Taking so many photos/videos of your kids: is it worth it in the long run?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by edavt04, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. edavt04 macrumors member

    May 12, 2016
    Hey there!

    I am painstakingly taking 100-250 pics/videos a month of my daughter and organizing chronologically. At the end of the year I make a yearly photo album, several movies (Baby's first year, family day, Christmas, etc). This takes A LOT of my time as I edit pics/photos daily as I take them.

    Is this worth it though? Here are my concerns:

    1. Some psychologists are saying constantly documenting kid's life is not good for them as it introduces self-awareness and may provoke anxiety, vanity, perfectionism.

    2. Will I or my grown children even be interested in looking at them?? I don't see my parents lovingly looking at photo albums when I was a child!! My parents are more interested in spending time with their grandchild, rather than reminiscing about my childhood...

    Think long-term: is it really worth putting so much effort into making photo albums/movies?
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    I'd just suggest you introduce more quality control. I'll happily look at a dozen pictures of anyone's pics, but I don't appreciate being shown an endless stream of awful pix, because "I couldn't decide which ones to keep and which to throw away". Sometimes less is more... :)
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Just an opinion - I see nothing wrong with documenting a child's life. However, if I were in your shoes, I would opt to take less images/videos per a month and also not share them with the child (well maybe one or two pix and that is it). When they are older, that is the time to share with them. I say the latter as you want to document and not generate images (staged by your kid for the camera).
  5. Superspeed500 macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2013
    My opinion: Don't overdo it. And don't share the photos online :/
  6. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I take pics of mine but capturing events. I ran out of steam on the Year1month1 plan... what I do do though, is on their birthday I sit them down and I ask them simple questions - what's your favourite colour, what do you want to be when you grow up, what's your favourite song.
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Don't try to document your kid's life breath by breath. Relax and enjoy your time with them. Do lots of stuff and take your camera along with you when you go. Or just forget it sometimes, too. When you are old and grey you will regret missed time together much more than missed photo ops.

  8. CE3, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016

    CE3 macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2014
    Lots of good points and advice.

    If all the photos you’re taking and editing are leaving you feeling drained and overworked, then you should probably minimize your efforts. Get the camera out when you feel inspired, try to stay present and enjoy capturing those moments, and don’t worry about what may or may not be appreciated decades from now.

    In an era where millions of young people are constantly posting their every move on social media platforms for the everyone to see, your kids are going to be introduced to all of the above sooner than later. I’d pay more attention to how they begin documenting their own daily lives as they grow older vs. the photos you take around the house and on holidays. You can instill the right values in them to keep them grounded.
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I regret not taking more pictures when my daughter was younger. I wasn't really into photography then. I had a crappy film point and shoot camera.
    Now it's too late. When they hit a certain age, they don't allow you to take their picture.
    But like others have said, make sure you spend time with them as well. It's about getting the balance right.
  10. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Does seem to be rather a lot….. The grandparents seem to have the right attitude; spending time here and now is way more important than archives of the past.

    I take a lot of photos of sports events I am associated with, but most are deleted. Some are kept on an external HDD, which are grouped in folders, and are occasionally accessed. I keep a only carefully chosen few as a record of key moments and events. Perhaps you could do the same with your kids.
  11. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There's a balance. If you're always shooting, you become a spectator in your own life. Your children's memory of you may be, "That guy behind the camera." If you're never shooting... I have many childhood memories that persist today only because Dad's photos helped anchor those memories.

    Still, you don't need a full documentary of every life event. A handful of shots, a few choice seconds of video can be enough to keep an entire event alive in memory. Once you're confident you have a few good ones in the can, stop and join the party. Maybe a few choice moments will escape the lens, but the shots you have will be enough to help anchor the memories of the ones that got away.

    Yet, I'm a strong believer in shooting a lot of frames - it greatly increases the odds of getting one or two shots that rise above "competent." Just shoot fast, and be done with it.
  12. OzBok, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016

    OzBok macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Some memories will be better as pictures,
    Some memories will better as an experienc.
  13. rhp2424 macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    I would suggest the following compromise: Continue taking the amount of pictures and videos that allows you to happily capture the events of the life of your child without forcing the photos or videos on anyone. Everyday events, big events, whatever you want to remember and remind your child what life was like when they have their own children and to help remind you when your memory starts to go. From there, stop editing every single picture and video so frequently. Instead, pic a handful of "the best" pictures every few months, edit those, and selectively create a best of album and video, but just one video. The others can still be stored in a SmugMug or Amazon Photos account sorted by month and still enjoyed without looking "perfect" as it is about the memory, not the perfect coloration.

    Additionally, if you want to relive old memories in an unforced way, continue taking your pictures and videos. Post no more than one (maybe two or three on a really special event/vacation - really truly special) picture or video a day and create an Apple iCloud Photo Sharing album. Set that photo album up as your screen saver on an Apple TV or your computer. This allows a very natural way to look back and say, "Oh, remember the trip we took to (insert vacation spot here)?" with your child(ren)/family and relive and talk about the fun trip.

