Laura Griffin Documentary Family Photographer & Filmmaker, Ireland

As I’m getting older, I feel time goes by faster. Days blend into weeks blending into months and before you know it, a year has come and gone. There are situations where I’m good with time flying by (think holding a squat, plank, insert a workout that you have a love/hate relationship with). 

But then there are times where life seems to be good, ya know? Where I feel joy. For me it’s usually a pretty simple moment. A year ago I visited my family in the States for the holidays and was making Grandma’s brown sugar cookies with my mom while listening to Christmas music. Not a momentous occasion but one I really loved. 

What are some of your favorite moments in this stage of your family’s life?

What are some moments that bring you joy which you would love to bottle up and reopen when life is a bit calmer?  Here are a few ideas to help get you started. 
The Newborn Stage

Pull out the phone and photograph their tiny little digits as they hang on to your finger. Capture skin to skin nap time with them curled up on your chest. Photograph their hilarious poo and hungry facial expressions, or their sweet smile as they look up at you in wonder and amazement because you are their world. The baby wrinkles, don’t get me started on their adorable wrinkles. Make sure you have images of these little moments that you know you’ll miss a few months from now.  

New Discoveries

If they are tasting, trying or seeing something for the first time, pull out the phone and catch their facial expressions. As they are starting to figure out who they are and learning to express themselves (for better or worse), it can be fun to look back on these images and see their reactions to how they experienced their world.  

Daily/nightly routines
Mom braiding her daughters hair

Doing the same thing day in, day out may seem mundane, but the daily or weekly routines your kids experience make up the majority of their childhood. Maybe you love tucking them in and reading bedtime stories together, or helping them pick out their clothes for the next day. It can even be a simple moment such as them standing on their tippy toes as they reach for the sink while brushing their teeth.

When you are with them every day it can be difficult to see how much they are changing from week to week. By taking these types of images you will be able to look back and see how much they have developed and grown over the years. 

Their uniqueness

While there may be similarities to you in your child’s personality and appearance, they are their own unique and quirky person. They could be going through a stage where they will only wear their pyjamas backwards. Or perhaps they have a fascination with any and all random objects they come across. While it can definitely be frustrating to deal with at times, it is also interesting to see these mini-you’s become their own person and doing things that make complete sense only to them and no one else.

Little helper

Some children absolutely love being your little helper even though it now takes you twice as long to bake that cake, plant those vegetables, vacuum the house, etc… But you are their teacher, guide, protector and so much more. They love having one to one time with you, observing and learning from you. 

For those of you who are well past the newborn and toddler stages, there are still plenty of wonderful moments to document. What do you love about this stage of your family life? What interests, attributes, interests are they enjoying now? What family activities do you enjoy doing with them now that you couldn’t do when they were younger?

I know you are busy. Taking a photo of your kids is as they take out your canned foods and pots and pans might be the last thing on your mind. But these stages are temporary, enjoy it while it lasts. 

It isn’t about documenting every moment, every new discovery, every interest they are going through. Rather take a moment to consider what family images you would wish to look back on when this whirlwind period of life slows down. What are those images or moments that will be meaningful to you in 10, 15, 20 years time? Who is in them? What are they doing? Why are they important?

Photograph that.

There will eventually be a last time for everything. You just don’t know when. 

A last time they will reach up to you to be picked up. A last time they will want to snuggle with you on the couch while watching a film. Who knows, maybe you will have captured one of those last times.

Laura Griffin is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker based in Ireland. If you are interested in documenting your family’s story either in film or images, you can book your session here.