To be fair to my nephew, it was a long car journey. It had been an even longer day and he had run out of patience. He'd had enough, and shared his frustration in the only way he knew how: screaming the place down. The noise filled the car, drowning out the radio, and no toy was going to placate him. Grasping at straws, I brought out my phone and started scrolling through photographs to find some of him.
"Look! Who's that?"
He suddenly stopped crying as the photograph on my screen caught his attention - he could see himself! As I scrolled through the photographs, he'd pick out family members and smile as he said their names. I managed to keep his interest the rest of the way home, his spent patience long forgotten.
Since that day, I have noticed his love of documentation increase, a love that is shared by his younger brother.
My nephews adore seeing themselves and their lives documented. I recently shared this photograph on Instagram:
This is my nephew completely engrossed in a little video I put together of our holiday to Pembrokeshire. He and his brother love to watch it. It plays on repeat. They love pointing out family members they recognise as well as themselves.
I love seeing them so enthusiastic about their lives being documented that I've started videoing more. As well as enjoying the finished, edited videos, "Can I see it now?" has become my cue to stop recording, as they excitedly walk towards me to see the snippet I'd just filmed.
Documenting life is one of my favourite things, no matter the form it takes. Obviously I favour photography and feel most comfortable documenting in that format, but whichever way you document - journal writing, photography, videography, list making, social media updates - the important thing is that you do it.
The next step is to take those memories and share them with your loved ones. Watch as they devour the stories, gaze at the photographs and point out extended family, or rewatch the family videos over and over again. It's all the motivation you need to see the value in recording your family story.
If you're not confident in taking your family photographs, book a photography session today. I'd love to capture your family story for you. It doesn't have to be a special occasion; it can be something as normal and everyday as baking cookies, a trip to the park, or simply a day inside playing with their favourite toys.
Start documenting your family story today.