Childhood in the digital age – 5 suggestions for a better relationship to digital photography

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We rewound our cassettes with pencils, have blown on our CDs to remove dust, downloaded songs (il)legally on our mp3 players, and are now subscribing to Spotify, Deezer or other streaming solution. The storykids team is part of a generation that has grown up in the transition from analog to digital and has had the time (and luck?) to adapt to this technological revolution.

Our children are born in a world where digital technology has become omnipresent. Studies show, they are exposed earlier and earlier to smartphones and other connected devices. So tablet or no tablet, screen or no screen, modern or old-fashioned? Is this really the debate?

We do not think so. For us, the discussion goes further; we need to review our conception of digital childhood. In the race for innovation, we have forgotten that nature takes its time, and that the development of our children does not accelerate as fast as our technology. That’s why, instead of having to choose between wooden toys and a tablet, we seek a more appropriate approach, an approach that appreciates technology while taking into account the development of the child.

In this series of articles entitled “Childhood in the digital age” we share our views while trying to give you ideas for a healthier relationship between us, our children and technology.

To start, of course, we chose photography. we love photography, and we know that to fill your albums you have to take a lot of pictures. Here are some of our suggestions to make the most of photography with your children.

1. Eye to eye

“Dad look!”

“Yes darling, I’m looking at you.”

“No dad, look, really, I want to see your eyes.”

Smartphones have made us permanent paparazzi, able to capture every moment, no matter how unexpected. One of the less obvious effects of this omnipresence is the fact that the smartphone has installed itself as a filter, cutting eye contact between the eyes of the child and the parent. In important moments, the child is seen through the camera application, and distinguishes the expression of the parent only behind the back of the phone.

Our suggestion: take the time to stay connected with your child. Put down your phone, ask someone else to take the picture, and if you really want to capture the moment she blows out her candles then hold your phone maybe a little lower. The framing will not be perfect, but the smile of your child looking at you right in the eyes will make you forget.

2. No is no

Isn’t it one of the favorite sentences of adults? “When I say no, it’s no!” It is so easy (to try) to impose on our children our dogma when we want to cut the discussion short and make our authority clear.

But when our child says no and refuses to pose for a picture with his new cute little t-shirt, then the world is upside down.

Didn’t we alll also wonder how famous people can go for a walk in the street while being harassed by fans or paparazzi always asking for more pictures and smiles?

Our suggestion: accept the refusal. Talk to your child about his / her reasons, explain your motivations for taking this picture and if need be, just wait for the next time.

3. Strike a pose

Children like to take pictures. Let their creativity speak, give them control of the device and be the model. They will be proud to show you their best shots, will show you what interests them, and who knows, maybe among all these random pictures there might be some you will like so much that you will keep them preciously in your albums. The plus: the camera is often one of the only applications available on a smartphone without unlocking it. If your child likes to take pictures, the urge to navigate the phone and try all the apps might be less present.

4. Stickers, filters and emojis

Let’s have fun with technology! It is after all the beauty of the smartphone, each photo taken can become dozens of others. Play with the filters on your favorite apps, swap faces with your kids, add stickers, put filters, and send those photos to friends or family members who will rush to answer them. Fun sharing moments are guaranteed.

5. Share and remember

Pictures are memories. They show people in your family, around you. They take you back to your favorite places. They allow you to relive precious moments. They encourage you to tell your story.

So watch them with your children, let them ask questions, ask them if they remember certain situations, what they felt in those moments. This will allow your child to connect with their story, your family members, while listening to what they think and not necessarily share naturally.

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions. Share your thoughts on our social networks. And keep taking nice pictures.

See you soon, the storykids team.

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