I had a friend who once found a trunk of old photos in her grandmother’s attic. Happy couples, smiling babies, and families around the Christmas tree abounded in that trunk. My friend sat surrounded by all these people she would never know because the owner of the pictures had not labeled a single one.
Take the time to keep history alive by creating albums (either in print or CD) that clearly name and date the photograph. Use acid free paper when mounting pictures in albums, and steer clear of the peeling cellophane albums. Consider making several copies of your photos on CD’s and keeping copies of them at someone else’s house or in a safe deposit box. Fires, hurricanes, and other disasters happen in the blink of an eye and your memories are lost forever.
Use online venues like photobucket.com to upload your photos to a safe place. These online sites usually also offer online photo editors so that you can touch up and resize your photos. Once your photos are uploaded, you will have 24-hour access to them, and you can share them with others.
Create albums of those precious memories so friends and family can share in your delight. Can you imagine having your own special album that showcases special events in your child’s life? Perhaps you can create a book that shows your child’s progression from Preschool to High School graduation, or a book that holds memories of all your child’s special friends or pets. Explore your options for making quality photo books at sites such as photoworks.com or mypublisher.com. At Photoworks you can send photos quickly to family and friends via email.
Consider entering your best shots in contests, such as at thecutekid.com. Model and acting scouts frequent this site, and your child could be chosen to appear in print ads and commercials. What a great way to share your photographs with others! An added bonus is that planning to enter the contest each month will keep you motivated to keep learning about photographing children and keep you motivated to keep taking more pictures!
Imagine – a family sits around table leafing through old photos at their mother’s funeral. She was 86 years old and loved to take pictures. The boxes of photos are full of their own smiling faces – playing with the dog, taking their first bath, visiting the Grand Canyon, accepting their college degree, winning the hot dog eating contest at the company picnic – thousands of family photos that document their lives with their mother. But amongst these photos, they find only a handful of photos of their mother. She was the photographer; everyone accepted that and no one had ever thought to say, “Hey Mom, get in the picture!”
Include yourself in these precious photos of your children. Learn how to set the timer on your camera, and set the camera on a table or a tripod, and GET IN THE PHOTOGRAPH! From time to time, turn the camera over to a spouse or even to an older child, and let them photograph you with the baby.