The Surprising Link Between Photography & Confidence

Anja Poehlmann

By Anja Poehlmann

Do you photograph your children a lot?

Most parents have hundreds or thousands of photos of their kids on their phones. They grow up so fast! But what do you do with all of these photos? Do you ever print them? Let me show you why printing your photos will benefit your children.

Our lives exist on our phones and social media. Depending on how freely you share images of your family online, places like Instagram and Facebook will be your photo albums. It’s convenient – friends and families can see what you’re up to, how fast your kids grow and all the wonderful adventures you have together.

But have you ever thought about how your children experience those images? Until they’re old enough to join social media, they probably won’t see most of them. And once they join, they’ll probably ask you to delete all of their photos anyway!

So instead of filling up your phone camera roll and computer, print your images! As often as possible. Create wall galleries, creative photo displays, photo albums. And then watch your children flick through those albums, examine the pictures on your walls and getting lost in seeing their own faces decorating your home.

Printing your images has lots of benefits. They make your house look homely, lived in. And they give every family member a sense of place, especially if those images show more than just a single person but instead the way family members interact and connect with each other.

Studies show that when children see photographs of themselves, it greatly improves their self-esteem and confidence. There’s a lot of evidence for it too: For example a study by Ammermann & Fryrear from 1975. Researchers found that family photos placed around our houses are vital because of the message these images project to the people living there. What they say to a child is that they are important, they are part of a family unit and they belong in this space.

Isn’t that what we all want to feel? To belong?

Also, seeing yourself in photos constantly desensitises you to how different a photograph can look from how you see yourself. Even a beautiful portrait often gets dismissed by the portrayed person, because that photo is not what they look like. It is – but not in their eyes.

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