Documenting Your Kids on Video: A New Way to Capture Childhood
Documenting your kids on Video: A New Way to Capture Childhood
Documenting your kids on video is not so new, but since the arrival of smartphones it is quickly becoming the most popular way to preserve your families memories.
Growing up, I always loved looking at baby photos from my childhood. As far as I was concerned, there was almost nothing better than pulling my parents’ old photo albums out of the closet on a rainy day. My parents kept shelves of them tucked away, each one packed full of memories of me and my siblings.
I would sit sprawled out on the carpeted floor in the hallway just looking at photo albums for hours — most days I didn’t even make it to the couch. My sister would often join me and we would sit there pointing and giggling as we turned each page. “Do you remember this? Do you remember that?” Before we knew it, our mom would call us for dinner and it would be time to put the photo albums back in the closet for safekeeping, until the next rainy day.
Sometimes I wonder why I loved looking back on those memories from our younger years so much. I think it’s because the photos made me feel as if I had remembered my own first steps, helping my mom bake cookies (and eating way too much dough!), and my first big day at kindergarten when I said bravely goodbye to my parents with my Mickey Mouse lunch box in hand.
Maybe that’s why getting lost in our family’s memories for hours was one of my favorite ways to pass the time. I’m still not sure if those memories are mine or if I had pieced my childhood together simply by looking at the photos so many times over the years.
I think back on those rainy days spent with my family often. Maybe that’s why, when I found out I was pregnant , I promised myself I would do the same for my children. At the time, I told myself that I would capture as much of their childhood as I can, just like my parents had done for me. And I have kept that promise — only my thing is video.
I figure, if one photo is worth a thousand words, then a video is priceless. A single film can tell a story like no photo album ever could. It’s like bringing a photo album to life. Thousands of moving visual images are strung together into a single piece of film to make you feel as if you’re reliving each moment every time you hit play. It’s almost as if you’re stepping into a time capsule, back into moments that you wish you could hold onto forever.
I consider myself fortunate. Documenting kids on video is a luxury our parents didn’t always have at their fingertips all the time. While they could still pull out the old video camera, it required planning. But we live in a time where it’s never been easier to take a video at any given moment. And every parent knows that sometimes candid moments can’t be planned, they just happen. The truth is, the best footage I have ever taken of my kids comes when I have least expected it.
Even if they’re pouting sometimes when I pull out my phone to hit record, I want my children to be able to look back on all of the milestones and biggest accomplishments from their childhood. I want them to be able to see the same things I did; their first giggle, the first steps they ever took on their own, singing in their preschool Christmas play, walking across the stage at their seventh-grade graduation. I want them to be able to see the proud look on their face when they first ride their bike without training wheels, when they learn to tie their shoes, and when they do something right just because. It’s my duty as a parent to remind them of each of these moments that are so easily forgotten as they grow.
One thing I find myself recording even more than documenting my children’s major milestones are mundane moments. You know, just an average day spent at home with the family, raking leaves out in the yard on a cool autumn afternoon, or when my little one breaks out in non-stop laughter for no apparent reason at all. These are the little moments that I want to capture on video for all of time.
There’s nothing I love more than pulling out my smartphone when nobody is really paying attention and recording just a few moments — clips that will surely be rewatched over and over again as my children grow up. I won’t let them forget these little pieces of their childhood. My videos are not only for me during my nostalgic moments (which are many these days!) — they are meant to help my kids string together their memories one by one by capturing their childhood on video. That’s why I want to record as much of our family history as I possibly can. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll even get to show children of their own. That’s something that only time will tell.
There is one thing I know for sure though… One moment, I’m touching the tiniest little hands and feet I’ve ever seen. The next, those tiny little feet are trying on size six shoes at the mall, getting ready for their first day of grade seven. When they said children grow up fast, I never knew how right they were — until I had my own, that is. These moments are here one day and then they’re gone in an instant! And it all seems to happen in the blink of an eye.
Because when all is said and done, I’ll never get to see my children stumbling their way around the house again with curiosity and wonder, grabbing onto every piece of furniture and object that they can, just trying not to fall. I’ll never have the chance to eagerly listen to them say their first words again, to teach them how to tie their shoes for their first day of kindergarten, or to help them keep their little hands steady as they trace the uppercase letters of the alphabet during homework time.
That’s because time is fleeting. For me, each day seems to speed up, even if just a little bit. The older my children get, it’s as if someone has hit the fast-forward button on my life. My kids are already changing; they’ve developed their own sense of humor, have made so many friendships, and they’re needing me less and less each day it seems. They’re growing up. If I close my eyes for one second, I’ll be sending them off to college.
That’s why documenting my children on video is so important to me. I’ll never get any of these moments back, but I can relive them whenever I want by capturing them on video.
In the past, our grandparents — even our parents — weren’t able to capture these tiny little moments so easily. Now, as parents, we’re fortunate to live in a time where we have the perfect piece of technology in our back pocket. And we don’t even have to have any fancy equipment or a creative knack to create an absolute masterpiece. All we have to do to create a legacy of our own is pull out our smartphones to take a video whenever the mood hits. The only thing we have to worry about is being able to hit play on our device to record that authentic connection between our family.
In the end, these are moments we’ll never get back. One day they’re here and the next, they’re gone. Documenting children is the only way we can truly preserve these special moments in time as parents. All we can really do is keep living in the present and stop to press record as much as we can. Above all, we have to find a place for our videos to preserve them for future generations.
So, what did I do? I gathered all of the best videos of my kids from my smartphone and sent them into Little Laughter Films. Rather than collecting digital dust on my phone for who knows how long, I now have a real home for all of my family’s most treasured memories. And it was the best decision I could have made for capturing their childhood.
When I first pressed play on my Little Laughter Film, a few tears were shed. I couldn’t help it — these were clips I hadn’t seen in years. I might have even forgotten about some of them eventually if I hadn’t preserved them into one perfect little film. A precious memento I’ll pass down to my children, who one day will be able to look back on the video and remember my voice when I’m no longer here.
They’ll be able to see the house they grew up in, watch how we laughed endlessly as a family, and most of all, to see just how loved they were growing up — and how loved they still are.
No matter how old my children get, they’ll always be able to travel back to a simpler time by pressing play on their Little Laughter Film. They truly brought my kids’ childhood story to life right before our eyes. Documenting children is what they do best. I never knew a single film could encapsulate my children’s innocence and pure curiosity about the world in such a beautiful way.
Now each time I press play, it’s as if I’m watching the highlight reel of my children’s lives all over again. These memories are priceless and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world. Now, it’s your turn to preserve your family’s special moments in time. Don’t let another year pass you by without getting your keepsake from Little Laughter Films today.