Who's The Photographer In Your House?

Who's The Photographer In Your House?

Tess Wilson
May 15, 2013

My dad is an amazing photographer, and thanks to him there are decades' worth of gorgeous, priceless photos of my extended family.. but only a few of him. I seem to be repeating that pattern: I'm thrilled with the hundreds of shots I get of our holiday celebrations and vacations, but you would never know I'd actually attended the festivities. How do you thoroughly document your home life? 

A bit of an imbalance is inevitable: I love taking photos, and I don't like having my picture taken (well, I should say I don't like knowing I'm having my picture taken or posing, but candid shots are fine by me). With strong differences in preferences — Cheese! vs. No Cameras Please, document the moment vs. live in the moment — are there ways to make sure everyone in the household is included in photos?

If there's one nice camera in the house, it would be great if everyone's allowed to use it — once they're taught to use it safely and well, with appropriate precautions. Adults and older children can be shown both automatic settings and more advanced settings, so they can use whichever they feel comfortable with. I love the idea of giving little kids their own camera — just think of the change in perspective alone! — but trustworthy little ones might be able (and honored) to handle more complicated equipment. The 7-year old is allowed to use my iPhone as long as he's Sitting Down & Neither Eating Nor Drinking, but I haven't yet taught him to use my camera. He did just turn 7, so maybe he's ready for the responsibility. I would certainly love to teach him, and I'd love to see what shots he comes up with. 

Leaving a camera in a central (but safe/spill-free) spot is good, too, so it's easy for anyone to grab at a moment's notice. The same could go for phones, especially if one person's has a much higher-quality camera than everyone else's. I find that mantles and bookshelves are handy spots to stash a camera, as they're usually conveniently located but aren't usually messed with. 

At the end of the day, I guess I don't mind so much that I'm not in any of our photos because I took the photos. They probably reveal more of me than any snapshot could, and I have stacks of pictures of my favorite people. Win-win.

Is there a primary photographer in your family or group of friends, or do you all take turns? And if everyone takes photos, is there someone who's great about sharing/printing/mailing the pictures so everyone can enjoy them?

(Image: Leela Cyd Ross for Apartment Therapy)

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