Yes, I have major FOMO (fear of missing out) as a mom. Every time I walk out the door I wonder if I should be bringing my camera, or if I'll be satisfied with iPhone pictures in the years ahead. I wonder at which point it's too much, or if such a thing as "too many photos" exists for me? So I thought it might be helpful to lay out some ideas and options so we, as parents, don't drive ourselves crazy over the years.
Yearly Family Photography
Always worth it, in my opinion. Should you go broke on photos? Of course not, but whether it's a more traditional setting or more of a day-in-the-life, think about the kind of photos that are important to you to have professionally done, budget for them, and do it. And get the prints. Splurge on an album or coffee table book while you're at it. To be able to let someone else do the heavy lifting of taking photos while you enjoy your family and are able to get in the frame? Well, it's a gift.
A less expensive option than a full session, but you'll be limited for time, and will likely lack a lot of variety in your photos. You'll also be at the mercy of whether you can get your kid looking happy for the alloted 10-20 minute time slot. BUT, still a good choice for a yearly professional photo! At the very least, this can be a good option for a family holiday card or making prints for your parents, grandparents, in-laws.
Learn to Use Your Fancy dSLR Camera
IPhones can only do so much. You do not have to be a professional to afford a nice camera that can take gorgeous photos. If you're willing to invest in yourself, take a photography class that covers the basics. There is so much information online these days, from photography blogs to YouTube tutorials. The point is, though, to make use of this amazing tool you have. Don't let it sit and collect dust. Go out and practice, practice, practice.
I am toying with offering one-on-one mentoring to teach some basic photography and how to use a dSLR camera as a service. Let me know if you might be interested!
Grab a Trusted Friend or Family Member
Is it necessary to hire someone for every milestone that comes along? No, but you should still have photos from the days and events you want to remember, like birthdays, baptisms, dance recitals and first t-ball games. Get comfortable handing off your camera to a trusted friend or family member with the request that they take some photos for you. This allows you to enjoy, say, your child''s first birthday party and get you in the picture as well. The last thing any of us needs is our kid asking where the heck mom was all those years. Christmas morning? Hand your husband the camera. Let go of perfection and settle for presence.
The latest iPhone 7 Plus is one of the best point and shoot cameras on the market right now. But even without that 7 Plus version, you have the ability to take and edit beautiful photos within moments on your phone. Basic photography knowledge definitely helps (lighting & composition being your main lessons), and there are a lot of free photo editing apps that can give your photos a boost (another post for another day).
Please, just do me one favor and when you take 20 of the same photo, go back and pick out your favorite one or two. Delete the rest. Yes, delete. I do this weekly, and it saves so much space and my sanity when I'm going back to find a photo. Sit down to watch This Is Us, sift through your photos during commercials. Boom. Done.