They grow up so fast and naturally you want to capture every minute! With smartphones and sites like Instagram, documenting your kids’ lives has never been easier. In fact, it’s so easy that knowing when and where to focus your lens is only part of the challenge. The really hard part is narrowing down your options and organizing all of those photos.
Of course you want to have photos of the big events and milestones — like birthdays, graduations and proms — but sometimes the most meaningful images are those little everyday moments. Luckily, most smartphones today can take really high-quality pics and one advantage of being glued to yours is that you’ve always got a camera ready. Now you’ve just got to pay attention.
Think about your kids’ particular quirks and things that make him or her unique. It can be anything from a favorite toy or shirt to a certain expression or gesture. Take lots of candid shots and don’t worry too much about getting everything just right. You can always weed out the bad ones and save the gems.
Especially during the first few years of life when kids go through so many huge changes in such a short time, try to take at least one or two photos each day. Again, you can always get rid of the bad ones and you’ll be so happy to be able to look back at those early days and reminisce about even the mundane things. You can still take posed shots too but it’s nice to have a mix.
The most evocative photos are the ones that capture relationships and interactions. Each little exchange tells a little story. So be sure to capture those moments when an older sibling is helping a younger one learn something, when they’re playing with friends, pets or other relatives. You’ll get plenty of funny and heartwarming images.
When you take so many pics, it’s essential to organize them as you go so you don’t wind up with a completely overwhelming project at the end of the year. Download photos to your computer on a regular basis and keep them in folders organized by date (even if it’s just by month) or event or both.
It also helps to regularly go through and edit your photos. Print out the really great ones and keep them in an actual photo album — you’ll be glad you did! Instagram is also fantastic for organizing and sharing photos with friends and family. Just be sure to set your account to private so you’re not inviting the whole world into your personal life.
It’s also fun to create digital photo albums centered around different themes, events or time periods. Baby’s First Year, Birthday Party, Best Friends, Soccer, Girl Scouts, Prom…the possibilities are endless and years from now you’ll have a priceless family archive.