Say Cheese!

I’m just back from my hols (we had a great time thanks) where I noticed strange behaviour. Everywhere that we saw children we saw parents photographing and videoing their children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I took photos of my two munchkins on the beach, at the mini-disco and at the playground. However, I took photos of them playing, dancing – just having fun. Other parents, and I mean A LOT of parents, were taking it very seriously.

  • We witnessed what can only be described as a photo-shoot on the beach. The children weren’t running in the surf and building sand castles. For an hour cheesy poses were struck whilst mum and dad contorted themselves and lay on the ground getting the best shot whilst the grandparents posed the children’s limbs and straightened their hair. The children looked miserable.
  • At the mini-disco (my personal favourite and my only regret was that I was too old to join in) one parent would lay on the floor photographing whilst the other would video the whole event. I would have been mortified if my mum had laid on the floor snapping away at me – and frankly a bit peeved if there wasn’t much room to dance due to the number of parents lying on the floor to get the best angle. I ‘ve just checked YouTube and found a number of videos from the mini-disco in question!
  • What prompted this posting was the last day at the playground. I went with my son and he had a ball charging around but he was the only child charging around since all the other parents were in serious reportage mode – lying on the ground, halfway up a slide, clinging on to a climbing wall to get the perfect posed picture of their child NOT playing.

I have a lot of memories of my children and the fun we have had over the years. I also have photos, some professional but mostly just my amateur snaps. However, the memories I have are not linked to the photos. From our holiday I will remember how much my children giggled on the water slide, danced their hearts out at the mini-disco and fell in love with Lisa and Adrien at the mini-club. Photos and videos can’t capture the joy of it and I would regret not noticing the joy of it if I was viewing it through a lens or even worse had curtailed the joy because it was ruining the shot!

Every day I think back to the day my babies were born. I can still sense the feelings and thoughts flooding my body as they lay on my chest for the first time. I do have photos from those days but they are not the basis of my memory because you can’t photograph a feeling.

I hope parents will take the time to just enjoy their children having fun rather than laying on the ground to get the best shot.

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