Mommy A to Z

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On the Washington Post: Parents, Can We Put Down Our Cameras?



I’m over at the Washington Post, talking about kids, cameras, and parental paparazzi! Here’s an excerpt from my post, “Parents, Can We Put Down Our Cameras?”

And so I’ve vowed to put my camera away going forward. I’d rather experience my daughter’s spring concert than photograph it. I’d rather sing “Happy Birthday” to my son and enjoy the smiles on his classmates’ faces as they feast on cupcakes than watch the festivities through a screen. Because every ounce of energy I put into trying to get the “perfect shot”— into trying to zoom the camera just right, or get the best lighting or the right angle — is energy I’m not focusing on the present moment. And as my children grow older, I’m realizing these are moments I’ll never get back. Read the full article.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about taking pictures and experiencing each moment. Leave a comment below!

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  1. Well written article. I must admit that I am one of those who love to take photos. They are my history of my family. I look at them and I am transported back in time to happy moments. As I age, these visual memories have become even more important to me. My daughter takes very few photos. I am happy that I will leave her a treasure chest of albums with abundant memories of a much loved family.

  2. It’s a great idea to have someone else take pictures for you on these special occasions.

  3. This is a very honest “showing the mirror” kind of post. I was at my son’s annual sports day couple of days ago and I noticed the exact same behavior. A few parents were so hell bent on capturing everything that they left behind their crying toddlers in the hands of unwilling teachers just so they could click a few more perfect shots of their performing preschoolers. This, when the school had designated photographers and videographers too!

  4. I could not agree more. The moment is so much more important than the crappy picture. Of course, like you, I have found myself in situations where I am the “offender,” but more and more I am mindful of sitting back and watching my kids. And you know what? I can sense they appreciate that because I always feel such a strong connection with them when we lock eyes, without a screen in between, during a preschool performance. That’s the best take-away there is — for both of us!

    • LOL at the crappy picture comment. As I said in mine that is how I feel about so many pictures I printed off that I thought were worth taking in the moment. Way too many that are really the same.

  5. I LOVED this article. It is so true – we are losing memories while thinking we are creating them. I am guilty of taking one too many picture during moments that could use more of my attention and less of a phone in hand. I can barely remember moments of my daughter’s life due to taking way too many pictures a week. I have printed off NUMEROUS pictures that really didn’t need to be printed because I have become obsessed with preserving memories. We are losing the life in our lives by no longer staying present.

    Thanks for writing this! Definitely going to be in my mind for quite some time.

  6. I take a lot of photos of my child, but I feel like I do it in a manner where I’m still present. Like you mentioned, I’ll take a few pictures at the beginning and then I’ll put my camera away for the rest of the time. That way I preserve some memories and I’m fully present after a few quick snaps. I love photographs, and I do want photo keepsakes to look back on one day and relive those moments. I completely know what you’re talking about though—I have friends on social media who post photo ALBUMS of their kids on a daily basis, and I often wonder how present they feel. This is a great though-provoking piece. Thanks for writing it, and congrats on being featured on the Washington Post!

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