Grandma Becomes the Family Photographer

Grandma_photographerThis Grandma was spoiled.  A dear long (we never say old) friend was the best photographer and we shared so many family events and special occasions through long years that the pictures she took were enough.  The quality was better than anything I could take.  Besides, I really did not like carrying a camera and especially, being mechanically challenged, had the most difficult time, pushing buttons I should not have pushed, making the pictures blurry or yellow.

Then I became a Grandma. . . . and Apple has created the Smart Phone with a built in camera.  It is these two things combined that have changed me forever.

Now, being a Grandma, taking pictures and creating annual photo albums chronicling each grandchild’s life is important to me.  The parents of my grandchildren take lots of pictures that remain on the computer.  I want my grandchildren to see their lives in the albums and recall the memories I try so hard to create.  My daughters have the annual photo albums accessible and I know the grandchildren view them all often.  Yes, this Grandma does hope that they will show them to their grandchildren.  Yes, I must admit Grandpa and I are in a lot of the pictures.

In addition to putting all pictures, including vacation pictures, in each grandchild’s annual photo album, this Grandma does Shutterfly books for each multigenerational vacation.  It takes me hours and hours to get just what I want to preserve for the generations, but to do so I need lots of photographs.

So, now I have become the family photographer.  It has not been without bumps along the way.  I have to take many pictures to get the few I consider worthy.  However, the parents of my grandchildren are fabulous.  They take photographs of the grandchildren several times a week and forward them to me.  I save them all for the annual album.

Being mechanically challenged, I have had my family pose longer than they want.  So, now, mostly, I am into candid shots.  We pose at meals.  The candid shots at meals have not worked.  You can guess why family members do not want pictures of them chewing!  Well, just a few candids at dinner.

Then, I had to get through the phase where I took too many pictures.  I agree with the family that the I Phone was in their face constantly.   This Memorial Day weekend, I think I perfected the art of becoming the family photographer.  I now know I want collages of activities, meals, events, pool, beach, ice cream, etc., and want to try to capture each member of the family.  There was only one complaint and this Grandma considers the vacation  photography perfection.

Yes, I got the pictures I wanted.  Yes, I am collecting the pictures the parents of the grandchildren took to review before I begin work on the Shutterfly book. In addition,  I learned several things at the Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, about photography and Grandma.  First, my son-in-law showed me that if I held down the button on the I Phone, it would take pictures in rapid succession until I removed my finger.  What great pictures I got of grandchildren and one adult going down the waterslides!  Second, I learned that Southerners really are gentlemen.  We were exiting the Ocean Room after dinner, when Grandma realized that all eleven of us were together,  we were all dressed nicely and in good spirits at the same time.  I saw a Southern gentlemen and lady exiting at the same time.  I quickly asked the gentleman if he would be so kind as to take a picture of all of us together.  When he joked and said, “quick, huddle together” or something like that in his deep drawl, all eleven of us dashed onto the closest couch, huddled in and, at his direction, said “Sanctuary.”

I have the perfect picture to frame for each grandchild’s room and each family’s home and for our Shutterfly book.  It is amazing that all eleven of us look great.  He knew to hold down his finger to take pictures in rapid succession!  The spontaneity and especially the family love that shines through is worth every effort this Grandma has made to become the family photographer.

And the best thing I learned warms my heart.  We eleven grabbed each other close so quickly and laughingly to make the picture happen.  The family members, down to the three year old, value our time together and value that it needs to be memorialized forever.  Making family memories with







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