Just taking a little sidetrack from reading to babies… photos!
What do you do with the countless pictures of your little cherub that you have accumulating in your phone? Do you ever do anything with them?
No doubt you have taken loads of photos of that amazing little human you have created! That handy camera in your phone captures every milestone, every not-so-important moment, the funny moments, the crazy moments, the Insta-worthy moments and all the super-cute moments.
Imagine our parents’ era – having to actually have each film developed, taking over a week to get done! My first child was born before cameras in phones surpassed the quality of an actual camera. However, I am one of those annoying camera people and still had my little camera on hand. I’d take photos of every smile, of teeny hands and feet, and even attempted my first selfies. The image quality was pretty average, but I tried to photograph almost everything, and tried to soak the joy of a new baby in. Facebook was only starting to get popular. Instagram didn’t exist, nor did brand-rep babies.
Nevertheless, I was able to print off loads of pictures and carefully label and place them into photo albums. Yes, actual albums! Our spare room wardrobe has shelves of heavy albums that we actually still pull out every now and then. My poor kids will have to do something with them one day, just like I’ll have to do with the many albums my Dad still has in his house, but hopefully all an issue for the very distant future…
Then Bub Number 2 came along. There wasn’t as much time to spend gazing at them or snapping every moment, movement or milestone, and to be honest I was so exhausted that I mostly couldn’t be bothered. But somewhere in my pre-birth scrolling, I came across a blog or post from someone mentioning taking photos of baby every week on the same day they were born, over their first year – to make up for the lack of photos at other times. We had purchased a digital SLR between the birth of the 2 babies and thought this might actually be doable.
Surprisingly it became a highlight of our week! Every Wednesday for the first year of baby’s life, I would get bub on a cute blanket, or lie her next to big sister, or take an impromptu snap of our daily activities, or snap her screaming in her cot as she wanted to avoid a day sleep. Back then there weren’t those cute little cards you can get to show how old baby is in the photos, so I did my own things to show what was happening – building blocks with letters on them saying ‘a tooth’, or a cute little embellishment saying ‘first smile’… Whatever was going on each Wednesday, I took a bunch of snaps, and then assembled them in a photo book for her first birthday. It was one from a photo book website with great deals that come around every Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Any night that I could be bothered, for a few weeks, when the kids were asleep, I would do a couple of pages of the book and save it to continue later. Each page represented a week, with some weeks having double-page spreads, or a few weeks to one page, depending on how nice the photos had turned out. Then when the website offered a 50% deal for some event that was going on, I placed the order, and had a beautiful photo book printed not long after baby’s first birthday.
This photo book has become a treasured keepsake we look back on often, a reminder of important milestones, and something special that is just hers. It doesn’t take up shelf space gathering dust, nor do I need to handwrite labels on the back of individual photos. It is just delightful.
If you do manage to find this post and you are expecting a baby, perhaps you might try it out from the magical day baby is born. Why not even do it for all your babies so all your kids have a special book about their first year of life? If baby is already walking around, causing mischief, you could look back at the dates of the photos in your phone to work out when correlates with the change in weeks as they have grown.
I’ve also seen this done not as a book, but as a collage wall print, something that looks visually stunning and fun for the kids to look at.
Perhaps just doing this monthly, on the same date baby was born might make this more manageable but I hope it gives an idea of what to do with the thousands of photos that you never do anything with, and then lose when you update your phone.
Check Pinterest for more ideas, but Pinterest wasn’t around when my kids started their Earthly adventure!
Of course, time is precious and it just flies when you have a new baby in the house, but if you get the chance… why not give it a go?