I’m one of those moms. I take a few minutes in the midst of the action to snap photos. Some people may find it annoying. Others, comment that I’m not really enjoying the moment if I’m busy taking pictures. To the former, I apologize and to the later, I beg to differ.
Photos are my way of capturing memories. You’ve probably noticed from my photos, I don’t worry about lining up the perfect shot or finding decent light. I pull out my cell phone in the moment and snap several pictures for a minute or two.
At least, one of those pictures will turn out. The memory of the day will live on with my memento.
For example, when I see the picture on the left, I’m reminded of the first cool, crisp autumn day of last year. I remember how Charlie laughed at the sound the lake animals made as they splashed through the surface. The picture is a reminder of the ranger who paused with a surprised expression when he noticed our unusual approach to hiking. It was one of her last hikes in the infant seat attachment.
Similarly, I have countless photos that take me back to another time and place. Photos have the power to jog our memories of things that may otherwise be forgotten.
In the NICU, I wondered if it was “right” to take pictures. Did I want to remember my baby like this? Was it right to photograph a sick baby?
At first, I took pictures because I wanted people to see my baby. We didn’t have many visitors and the pictures were a way to proudly announce her arrival.
Later, I started to take pictures for my scrap book (our NICU offered a scrap booking class). I’m so glad I took those pictures, for two reasons. Now, I can see how far she has come. And, if we had lost Charlie in the NICU, we would have had some pictures to remember her by.
What’s not in pictures can also be a reminder.
Unfortunately, there are only a couple of pictures of Charlie and I together in the NICU. There was no one to take them. It reminds me of what an incredibly lonely time it was.
I regret the pictures not taken.
So yes, I am one of those moms who snaps what may be too many pictures. However, the reason for the photos is not to “one up” my friends on Instagram or have the picture perfect life on Facebook. It’s because this is the only baby experience I will ever have and I want to remember every possible bit of it.