When wild thing #1 was a toddler, and then a preschooler, and then a kindergartner, and older, and older, I thought I would be able to file all of his art work. Silly mommy that I was purchased an accordion folder, and started shoving those priceless pieces right into the folder. Then he came home with something that didn’t fit in there, and I was totally screwed. What the heck was I supposed to do with that thing?? Where was I going to put it? Turns out he wanted it on the fridge. Fabulous. Then we had 3 more wild things who all wanted to hang their beautiful works of art on the fridge, and who never got an accordion folder of their own. Their prized works of art were sneakily placed in the trash can after a couple of weeks. Don’t hate. I keep some of the important things, but I would literally have hundreds of pictures to save if I kept every one. Our house isn’t that big. I think my kids are talented, but not that talented. I’m not saving the drawing my kid created on the back of a restaurant placemat. On top of all of that, 99.9% of the time, the craft either doesn’t make it out of the van, or it does make it to the fridge and hangs there just long enough for someone to decide to steal its magnet, and it to fall to the floor, and be stomped on, chewed on, spilled on, or drawn on. So, I save gifts that were made specifically for someone, some things with hand prints because I love the thought of being able to look at the actual size of their hands, or things that really show who they were at the time.
The rest of the stuff, I have started to document with my phone. I am so bummed I didn’t do this with wild thing number one, because I am missing so much, and he is totally passed the point of making me crafts. At the end of each year, when I make my yearly album, I will add these pictures to the albums. I know they will be safe in there since I guard my albums with my life.
Tips for taking pictures of your
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- Take the picture as soon as possible once it comes home. Otherwise, you may end up with something like this:(This particular piece came home with only one raccoon colored in, and without the name Levi written all over it. We don’t have any children named Levi, and the only Levi I have ever spent any real time with was a little boy I babysat for roughly 10 years ago.)
- Use a plain background to keep the focus on the project or have the artist hold the project for you. There is nothing sweeter than seeing the pride on their little faces!
- Focus on details or handwriting. Nothing says you have to get the whole project in the shot. Sometimes, there is a particular spot you want to focus in on. Since the picture is likely to be a smaller shot in my album, if something special is written, I like to make sure we will be able to read it.(Plus, if something does get ripped or wrinkled, you can still document the piece).
- Opt for natural light, and plenty of it, but not direct sunlight.
- If you have more than one child (or even plan on having more than one), make your life easier by making it a point to have the child sign the piece somewhere you will see it in the photograph. It’s fun to see how their handwriting changes over time, and you won’t have to worry that you will forget who made what.I hope this helped make your life a little easier. I have to say that I love all of these projects, but I know in our house, it’s impossible to keep every craft that comes through our door! Are you using a point and shoot camera to take your pictures? Here are some tips for better pictures with your point and shoot camera. Do you keep all of your kids’ crafts, or toss them when they aren’t looking like I do??
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