My husband and I take so many photos of our kids. We are usually just snapping quick photos with our smartphones but I also have a few instant film cameras. Our kids are interested in taking photographs too, of course, and instant photography is perfect. Our son really got interested in my Instax camera. We let him take a few photos with it last summer. Then I put it away and hadn’t really thought about it for months.
After it rained nonstop for days and days recently, we were all a little stir crazy from being stuck inside. When the rain finally let up, I was ready for a special adventure with our 5-year-old, Miles. I told him we were going on a photo walk around our neighborhood. I handed him my Instax mini 90. I grabbed my Canon rebel. And we headed out for a photo walk around our neighborhood.
1. Documenting the seasons
The first thing my son wanted to take a photo of on our recent photo walk was our blue car. The second thing he wanted to shoot was the yellow daffodils. While he was framing his shot, I mentioned that the daffodils bloom near the end of winter and the start of spring. It wasn’t a big science lesson, just an aside.
2. Math is fun
The Instax we used holds 10 photos at a time. Miles got a kick out of counting down and letting me know how many photos we had left. He took 28 photos on our photo walk. You can find packs of Instax Mini film at many stores now. We have a value pack of the film on our Subscribe and Save on Amazon.
3. Bonding by doing
I’m trying to soak up all the bonding moments I can while my kids are young. Miles was so excited when I told him we were going on a photo walk, just him and me. He’s 5 years old and loves when I let him use my Instax camera. Near the end of our walk he said, “Mommy, I love hanging out just me and you.” And my mama heart overflowed with joy.
4. Making memories
There are so many options for instant cameras, but the one I use is the Instax mini 90. I love the vintage look and how easy it is to use. We have a little Instax photo album that is slowly filling with photographs from family adventures and it brings me so much joy to see photographs my son has taken in those pages.
5. Point of view
It is easy to forget the wonders of the world. I think other moms will agree that one of the most beautiful gifts our kids give us is the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Everything is new again. The only guidance I gave Miles on our walk was to look through the window and be sure he was seeing what he wanted to photograph before he pushed the button. I wanted him to get to choose his subjects. And it was so interesting to see what he wanted to photograph: a blue watering can; a fat earthworm; his shadow; the moon.
6. Tangible results
Miles loves being able to show off his photographs. He made up a game when we were done in which we each got to choose a favorite from his pile of photos until there were none left. And he told me his favorite was the photo he took of me and him. That was my favorite too, y’all. He is still talking about our instant photography adventure days later. I think it’s definitely something we will have to do again soon.
I think for our next photo walk, I’ll make it a scavenger hunt. I’m sure Pinterest will have a loads of examples of lists of things to find on a nature walk. Or maybe we will make a bingo card with things we want to photograph. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m hoping we will get to attend the Instant Film Society‘s spring photo walk at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.