Each year during June I have a level of anxiety around the celebration of Father’s Day. One would ask why? Well, I’ve been conditioned to wear a smile as I receive my gifts, even if I don’t like them. I’ve been told all year long that fatherhood doesn’t matter. Oh, and for some odd reason all of the restaurants my family wants to take me to have available reservations on Father’s Day. What’s that all about!? Long story, short, I’ve had to find ways that would make this day more of a celebration for me.
For the past eight years I’ve been contributing to a Daddy Box of Moments. What is that you ask? Eight years ago, one of my Father’s Day gifts (that I didn’t like) came in this awesome box. So, I took out the ugly shirt that was in it and decided to keep the box. Later that evening, I was cleaning out my wallet and notice that I had all of these keepsake pictures of my children. Well, I decided to place them in the box.
Throughout the year I realized I had pictures of them in my drawer, on my office wall, in boxes and other odd places. Well I began to place the pictures in my Daddy Box of Moments. One day, I was placing a photo of my daughter in the box and realized my box was filling up with all of these wonderful moments with my family in pictures. As a result I decided that every Father’s Day I would take all of the photos I accumulated throughout the year and very privately, place them in the box at the end of the day.
Somehow I knew at the end of the day I would smile because I would be able to revisit moments as a father that would make me proud to be a dad. Today, my Daddy Box is filled with awesome moments with my children. Ironically, in the process I’ve also learned that I have become a very good photographer of moments.
I want to share with you five ways to capture the best moments with your children.
1. Make sure your camera app is on the front page of your cell phone.
It drives me crazy when someone stops me to take a picture and they can’t find the photo app. The best way to miss a moment is to take too long trying to capture it. You ever heard that phrase, “the moment has passed”? It applies here.
2. Practice taking pictures.
There is nothing like having a great moment present itself only find out you cut off everybody’s head or that it’s blurry. Practice taking all kinds of photos, so that when the time comes you don’t mess it up.
3. Fall in love with candid photos.
You will take the best photos when you are taking pictures of moments, not people. Your pictures should say what was taking place, not who was there.
4. Take a picture of something that has a story to go with it.
You want your pictures to always remind you of how you felt when you took the picture. Photos with stories do that. Try to take pictures that tell a story long after you’re able to tell it.
5. Become an invisible photographer.
There is nothing that kids hate more than their parents asking them to take a picture. Take so many pictures of them that they don’t even notice you anymore. I love it when my children see a picture I’ve taken of them and says, “when did you take that?”
Bonus: Take video instead.
Pictures are nice, but video is better. Besides you can always extract photos from video.
We would like to see your skills in taking pictures of moments with your children. Please share and use the hashtag #makeamoment. A happy Fathers’ Day is within your ability to capture every moment that makes you happy and proud to be a father. ENJOY!
Kenneth Braswell is the Director of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and the Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. You can follow Kenneth Braswell on twitter @fathersincorp or on his personal blog at www.dadspadblog.com.