I recently shared some photos I took of my (tweenage) children with their childhood comforters, or lovies as we call them. These were photos I didn’t realise I needed until I had taken them. But I was so happy to have captured the connection that my children have with these grubby, worn pieces of cloth. The photos, and the sentiment – to photograph what you love – certainly struck a chord with many people.

It got me wondering…

What photos am I thankful to have captured of my children before they hit the teenage years?

I take a lot of photos of my children, especially as I have been doing a 365 Project (one photo, every day, for a year). But during lockdown it has sometimes been hard to think of things to photograph, to be inspired by the mundanity of our day-to-day existence. I have had to find different things to capture. Some have been silly, some a bit abstract, and some have been photographs that I should have taken long before now, but just never got around to. Like the ones of their lovies!

So I thought it would be useful to make a little list so that other parents would stop and take just a few moments to get a photo that will mean so much to them in years to come.

Top Ten photos you should have of you kids…

1. A photo with their childhood comforter

I’m sure that you have a few photos where your child’s comforter makes an appearance, especially in those early years when they seem to accompany them everywhere. But try and get a photo where the relationship between child and comforter is the sole purpose of the image. Get in close, capture the way they hold it with such love and familiarity.

2. A close up of their little hands

Hands are such a distinctive feature, yet it is hard to imagine them any way other than how they are now. Take photos of chubby toddler fingers, sticky chocolate covered mitts, peeling nail polish and hands muddy from the garden.

3. And don’t forget one of their feet too

This little piggy went to market… we count their toes when they are babies, lets make sure we have photos too.

4. The details

Get up close and capture those tiny little details that you love but that are all too easy to forget – the eyelashes, baby curls, stork marks, freckles and crinkly noses!

5. The simple joys of the playpark

Gleeful faces as they swing, spin, climb and jump. Play parks, summer fetes, soft play centres. Watch for their expressions, and action shots too of course!

6. Rainy days and puddles

Don’t just take your camera out when the sun is shining, capture the joy that a good puddle can inspire.

7. Bubbles and kites, the stuff of childhood

Catching and chasing things that float and fly, a staple of childhood.

8. Friendships

Don’t forget to include their best friends in your photos, those special relationships will be looked back on so fondly in years to come.

9. Pets are part of the family too

The pets we have in childhood can have a real influence on us, such unconditional, uncomplicated relationships. Don’t forget to pull out your camera as your children learn how to care for and respect all creatures great and small.

10. Unposed sibling (or cousin) shots

Sibling relationships go through so many phases. Are you someone who regularly says ‘Stand next to your brother and smile’? If so, hold back for a while and wait for a genuine moment of connection between your children. They will have a lasting reminder of what they meant to each other.

So, which of these photographs do you have already? Which do you try to make often? And most importantly, which do you have printed so that you can look at them with your children and talk about everything you love about them?

Take them. Print them. Share them with your children. I promise you won’t regret it!

Read more about The Importance of Family Photography here.

Follow my #365 Project on Instagram to get more inspiration of photographs to start taking today and every day!