There are 586 photos on my phone. Not content with managing calls, appointments and emails the phone has steathily become my camera. On the PC, there are thousands of pictures. In the photo albums there are a couple of hundred, and 15 have made it onto our walls; a wedding photo, baby faces and a first day at school all captured for posterity.
Most of the pictures are of the children. A colleague wisely predicted that the birth of our first child would coincide with the purchase of a new camera as well as the mountain of baby-related goodies you actually need - he was of course correct.
Of my first 10 years, I have about 30 photos. Perhaps because there are so few, each of them seems to carry a huge amount of sentiment and capture a special moment in time. This picture of the day I was going to make my 'Brownie promise' is a classic. Not only do you get the visual joy that is early 80's curtains and the classic Brownie uniform - no hoodie or 'funky' logo here - you can also see precisely what my brother thought about his big sister on that day.
It has made me wonder what will become of the endless shots that we take of our children; stored on hard drives, SD cards and SIM cards - sometimes shown but rarely printed. When they get older, will the children want to see them or will they even be able to find them? Will we ever make the time to look through them? Our children will go to the extent of emptying the kitchen drawers to get our attention when we try to read the paper, let alone spend an hour taking a trip down memory lane.
What they do seem to really enjoy though is going through the albums where they can touch the pictures and take them out for closer inspection. 'Getting the photos out' is something that they find quite exciting - particularly when they get to see pictures like the one here. I was so proud that day - they prefer their uncle's stance.
This has spurred me on to sort through the tons of digital pics, get the important ones printed and delete the duplicates. I'm also resolving to spend more time 'in the moment' with them, rather than trying to document their every move. If I was, or wanted to be, a great photographer it would be different, but what I'm aiming for is to be a better parent so I'm putting the camera, and the phone, down.