Earlier in my journey as a parent — definitely before I had two kids and while I still had this notion that I would have a clean and tidy organised life — I had this idea that we’d pose for some professionally shot family photos every year.
I wanted something to document our family as we grew. I wanted to create a wall of our family photos through the years, as well as making the world’s easiest Christmas presents. Hey Nana, here’s a photo of us for your piano… again… Surprise!
I fantasised that as the years passed you would see our children as they grew, see us as we aged, see partners join us, and eventually one day grandchildren — all on our wall and all perfectly posed in matching blue jeans an snow white collared shirts.
Could I be any more fake? Probably not.
Not to mention the time and money involved in this exercise, I was on a fool’s errand.
I’m a crazy woman, because I document the life of my family nearly every day. Literally. On my phone.
Like most 21st century mothers, I have an iPhone photo reel of thousands of images of my kids, our family and beautiful, authentic, everyday antics.
And like this:
And like this:
I want to celebrate our real, messy, beautiful family as we really are. I want to give meaningful gifts that are authentic as well as useful, and there are so many ways to do that.
Make a photo wall.
Like my original plan to create a wall of professionally shot staged photographs, I want to create a wall of authentic family moments by printing and framing the best of the photos in my photo reel. I want the silliest moments, the photos of my babies sleeping in odd places and funny positions, shots of them throwing tantrums on the kitchen floor.
Less fussy (as in, you won’t need matching frames), canvas wall art is a great way to create a focal point in your home.
Could you image this photo blown up on a living room wall?
Give a less terrible Kris Kringle.
Get the silliest photos of your kids imaginable and put them on a mug, an apron, a mouse pad, a stubby holder. As if Grandpa wouldn’t love that?
Turn your four-year-old son into Mr March.
Get your photos printed onto a calendar. Seriously, this is a really lovely gift for a grandparent who already has everything.
Play poker with your kids’ faces.
You can get a deck of cards personalised with photos. This just adds a whole new meaning to the term poker face.
So there you have it – simple, cheap and thoughtful ideas making use of the thousands upon thousands of photos in your phone.