"It is the photo album a proud son wants the world to see." With these words, the television reporter opened her evening news program. Then, pictures filled the television screen.

"These everyday snapshots of a father and son," she continued, "playing video games, fishing, watching a ballgame on television . . . capture the love between the two. Now, these pictures are a son's reminder of a loving father -- a Los Angeles police officer who was killed in the line of duty."It was an extremely touching segment, broadcast last November. No doubt, the son, who told reporters at a news conference how much he will miss his dad because "he loved me so much," has many fond memories. Fortunately, he also has many photographs of the fun he and his dad had together.

It was noteworthy that this news segment was broadcast the week after a prestigious weekly national magazine ran a lengthy letter from a reader who emphasized that people should not take pictures and videos of their kids. The writer, a mother of several children, suggested that taking the time to get the camera and compose pictures causes the picture-taker to "miss the moment."

Naturally, photographic writers and editors disagreed with this viewpoint. "After all, everyday snapshots as illustrated by the Los Angeles story, are very important to those around us -- especially since it involves a loved one who had just been killed," said Barry Glick, director of development for Wolf Camera, a national chain of camera stores.

Said Mike Adler, chairman of Moto Photo, a national film-processing group, "Sure, getting your camera and taking a picture does take time -- about a minute. But looking through a tiny viewfinder helps people see the world differently, in more detail -- perhaps with more emotion, because the distracting surrounding elements are eliminated."

So, the next time your child or another loved one brings a smile to your face, put your camera to work and preserve a memory that could well last a lifetime.