04 | tools to document the everyday life of your teen

Documenting your teen isn’t about making sure you have a professional camera or a professional photographer following you around everywhere you and your teen go…it’s about making sure that you’re using the tools that you have and maybe finding a couple new ones to make your life a bit easier.


The majority of the photos of my children are taken with the camera on my phone. I am a photographer so I do have the big camera and I do use that at many sporting events for the kids and I also bring it out in the fall for their yearly photo shoot…other than that, it doesn’t often make an appearance (unless my daughter and I have scheduled a fun photo shoot or are out location scouting). I have found that for the most part, my phone can do the job. Remember…you’re not trying to win any photographic awards with these photos…you’re simply documenting your life and the lives of your teens. No need to get super fancy here or you run the risk of not doing anything.


  1. My camera on my phone - I have a Samsung. I go back and forth with wanting an iPhone or just sticking with what I have. Honestly…I think the differences are pretty negligible. It’s really just about using the tools that you have. Someday I might switch back but for now, I’m happy.(Although the available apps are different and I do believe that Apple has a bit of a leg up on photo editing apps…see #2)

  2. Editing apps on my phone - I don’t usually bother downloading photos from my phone onto my laptop to edit. I use apps that are available in the Google Play store but I know that there are some awesome apps available to Apple users that developers are slow to bring to Android users. I consistently use VSCO and love their platform. The presets that they have and the ability to create recipes has made this the only editing app that I use. There are others available that are amazing as well: PicTapGo, A Color Story (I do love this one too),

  3. Instagram - I’m a big believer in using instagram to document our lives and I love that each of my children have their own accounts. Not everyone would agree with me on that and that’s ok. You need to do what is right for your family and your social media rules. I have over 3000 photos posted to my Instagram account and I love looking back through my account and seeing the changes in the kids over the years. I always ask permission before posting a photo of my kids on my account as I ask the same of them :)

  4. 1 second everyday app - I haven’t been consistent with this awesome app since 2016 but I love looking back on this video. It’s something that I would like to try and work into my daily routine for the remainder of 2019…remember - just because you didn’t start on January 1st doesn’t mean you can’t start now. (see my video at the end of this post)

  5. Blurb books or Chatbooks - there are some great tools out there to make books from your digital images. I used to be an avid scrapbooker but my interests have changed over the years. I love looking back on the old books that I used to create when the kids were little, but for me creating a digital book with just the images is an easier way for me to get the photos printed where we can touch them and experience them.


This really was the coolest project. I have seen many out there that have done some amazing projects with this app with beautiful images and music and you can easily get stuck feeling like yours won’t measure up. I promise it’s not about that. I look back at this video and I am so happy that I captured these little moments. This is the most perfect video representing a year of my children’s lives. Doesn’t get much better than that.

What tools do you use to document your teens? Don’t worry about having the latest and greatest tools. Have the tools that work for you and your lifestyle. Make it easy on yourself or you’ll get stuck not taking any photos at all. Make sure that you aren’t getting caught up in capturing the most perfect “instagrammable” moments. We want to ensure that we are capturing real life. Ask your kids for help, make sure you’re getting in some of the images and most importantly…just do it. These years go by so quickly and our memories fade. Having photos ad videos to share with them and their children someday is something you don’t want to miss out on.