Who holds the camera?

She's busy doing, not waiting to catch it on film.

It’s mums isn’t it that always seem to be taking the pictures (and not nearly enough given how quickly our kids grow up!)? This pic (right) is of Lola reading taken by me while we were waiting for a train.

Obviously I’m hamming it up but I’ve noticed it’s been hard to get pix of the 70 plus families (adult plus child/children) who contributed to Homemade Kids because so often there’s very few pix of mum with the kids. This might be the same for dads, but I have a few less dads contributing.

Gaby out walking with Barney and Toby.

After long searches I managed to get lovely photos from Gaby (left) on a long walk with her boys, who pointed out the obvious:  “Blimey I’ve been scouring our pictures for anything suitable and drawn a blank!  Guess who holds the camera in our family!”

Taryn (who is training to be a doula) had the same problem. Eventually she sent one of her reading with her boys (below right) but admitted, “I don’t actually have a lot of photos of me and the kids, as I am usually the one taking all the photos.”

Taryn reading with Ty and Fynn.

It’s the same at my house too… If mums are too busy organising and dealing with the incidents of the day, then should we welcome our children taking over the recording?

I’m in two minds. When my 9 year old was given a digi camera I was shocked by the expense of the gift (actually it may have been regifted as someone else upgraded equipment). I found Lola was unable to remember to charge up the camera and didn’t have enough access to a PC to download the pix. Fastforward two years and she’s still disorganised (and cash short) so it is hard for her to sort out the pix she took on her school trip on an easy-peasy to use disposable camera back in January. But if she’d been given a highly technical book on dog breeds or sheep care or an Oliver Rackham book detailing the complex differences between holm and sessile oak I’d probably be encouraging her to dip and learn. In other words if film is important to you, then why not let it be something the kids do too?

Give the kids a go
But Jago, who is three, was given a £40 kiddy video camera last xmas. I don’t remember him unwrapping it on Xmas day because he got distinctly bored by his huge present pile and spent most of his time tearing up the paper. But his blue plastic video is remarkably easy to use and so when the kids are playing any watchful adult can shoot and film.

The result over Easter was a mini film of four cousins ranging from 3 to 11 messing about by a ford. They are screaming with pleasure as they let water spill over their wellies and splash each other on one of the first warm days of spring. It’s a lovely record for three families, and the camera wasn’t dropped because an adult was using it…

This is my tip to attempt to future proof. Next time I buy a video camera (our’s is now so old it cannot be uploaded simply on to a PC) I’m going to buy (probably off eBay) the cheapest, most cheerful of the brands so simple that it’s designed for use by a toddler – and then I’m going to use it (I might even ask passers by to use it).

What will you do to make sure you and your kids are captured on film together sometimes?

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2 Comments on “Who holds the camera?”

  1. Chris Says:

    A lot of cameras have timers (and based on my experiences with the extended family in Borneo) – kids love setting it up and racing back to join the group photo (and then racing back to the camera to see the results).

    For older kids – you can quickly teach composition and other photography skills as digital cameras give instant feedback. Younger ones seemed to enjoy getting into bizarre poses (influenced by Iban dance) and getting their picture taken.

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