Why Take Photographs Of Your Children? by Kit Hitchock, Photographer

Childhood is such a precious yet fleeting time. A baby arrives in our life and from then on we are immersed in a whirlpool of caring for their physical and emotional needs: diapers, feeds, hugs and cuddles, peekaboo. Often a first baby is greeted with a flurry of cameras worthy of the paparazzi around an A-list celebrity.

Photograph Your New Baby

Everyone wants to photograph a new baby to celebrate the new arrival in the world. But then longer intervals go by when the camera stays on the shelf. Perhaps we go back to work or are just struggling to adapt to the demands of being at home with a baby. Getting through the day is the priority, not recording the everyday activities of our growing child. It is only when Grandma comes to visit and exclaims over how much he has grown and changed, that we realize that we haven’t taken any photos in months. A whole stage of our baby’s development has gone unrecorded and unshared with his grandparents.

Create Wonderful Memories

Taking pictures of our kids as they grow gives us a wonderful set of visual memories to look back on as they get older. While you are surrounded by the chaos of babies and toddlers it can be hard to imagine that one day they will grow older and more independent. We can’t imagine that we’ll ever forget that cute baby grin or the soft curve of the cheek, the favorite soft toy that has to be found every bedtime. And yet time flashes by and they do grow. Their confident, busy, independent selves rush off to school or to activities with friends. Our memories of their baby selves are dimmed by their vibrant presence and only the merest glimpse of their babyhood is left in the hugs and cuddles at bedtime, the sparkle of an eye. It is then that we turn to the baby album, to remind ourselves of how gorgeous they were as babies.

Photos Remind Us Of Our Unconditional Love For Our Children

Sometimes when older children are being demanding and unreasonable, and we are on the verge of losing our tempers with them, a quick look at the photos of them as babies and cute toddlers is enough to remind us of our unconditional love for them and gives us the patience to deal with this last outburst, just as we did with their toddler tantrums.

Teach Family History To Our Children

Children too love looking back at photos of themselves as babies and toddlers. It gives them a sense of history about a time that they can’t really remember for themselves. It is a record of how much they are loved and of all the people in their lives as babies and toddlers. They may not see much of Uncle John now, but there he is in the album telling them a story. An older grandparent or great grandparent might have since passed on, but they can feel a connection with them by looking at photographs of their baby selves sitting on their laps. It is a great way of keeping memories alive.

Record Our Children’s Lives

Kids also love having a record of everything that happens in their lives. A year is an eternity to a child. Some things they remember vividly and others they struggle to recall. My kids flock around the computer whenever I am going through the photo files and in no time we have embarked on a nostalgia trip of ‘do you remembers. It doesn’t matter that the photos are not all neatly printed and stuck into albums, just having the photos accessible to flick through on screen is enough of a record for them. They get a sense of how much they have grown, how much they have achieved: ‘That was before I could ride a bicycle.’ ‘You had to carry me in those days.’ ‘I didn’t even know how to write back then.’ You can have wonderful moments of sharing memories that strengthen your family ties and add to their sense of belonging and feeling secure within the family.

Share Your Children’s Lives With Family

One of the best reasons for photographing your kids as often as you can is so that you can share details of their daily lives with family that live too far away to be a regular part of their lives. Grandma will love seeing a picture of the kids wearing the clothes she picked out for them, or of them unwrapping their birthday gifts. By taking pictures, you can keep everyone up to date with your children’s latest interest, whether it is soccer or horse-riding lessons, pottery or painting, or just a latest cool toy that the kids want to show Grandad.

Share Photos Of Your Children Online

Digital photos are so easy to share: you can e-mail them or post them onto Photoworks or other photo-sharing sites and keep your family and close friends feeling a close sense of community with your family. You may not have time to write long letters or e-mails keeping them up to date, but a photo is worth a thousand words and communicates just as well. It bridges the gap so that when grandparents or aunts and uncles do visit they feel a sense of connection with your children immediately and can overcome any initial shyness your kids might feel by engaging with them on their favorite new interests.

Create A Record Of Your Family’s Life

Most importantly of all, taking pictures of your kids gives you a record of your family life. It may seem impossible to imagine when they’re small, but one day they will be ready to leave the nest and the time will have flown by all too quickly. Your memories will be there, but the photos that you have taken over the years will fill in all the details that would have otherwise slipped away. Maybe by then you will even have the time to make up all the beautiful leather albums that you had always meant to fill with year by year pictures of all your family doings, but had never got beyond the first baby album.

Keep Taking Pictures

Don’t worry too much about special techniques for photographing children, the important thing is that you keep taking pictures of your kids as they grow. A few simple tips can point you in the right direction and the more you photograph your children the better you’ll get at it. You’ll have lots of fun with your kids and your camera too!

Keep Your Camera Handy

So keep your cameras to hand throughout your children’s growing up years. Photograph the ordinary daily happenings as well as the special ones. Share them regularly with the rest of the family and build up a wonderful visual record of your family life. That slightly blurred snapshot of your smiling child discovering the joys of picking flowers that she grew herself from seed, will connect you and her with the emotion of that moment for the rest of your lives.

Create A Treasure Chest Of Memories

Your photos are a treasure chest of memories to dig into whenever you need a life-affirming pick-me-up and they are there for your children too. Who knows, one day they may sit on the couch leafing through the photo albums with their own children, who will be equally fascinated by this record of their parents as kids like them!

Child Photographer

Child Photographer

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