photographer

Child Photographer

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