Say CHEESE! (or not???)

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Foodie babies say cheese. (pg. 4)

Foodie Babies Wear Bibs” by Michelle Sinclair Colman, Illustrations by Nathalie Dion

Smile! You’re on camera! Say CHEESE!!! Ever since K was born, I’ve wanted to be there for every new movement K makes, skill she learns and word she speaks. And if I could get it on camera, all the more excited I would be to have captured that moment forever! Even before K entered into the world, K was in photos and captured on film by friends, family and me. And once she arrived, it was constant LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!!!

It’s wonderful to have literally thousands of pictures and a few hundred short moments caught on film to look back at and remember K’s babyhood. Even more so, it brings so much joy to K as she flips through her scrapbook and reviews videos of herself as an infant. But now that she is fully aware of the camera and what it does, I have been rethinking how much I should use the camera to capture her moments and smiles (or at least when she’s aware that it’s there pointing right at her).

A few days ago at the Zimmer Museum, K wanted to “swim” in the ball pit. As she threw the balls into the air and squealed with joy, I had the chance to catch her on film for a minute or two. Later on that day, I let her watch the video to relive the experience and I could tell she wanted to go back for more! Later that evening, I had to show it to my husband while I watched it again. This time, I couldn’t help but notice this 2-year old girl (adorable as ever) in the background shouting at her mom, “Mommy, mommy! MOMMY!!! Look at me! Look at ME! Take a picture of me. Come on Mommy, take a picture of me. Like this! No, like this. Take a picture of ME!”

Ugh!!! I don’t want my little one to be all about “ME,” wishing for her “paparazzi” mom and dad to follow her around with a camera all day long! And I don’t want the camera and the idea of being “on camera” all the time to hinder K from enjoying her joyful, carefree childhood! So now I have a dilemma…I want to capture precious moments but not turn K into a ME MONSTER!!! What are we parents to do about this?

So just like Pooh Bear, I went to my thoughtful spot to think, think, think.

After sleeping on it, I’ve been able to come up with somewhat of a plan (fingers crossed it works!). Here are two guidelines I’m going to try my best and follow (which I know will take a LOT of effort and self-control on my part):

1. Only pick up the camera phone to snap a shot when K’s not looking (taking action shots), if I tell her we’re going to take a picture for her dad or family, when I want to capture a “first time” experience, or when she requests I take a photo/video so that she can watch it later.

2. After I’m done with the camera, I’ll visibly put it away so that K knows she’s not having to “perform” any more.

Two simple guidelines to follow, right? Well, I’m hoping it’ll be just as easy as it sounds. And perhaps it will help me be able to enjoy each moment even more with her…not having to reach for the camera every time she does something that makes me smile 🙂

What are your thoughts about the camera? How do you capture those special moments without taking it too far?

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