March 13, 2018

Why You Shouldn’t Always Put Down the Phone: The Beauty of Capturing Life on Camera

A few days ago in the midst of answering morning emails, catching up with business prospects over the phone, and helping to train a new employee my phone buzzed. It was a text message from my husband coupled with a new notification from Google Photos.  “Did you see the video I sent to you?”, the text read. I was immediately intrigued. It is not uncommon for my husband to send me text messages throughout the day, but he is not usually one to send photos or videos. So, I quickly thumbed over and tapped the notification from Google Photos eager to see what he was so anxious to show me. As the screen opened up I could see the first frame of the video. It was a picture of our daughter from a little over a year ago.

The video my husband sent had been automatically created by Google from the pictures stored on his photo drive.  As the short video played on my screen I watched two and a half years of sweet, sweet memories flash before my eyes.  Frame by frame I watched our little dark haired baby turn blonde, and her fuzzy baby mohawk transform into beautiful curls.  I watched us cheer her on as she took her first steps and dance in the kitchen in her mismatched pajamas. I watched her sing her favorite song in her favorite peanut butter and goldfish cracker stained princess dress and climb all over the dog as she laughed a sweet belly laugh.  Somehow, this short, automated video magically captured the best moments of our everyday life and turned them into a beautiful montage that left me crying into my morning coffee.

Before finally getting back to work I watched the video a few more times.   My mama heart was swelling with pride, but also melancholy about the moments that seemed to slip so quickly through my fingers.  As I continued on with my day I couldn’t help but think about how happy I was that we had captured those memories on our phones.

​Everyday moments are a treasure...

​My mom (God bless you Mom, I love you dearly) was not very good at capturing life on film. That's because instead of lugging around the camera, she preferred to be more "hands-on". If we were playing in the sandbox, she was right there with us. If we were building a blanket fort, she was dragging in more chairs from the kitchen.  If we wanted to bake cookies, she was gathering every ingredient we needed from our pantry and borrowing from the neighbor's if we didn't have it in stock. She was (and still is) the best kind of mom. However, there are definitely times I wish I had a picture to put in a frame of me and my sisters wearing our aprons in the kitchen or covered in brightly colored shaving cream on the front sidewalk.

I strive every day to be a mom like my mom.  I want to be remembered for playing with my kids and coming up with crazy, fun, creative ideas.  However, I also really love having those moments captured to look back at and reminisce about later. 

Phones are cameras that fit in your pocket…

I know a lot of moms (myself included) that feel guilty about carrying their phone with them while they are with their kids.  Articles tell us it's bad to be on our phones in front of our littles and that it will ruin their childhood. Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in unplugged quality time with your kids, but I also believe that one of the biggest blessings to come out of this technology-driven era is the ability to conveniently carry a camera wherever you go---no extra bags, boxes or film required. Phones give us the opportunity to capture both the most mundane and the most monumental moments on camera to remember forever.

You can take pictures AND be fun...

So, the next time your kid is doing something crazy like dancing in the kitchen or jumping on the couch, take out your phone.  Not to hide behind the screen scrolling through social media, but to capture the most precious moments you will ever have on camera.  Then, put the phone down and join them.

​About the Author

​Ellie is a talented momma, wife and career girl. When she's not fueling up at the local coffee shop, she's busy helping women discover their true potential on Grow Yourself Girl and Buzzy Blogs.

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