One of the projects most children do in school at some stage is “The Story of Me”. We had just such a project in our house recently and so the hunt for the photos to illustrate the story involved many boxes & albums of photos along with discs and hard-drives (there has been a huge change in photo technology during the 16 year span of the young life in question).
Today, a photograph of most newborns will be on social media within 57 minutes of birth. This image, taken within an hour of birth (on film), has taken 16+ years to hit the internet…
As we trawled through the past 16 years, the whole family had a really lovely trip down memory lane. We stumbled upon long forgotten photographs – maybe they didn’t pass our “high standards” at the time and so they never made it to our hall of fame.
But being photographers, we find it really hard to tear up or delete photographs permanently. And now, we are so glad we have all those images because, as it turns out, even “bad” photographs are good, when viewed back through the lens of 16 years.
Can it be that there really are no such things as “bad” photographs? Once the moment has passed, all we have are our photographs and our videos which take us back to those baby + toddler days…back to “nappy valley” or back to whatever part of life we chose to record with a photograph.
Looking back at these photographs I’m sharing today, I’m sure like many parents we thought the days of bottles, nappies, soothers and packing a bag just to walk out the door would never end. The days of early rising and nights interrupted by feeds and teething – the universal experience that we all share – tapped all our energy.
Phoebe getting her first shoes while her sisters supervise & approve the style choice. The shoes are now framed, as are her sister’s, and hanging on our kitchen wall.
But then there were also the funny days and all the “firsts” of our three children – and luckily we do seem to have snapped most of them too. My favourite photos are the ones that just remind us of the everyday things, like Phoebe’s obsession with our Christmas tree decorations and how she licked the sparkles right off a big green one (we still have the much licked and much loved bauble).
I remember looking in the back of the car at our line-up – eldest in the middle, babies at the sides. Now that the car, those child car-seats and the complaints “I’m squashed” are gone, it’s nice to have just one photo – not a high art piece – to take us back to those outings.
Eldest crammed in the middle, babies at the sides…
So if you do stop for a moment to snap an image of your kids or family, then I can highly recommend saving it somewhere, anywhere. Print it, date it and pop it in a box and keep it there until you get around to sticking it in The Album – you know The Album that we all have, still in the box, ready to be filled with our precious photos? Or save the file somewhere other than in a mobile device or on the camera card – I won’t even begin to go into the choices that are out there to help you keep you digital images safe, but you can call me at the studio – 01 284 5544 – any time if you need advice.
On her first holiday…
The buggy that transported our girls and was in our lives for 6 years.
Rae, Marsha & Phoebe, with our first au pair Milena, in the kitchen.
I’m so glad to have all of these images now, not just because we love photographs anyway, but because they give us so much pleasure and help us to remember days & events that we might have forgotten.
We have had so many laughs looking back and recounting stories to the girls, as it is only now that the children themselves really appreciate the value of the images. They were too young to remember most of the events depicted in the photographs.
Spotting tadpoles in Butterstream Gardens – one of the many places we garden-mad parents went to with the children on our family outings.
I’m asked a lot about taking photographs and taking better family snaps. Really, like most things in life the more you do something the better you get at it. So keep taking photos and keep them safe. Because in my humble opinion, there are no bad photographs – time has a way of turning every photograph into a treasure.