My husband was feeling a bit under the weather a while back and I decided to treat him to a nice cup of coffee. But when I got to his end table, it was so full of remotes that I had no place to even set the coffee down! It struck me as so funny that I did what I always do . . . I took a photo and shared it on social media. To be fair to my poor husband, we had just switched satellite companies and he was in the middle of programming the universal remote; but naturally I left that little tidbit of information out and the picture definitely sparked a fun conversation online!
Photos. They are how many of us document all of the major (and minor) events of our lives! Since the inception of smart phones, which are basically extra appendages for many of us, it has become so easy to capture moments as they happen. Gone are the days of purchasing a camera, purchasing film and flash separately, taking pictures that we cannot preview, and paying for processing that takes a week in hopes of retrieving lovely pictures to share with others if they happen to come by our house. (no digital sharing) Yep, those days are gone! I use my iPhone for everything including my personal life, my education career, and even product photos. What’s more, apps and online photo editing sites like picmonkey can help anyone to produce professional photos easily. (The key is not to overdo the editing unless you are creating graphic pieces) The photo to the right is the original snapshot from my pic above . . . with the dog toy, pillow, and leg removed.
Online sites like Shutterfly are also a fantastic way to use your photos to create a plethora of gifts and memorabilia. For example, my husband loves his brand new truck, so for Christmas last year I made him a book titled Little Red Wagon’s First Vacation. It documented a trip that we had taken through many of the western states. Since we didn’t have any kids with us we took pictures of my husband’s brand new truck instead. It was a fun project, and all photos were taken with an iPhone, edited either on the phone or using picmonkey, and published through Shutterfly.
In school we take photos whenever an opportunity arises so that we can share with our parents activities that our students are doing in class, as they happen. We use the ClassDojo app, and parents receive notifications on their smart phones or computers much like a text notification. It provides us with timely communication with parents and they really enjoy the pictures. One thing that I communicate to my students early on is that I like action shots of learning so if they stop working to pose, they lose the photo opp. This eliminates the photos becoming a distraction and they are quickly used to “ignoring” the camera. Our district is highly into twitter as well and we often post 30 second videos of classroom activities. #NMSin30 #NSDin30.
I do have a true love of photos and the way we can use them to document our lives! You know, when I had gotten a little older I was sad to look back and realize that we don’t really remember all of the precious moments that we think we will remember forever. I tried journaling, but failed miserably, and pictures were not so easy as my own kids were growing up. But the next generations are creating photo journals that life stories without even realizing it! To them, they are just sharing on social media, but they will be left with a timeline journal, complete with lots of amazing photos, and that is truly valuable.