Many of my professional photographer friends and I believe that when you show a child a picture that you took of him or her you are also expressing your love for the child.
If the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is true, then it is important for parents to take lots of pictures of their kids.
But taking pictures is only the beginning. Share the pictures in albums, scrapbooks, frames and even on the refrigerator door.
Many years from now, kids will look back on the pictures and say, "My parents really loved me. We did tons of things together."
Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer, agrees that it is important to photograph kids:
"Kids love attention. . . . You will notice that the kids in the news lately definitely wanted attention. And unlike adults, they love to be photographed. Taking a picture of children gives them direct attention at the time and then and gains them more attention when the photos are processed and printed. Put the photos in a frame or on the refrigerator, and that's a real winner that is sure to boost a child's self-esteem."
Photographer Colette Copeland agrees.
"I feel that documenting family events together can be a rewarding experience in building family relationships as well as building self-esteem in children."
Don't underestimate the power of your family pictures. Here are some tips to help you get good photos of your kids.
Talk to your child during the photo session. If you don't, your subject will look stiff and uncomfortable.
Take the picture at the child's eye level. This angle lets you see into the child's eyes, which, as the saying goes, are the windows to the soul.
Take several pictures to get one great shot.
Use a flash outdoors if your child is in the shade or is backlighted by a sunset or sunrise.
Avoid red-eye in indoor pictures by making the room as bright as possible. Usually, as the brightness of the room increases, red-eye decreases.
Have fun. And make the photo session fun for your child.