I love printed photos, but honestly hardly get around to printing photos these days unless they ask for them at school but things need to change! I teamed up with Canon to put together this post explaining why printing physical photographs brings emotional benefits to children and strengthens a family bond.

“In today’s digital age where people are capturing more images than ever before, it’s important that families reflect on memorable photographs outside the realms of social media. The emotional value of a printed photograph far exceeds that of a digital download and helps bring families closer together and share their life experiences,” says Dr Amanda Gummer.

Ensuring your home has a variety of family photographs clearly on display nurtures happy memories, helps children feel part of the family and deal with more challenging life periods. Here are some time tips from the Canon team on how to maximize family photos in the home to benefit the whole family:

– Display family photographs in easy to see places

Family photographs should be located in places where people see them on a daily basis without having to turn on a device, scroll through a gallery or switch on a computer. For children in particular, photographs provide comfort and reassurance that family members are valued and important to each other. Placing printed photographs on a child’s bedroom bookshelf means they can see the pictures every morning when they wake or every evening before they go to sleep. Making this imagery form part of the child’s daily routine, acts as a reminder that they are loved.

– Encourage children to identify themselves in a picture

According to research, we have more brain cells dedicated to vision than all other senses combined, which makes photography an extremely powerful medium. When your child views a photograph, encourage them to pick themselves out to someone who’s not present in the photograph. This form of memory stimulus helps build their sense of identity, helping children recognise their own value and increasing self-esteem as they get older.

– Capture photographs of every day moments, not just special milestones

Photographs of memorable life events and fun days out play a key role in shaping a child’s development and memory bank. Physical photographs encourage family members to reflect on cherished moments together and fondly recall past emotions. Whilst images of key milestones like weddings and birthdays are important, you should also display photographs that capture everyday moments, such as a family picnic, to reinforce a child’s sense of security in their surroundings.

– Use photography to fuel your child’s imagination

A key part of pre-school experience and learning is being able to relate pictures and photographs to real places and objects. Printed photographs enable children to do this, as they can touch them and express how they relate to real life. For example, a photograph taken in the park may spark fond memories of learning to ride a bike or playing on the swings with siblings. Once a month, set aside time to go through physical photographs together and encourage your child to take the lead in telling the story behind the picture.

– Create a life story book to celebrate the past

A life story book can be compiled using a scrapbook or photograph album, and should include a mixture of physical photographs and information documenting a family history or important life stages. Children’s memories can sometimes become confused or lost and this can negatively impact their sense of identity or self-worth. Creating a life story book from a pile of printed photographs, is an excellent way of helping fill in the gaps for children and make sense of their past. In the adoption community, we know the importance of creating a life story book to help our children feel more positive about his/her identity. A life story book can include images, birth details, different addresses they’ve lived at and details of their birth parents as a start.

Here are the top ten photographs every family should display in the home:

  1. A candid photograph: Ryan keeps telling me that I don’t always need to strive for a photo of five smiling faces for a photo to be great. Natural pics are sometimes even lovelier. Natural photos reflect a person’s personality, whether it’s an energetic toddler running around or capturing someone by surprise, helping children value the diverse and unique people around them.
  2. A baby photograph: Children love seeing themselves as a baby in photographs, this helps them to develop a sense of identity. Although adoptive families may not always have many photos of their kids as babies, we have been fortunate enough to have been given CDs full of pics of our kids’ early days which is so special and I’m so grateful.
  3. The family unit photograph: a family picture reminds a child that they are loved and have a central place within the unit.
  4. A club/ team photograph: a team sports or classmate photograph helps a child feel part of their friendship group and increases their confidence levels.
  5. An everyday photograph: activities such as playing after school, walking the dogs or helping mum gardening are important to reinforce a child’s routine and re-affirm lasting memories.
  6. A special day out photograph: Visits to a theme park, farm or seaside give children experiences they can talk about and share with other family members.
  7. Pet photographs: All family members can build special bonds with pets – they are a very important part of the family, so should also feature in a frame.
  8. A photograph with mom: Moms are often the ones behind the camera; try to capture a candid photo instead of a selfie to reinforce the strength of this relationship. In our home, our kids each have a framed photo of their birth mom up in their room which I think is very important. I sometimes catch Kira gazing at her birth mom’s photo and she has even cuddled the photo frame to sleep on occasion.
  9. A photograph with dad: Following child birth, often photographs will feature the mother and her child. It’s also very important for the Dad’s to be photographed with his baby son or daughter to show equal status and importance.
  10. An extended family photograph: Don’t forget about grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (especially those who aren’t seen very often) – they are all an important part of a child’s upbringing and identity. I’ve been challenged to print a photo of Grandpa Herbie (Ryan’s dad) who passed away before the kids came home but is still very much part of their daily conversations.

So have you been convinced to revert back to your old school ways and print some of the millions of pics you’ve got stored on your phone? I have! You can do this by uploading your pics onto one of those photo printers at the mall OR you could save yourself the hassle and print your family photos in the comfort of your own home with a photo printer. We’ve been experimenting with Canon’s new PIXMA TS8250 which is a super stylish all-in-one home printer that also produces high-quality photos and it’s incredible. The he best part is that this printer not only connects wirelessly but it can also print photos and documents directly from your phone! All you need to do is download the Canon PRINT app on your iOS or Android device. Isn’t that amazing?

If you want to be really fancy then Amazon Alexa-enabled devices can also connect to the PIXMA TS8250 Series, enabling colouring sheets, puzzles and templates to be printed through voice command. The printer is capable of high-speed printing up to 15 images per minute and print borderless photos up to A4. Talk about technology making life easier! We’ve only just scratched the surface of discovering what this printer can do but I’m keen to invest in some photo paper to print some pics and create a 2019 calendar with the templates provided.

Let’s print those memories, parents!

*This post was written in partnership with Canon. 

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