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The Importance of Capturing Children on Film

When I was very young, my cousins and I spent every Saturday night with our grandparents. Sunday mornings we would have breakfast prepared by my grandma of apple pancakes or scrambled eggs and biscuits before making the short walk down a gravel road to church where my grandpa was a minister.

Sundays were for dresses crisp with starch, white patent leather shoes, and socks trimmed with lace, but Saturdays? Saturdays were for mud puddles and sticky water popsicles. They were for jumping rope and running wild and barefoot through the yard with my grandpa’s hunting dogs. We would take turns pushing each other on the wooden swing my grandpa made for us between two trees or climb aboard his old rusty tractor and pretend we were farmers. We’d search for honeysuckle or cattails or the perfect skipping stone. 

Those memories are some of my fondest of childhood. I think about them most in summer and, thanks to my grandparents, I can relive them. My grandpa had a video camera when we were kids and he was brave. Not only did he bring it out every weekend and record our adventures, he also allowed us to use the camera ourselves.

It was a monstrous piece of equipment and we were a scrawny bunch of girls. We must have looked hilarious balancing an enormous, boxy, camera on our shoulder. None of us could bear its weight for long, but between the four of us we managed to make hours of video spanning several years. Two decades later, those home videos are priceless to my family.

Lucky for my husband and I, cameras have come a long way since the 1980s. The Sony Handycam I use to record my children at play can easily be gripped in the palm of my hand and the memories I capture are in high-definition, much clearer than the grainy films of my childhood.

Knowing how much I truly cherish the ability to relive those memories while watching home videos, I want to provide my children with the same experience. I have been making an effort to take a little video every weekend, capture the sound of their voice, or the funny way they mispronounce words. Years from now, I imagine us showing the videos to their spouses or our future grandchildren.

Do you have any home videos from your childhood?

Photo credit: istock photo

A big thanks to Sony for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Want to capture your own family memories on video? We’re giving away two Sony Handycams! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with an answer to the following question: what’s your favorite family memory?

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