Summer is here and it’s a time for making fun memories with family and friends whether it’s poolside, at a local park, touring the city, or cruising a lake.  Regardless of where you spend your Summer vacation together, an important, and very typical thing we all do, is capture it through photographs.  

Digital cameras, iPhones, GoPro’s and other picture/video capturing devices allow us the freedom to capture bursts, easily edit and adjust, crop, and share easily and simply.  The downfall however is it takes time to sift through them all, fix and adjust, print or post and create mementos or keepsakes that don’t require a digital device to view them on.  Another downfall is that the photos are usually missing one very important person!  Mom.  

Mothers are typically the ones behind the camera ensuring we capture the best moments and experiences and unless we demand ‘equal opportunity’ in front of the screen we lose out on capturing the essence of true family as well as motherhood.  How many of you reading this can relate?  How many times do you find yourself refusing a photo because you may not look or feel your ‘best’?  How often do you delete pictures that aren’t ‘perfect’?  Why do we do this?  STOP!!!  

Capturing family photos and all of life’s experiences mean capturing the ups AND downs, good times AND bad as well as reflect the reality of life and all who are in it.  I’m sure you can agree, the family pet(s) likely get more cameos than mom!!  

This reality hit home for me after a recent family vacation where each member had their own iPhone and we borrowed a GoPro from a friend.  We returned from our fantastic week together, each with our own photos of the experience together – and separate – and one glaring truth hit me.  I spent way more time behind the camera than in front of it.  The GoPro video my daughter put together afterward barely had me in it at all.  It looked like they went on vacation with just Dad?!  I also know getting teenagers and a husband to stand together and “smile for the camera” isn’t always easy but it’s in those photos that family in its entirety is captured.  Some of our most hilarious photos are of selfies or candids and thankfully a few do capture the ‘whole’ of us so we can preserve the wonderful experience forever.  

Speaking of capturing the experience, a few hints and tips on how best to do this given the variety of methods like iMovie, Google Photos, Digital Frames, Photo Books, and more.  

  1. Do it quickly after the experience (on the plane ride back, in the car, wherever you may have ‘down time’ as/after you’ve returned).  
  2. Identify favourites and go with your gut – don’t think too long/hard about it.  Your gut and initial instincts are best (otherwise you’ll spend HOURS pouring over them all).  
  3. Make an album – choose to do so digitally (either Facebook, Google, etc…) or literally make an album!  I like Mixbook as it’s soooo easy and they normally have some amazing 50% off offers.  All you need to do is pick a template, load photos and have them ‘auto populate’.  I’ve done this several times for friends’ milestone birthdays or a family album for a Christmas gift etc… It’s especially handy if you want to make duplicates or change each album slightly for your intended audience.  

All in all, Summer is sensational, and your memories should be captured in whole.  Next time you find yourself behind the camera or phone STOP!  Use the timer option or use the ‘selfie’ option and take some with you in front of it as well!  (I truly love the timer option as you can select 3 or 10 second countdowns and it usually takes a burst of 10 pictures where you can quickly pick your fave).  

Enjoy and Happy July!! 

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