    Just some thoughts. Good luck!
  14. edavt04 thread starter macrumors member

    May 12, 2016
    Thank you everybody for giving me your input!! I feel more confident in what I am going to do :)
  15. BrianRW macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2016
    Blue Springs, MO
    Having just watched my son graduate high school I can offer this; Take pictures of the important stuff. Firsts, milestones.

    Because in the end, how are you going to feel if you watched your child grow up through the lens of a camera, instead of enjoying the moment?
  16. CE3 macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2014
    Agreed, but photography can also be a wonderful tool for teaching us to be more present. We can learn to be both behind the camera and in the moment at the same time.. and our photos will likely get better because of it.
  17. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I would echo what everyone else has said about striking a balance between shooting and just being present to share the moment.

    I don't think it's wrong to take hundreds of photos a month, though I would be surprised if the majority of them are worth spending time editing. The nice thing about one's child is that you are very passionate about the subject. This can be a strong motivation to become better as a photographer so that your images of them are compelling and not just random snapshots. Learn to be selective in what you edit and ultimately share.
  18. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    Just my two cents worth, but I think take as many as you can.
    Not to the extent that you are always behind a viewfinder, but as long as you are enjoying the moment what harm is it going to do? Kids these days grow up in-front of a lens and don't think twice about taking photos of everything.

    Over the years I have lost a lot of friends and family, and I would give anything for more photos and videos of them.
    Not saying anything like that will happen, but when your memories fade it is good to have shots of what went on.
    The main events like graduations, birthdays etc are always good, but the best ones are the silly ones when you are just having fun, even if the photo is technically awful. They bring back a lot of happy times and are priceless to me.
    Cliched I know, but kids grow up incredibly quickly.. they will be adults and living away from you before you know it.
    I say shoot away.
  19. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I don't disagree with any of the other posters, but I'm OK with your taking lots of pictures. I see no harm in it.

    When my son was small it was still film days. Even though I always had my Nikon F (that's right, just plain "F") nearby, I didn't take many pictures and much of what's left is just negatives.

    Now I have a grandson and when I visit, I take many, many pictures and I'm glad of it (so are his parents, although they tease me a lot). His father is a good photographer, so he makes a lot of images also.

    Here's one little thing about having many images and looking at them with your child when he or she's older: you see things in the frame that you've forgotten about, or that are interesting. "Remember that toy? Yeah, there it is." Or sometimes there's another kid, or you're at a long-forgotten playground or house . . . . You can't plan for that kind of thing, but if you don't restrict your shooting they're going to be there to unexpectedly enjoy years later.
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    The time will come when your kid will want to see and share those photos; when they have a partner, when they have kids. I love to see pictures of my parents when they were kids, and - now that I am middle aged myself, I like to see pictures of my childhood.

    Over the past twenty years, until fairly recently, I have been the family photographer - which means that there are far more pictures of the others than of myself.

    To the OP: there is nothing wrong with taking a lot of pictures; keep the good ones, but don't forget to spend time with the kid as well.
  21. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Great comments here, my sharing:

    I've got 3 kids, 14, 12 and 10 now.
    So digital images was just coming in 2003 for first one, but really from 2005 forward all digital.

    Having libraries organized by CY is best, IMO.
    For years 2002 - 2010 I made (2) DVD's/year, filled with various videos & pictures of 6 month period.
    Once in a while the kids do pull those out now and look over them, they laugh so much!

    Since 2010 everything is in iPhoto then Aperture, so view-able on our AppleTV, no more optical archives.
    >>AppleTV is great for instant sharing btw

    Also, we've been making yearly calendars for ourself (1 for at home and 1 for my work), and then also 1 for each grandparent side - edited for them based on family members, since 2007. That's a way of having a visual record. Those hardcopies kept.

    Everything in moderation, take "appropriate" # pictures, quickly throw away most except a handful.
    Quick/simple edits to those. Don't let them pile up....that's clear indication of too much.
    >>Like said, enjoy the moment, remember that scene in "The secret life of Walter Mitty" at the end, it's true.
  22. bluespark macrumors 65832

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Lots of good advice here. I agree with others that it's all about balance. On one hand, you will want to look at some pictures, and kids grow up so quickly that it's really great to remind yourself of what they looked like years ago. On the other hand, many of us get so addicted to the process of taking pictures that we forget to actually enjoy what is happening around us. Also, from the child's perspective, they probably would rather remember having their parent's attention than remember you as a person behind a camera.
  23. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Do what makes you happy.
    Each picture is a moment in life that will never come back.
  24. steve123, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016

    steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007
    If you have not already done so, get an Apple TV. One of the best ways to look at your photo's with family and friends. In my experience, people will sit for hours watching them float by and talk about the memories.
  25. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

    Oct 2, 2007
    Take as many as you like, but make sure you're there for the kids as a parent and not just standing by as an observer busy taking photos and missing out on quality time.

    And for crying out loud, get rid of the crap photos (most of them).

    When I was working for Apple, I'd be doing data transfers for people or (more than likely) fixing iPhoto issues for the millionth time and get the comment "my photo library is very important, I've got over 100,000 photos". Yeah, you've got over 100,000 photos but only 1000 (tops) are any good. Just keep the ones where little Timmy or Jenny is in focus and doing something.

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