The other day I took my girlfriend around my Mum’s house and as is often the way with Mum’s,she decided to dig out an old video tape of my 4th birthday. I was something of a brat at that age, so this was somewhat embarrassing.
What was interesting though, was getting this rare insight into my past and the sheer fact that it was so rare. This was one of only a selection of videos of my childhood, which was down to the fact that video cameras were quite a rarity in those days. This one was rented for special occasions, and half the tape was my Dad experimenting with the settings and people commenting on this wondrous technology.
If you’re having a baby today though, things will be completely different. You’re child is going to be born into a world where technology is very much more ubiquitous, and where there will be some kind of device filming pretty much everything they do. Your smartphone will have a camera built into it, as will your tablet, and as will your actual camera. It will be generally far too easy to record snapshots of your child, and to take pictures, and in short you’ll end up with thousands of images and days’ worth of footage. This will all be shared at the touch of a button with friends and family, so in general, your child is going to have a whole digital ‘life’ as soon as they enter the world. It’s your responsibility to manage this digital existence though, to ensure that it is safe, to ensure that you have lots of happy memories to look back on, and to avoid boring everyone you know to tears. Read on for tips that can help you to get this right…
Too Much of a Good Thing?
The first thing to recognise, is that all those photos can actually end up being a bad thing. The reason for this is simple: if you are taking countless pictures of your children every two minutes and filming every little moment you find funny, then it can end up becoming a case of quantity over quality. You’ll end up with a million blurred iPhone pictures, and no special ones that are nice enough to display. Take all those pictures then, but at the same time, make sure that you occasionally get some professional ones taken too that will stand out a little more. Oh and be sure to print some out too! Lots of printers will let you print onto professional photo paper, and this can be a useful way to make your photos more
The same goes for videos. Will your child be able to one day sit down with you and watch back an old video? Or will it just be a series of odd clips? To make sure that you have the option to sit and watch, just spend some time doing some editing. Instead of lots of little clips, head over to Windows Live Movie Maker and create some longer ones.
Sharing those pictures is also something that you need to think about and here you need to ensure that the right people see the pictures, and that no one is forced to see the pictures if they don’t want to. To this end, you might want to consider creating a Facebook account especially for your child – this way people who are interested in what you are doing, don’t need to see hundreds of pictures of your baby (don’t be one of those people who tags yourself in baby photos). At the same time this could one day be fun for your children who could take over the account themselves when they’re older and end up with a Facebook profile spanning their whole lives.
Another option is to create a Dropbox folder or a Skydrive account and to share your photos that way. Give your friends and relatives the link and put any photos of your child in there. That way they’ll always be able to find the latest pictures when they want to, but you won’t be forcing it on all of your friends. Then you can just upload the very best and most interesting pictures to Facebook and create a digital identity that is more quality than quantity.
Lucy Literna, the author of this postis very passionate about her career as a newborn photographer. She enjoys writing about her experiences and loves to interact with people. Whenever she isn’t busy, she likes to spend time with her family.