Snapshots That Really Matter

Halloween is less than a week away which means the first month of the holiday season is almost over. How did that happen? I’ll have a ton of trick-or-treaters this weekend, so I need to get a big supply of candy this week, before all the good stuff is gone.

I love passing out the candy and oohing and ahhing at all of the creative and fun costumes.

While visiting my parents this weekend, I came across some old Halloween photos of my brother and I from the late 70’s.  Do you remember the plastic costumes and masks that were standard back in the day? All the super heros and cartoon characters.

The story can be in the details

It was fun to see my pint-sized self as Wonder Woman to my brother’s Superman. Aside from our cute faces behind the ugly plastic masks, do you know what struck me most about the photos? My Mom’s kitchen. It was painted orange at the time. The fridge behind us was covered in artwork we’d brought home from school. I could see the turquoise rotary dial phone on the wall. And the counter that the cats jumped up on to get their food.

My childhood home. That’s what I saw. Do you have photos that can transport you to another time and place like that?

You should. We all should. It made me realize that I really don’t take any photos with these kinds of details. I tend to move distracting elements out of the background or zoom in tight to blur them out. And that’s fine. I love these photos and they are the ones that I want to put in my scrapbooks. But if these are the only photos we take, we are doing our families a disservice.

Capturing all the details really does matter

Our kids will want to be transported back to their childhood. They will want the same Halloween photo with the fridge in the background showcasing their artwork. They will want to see a photo of them doing their homework at the family computer. Or that photo of the entire family posed in front of the family car.

These details are so easy to skip over in favor of the more staged photos we’d prefer to scrapbook. This holiday season, I’m going to challenge myself to do both. I’ll still zoom in to my subject and blur out distracting elements. But I’m also going to take some wide angle shots that show the details:

  • The photo of everyone eating Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma’s good china.
  • The photo baking sugar cookies and making a mess with the sprinkles.
  • The photo opening presents on Christmas morning with the dog in the background trying to eat the wrapping paper.

These snapshots matter too. They may not be photos that you choose to scrapbook, but at least you’ll have them. One day, when your kids look through them and get transported back to their childhood, they will thank you.


  1. YOU are so correct on that .. especially with capturing all the details. I am always clicking and clicking with my kids .. they get tired of it but they will appreciate it later ..

    I cannot believe that it is almost Thanksgiving and then Christmas .. go figure. Thanks for the blog love sweets.

    • Thanks Sasha. It’s funny isn’t it? My photography has gotten much better over the years, but I’ve just realized I’m not taking these kinds of photos at all. I need the challenge to get started again.

  2. i know what you mean about the details…it’s kinda like the little things…they are things that always make me smile. loved reading your post!

    • That’s it exactly – I had no idea I’d have that kind of reation. It made me realize I need to capture these kinds of photos too!



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