Do you feel bad for not capturing milestones or having family pictures? Here’s why you shouldn’t feel guilty for not taking photos of your kids.
I don’t post pictures of my kids on this blog. But how’s this for a (not-so) surprise: You won’t find me taking many photos of my kids in general.
Of course in these modern times, this is a stretch. My computer houses thousands of pictures, from the everyday to special outings.
Compared to my one childhood album with maybe 20 pictures, any number of photos we take these days is plenty enough.
Still, I realize I miss out on many photo opportunities.
I don’t have cute “first day of school” photos (just a regular one taken on an iPhone with no chalkboard sign).
We haven’t taken professional photos of any of the kids other than school picture day.
And—get this—we haven’t taken any family photos since the twins were born.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty for not taking photos of your kids
With enough of this thinking, the guilt starts creeping in. Am I missing out on memories? Should I be taking many photos? Should I schedule a family photo before the kids grow too old?
It’s hard to take photos of or with kids
A huge reason is the practicality of taking photos. It’s hard taking photos of kids, with kids, and especially as a family. Kids squirm and protest. I also haven’t had an inclination to pay for professional photography to handle all this for me.
You miss out on the moment
Then at times I can’t justify bringing out the camera. For instance, yesterday the five of us enjoyed a special moment around the dining table.
We weren’t doing anything grand, we weren’t even eating. My husband held one of the twins on his lap while the other was on mine, and our eldest was sharing stories. I even mentioned to my husband how this moment was fun. And I wanted to remember it.
I could’ve pulled the camera out—that would’ve cement this moment in memory. What better way to relive a moment than to see it in ‘pause’ as a photo? But doing so would mean getting up from seat and rummaging through my purse to find the camera.
The moment would’ve been lost
So instead, I commit the memory to mind, happy to have lived it even if I couldn’t record it.
We do take photographs and videos (just yesterday I took one of the twins laughing at each other.) But I prize enjoying the moment above all. If the opportunity to take a photograph isn’t there, I don’t feel bad.
Life is interrupted
I also don’t want my kids to pause their life for so many pictures. Imagine a simple outing like going to the park interrupted by a series of, “Look here!” and “Smile!” and “Say cheese for the camera!”
And they shouldn’t feel like we measure in photos. That these snapshots are “proof” of life documented to be shared on Facebook.
Some pictures aren’t worth it
I don’t want them to lose sight of what’s important. Did you hear about the folks who ended up killing a shark because they wanted to take selfies with it? Several families, including children, found a baby shark along the shores.
But rather than set it free, they continued to take selfies with it. They were oblivious about endangering the shark—they just needed to snap that cool photo.
There’s that disconnect with nature sometimes. We’re so caught up with documenting that we forget at what cost.
In one extreme, it’s a shark’s life. And on the other end, maybe it’s the ability to simply be and enjoy life without the visual proof. Without taking a photograph.
And so I take out my camera when I can. That usually means when my iPhone is nearby, or when I actually remember to take a group photo. I don’t berate myself for not having taken a photograph of every milestone.
And the slight twinge of regret at not recording our special moments are swept away by the memory of it in my mind.
This is one of those things where I’m okay if I don’t do it. I don’t do crafts with my kids or decorate for every holiday (the Christmas tree is it, folks). I also don’t take many photographs, and not the best quality.
For me, that’s okay. Because it’s great if I’m able to capture these moments, but no sweat either if I don’t, either. At least I lived it.
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Tell me in the comments: How do you balance taking many photos of your kids with the rest of your day? Do you feel bad for not taking many photos of your kids on special days and milestones? What are the benefits of taking many photos of your kids, and what are some of the downfalls?