Six Surprising Phone Camera Tricks

Fall leaf and nature creation

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Simplify Parenting with Your Phone Camera

Fall leaf and nature creation
  • What: Phone Camera Tips
  • When: From birth to college
  • Why: Record things where you can find them
  • Where: Your cell phone

If you’re like me, you don’t go far without your phone, and you love having it handy to snap photos of your kids in all their candid moments. But your phone camera can also help simplify your life as a parent with these quick tricks.

Rash on child's back with shirt lifted up
I took multiple photos to track this rash to see if it improved or worsened.

1) Rashes and Injuries

I take photos of my kids’ medical conditions all the time. If I do it properly in the same light, I can tell if a rash spreads, gets bigger or redder, or changes in any other way, including improving. When my child rubbed a blister on her heel by wearing boots with no socks and it subsequently burst and oozed gross things before her ankle turned red and swelled like a balloon, I had photo evidence to share with the urgent care physician, who had a better understanding of the problem (yay flesh eating bacteria!) after seeing the images.

wax in child's ear
I took a photo to convince my son to let me remove the gunk building up inside his ear.

2) Forms and Paperwork

If your child starts school or any other organized activity, you or your doctor have to fill out oodles of paperwork with dates and types of immunizations. While that little book they send you home from the hospital seems handy, I have never seen it again. A baby tracking app LINK can help tremendously, too. But if you snap a photo of completed immunization forms, camp registrations, or other annual paperwork, it simplifies the registration process dramatically the next time around.

Scratches on child's lower back
My son screamed bloody murder about this injury until I showed him the photo.

3) Mirrors and Odd Angles

I can show my daughter how her hair looks without needed to find one mirror, much less two. For my son, who couldn’t care less about his hair or clothing appearance, I can take a photo of the spot on his back that he swears bleeds and needs immediate medical attention and show him it barely qualifies as a scratch. The immediate cessation of screaming and wailing  is an added bonus.

Magnet tile and duplo lego tower creation kids
My kids worked hard to build this multimedia creation.

4) Creations

Because I don’t worry about running out of film, I am willing to take photos of almost anything. So when my kids build something and worry about the dog or their sibling or the automatic vacuum crashing it, we have a photo and can recreate it with less screaming and tears.

parent sign up sheet
I would never remember which dates I signed up to bring what without a photo.

5) Signup sheets

Have you ever signed up to contribute to the class party and not been able to remember what you signed up for? Or better yet, your husband signs up but forgets to tell you what you’re supposed to bring. When you put your name on a signup sheet, snap a photo. Then you’ll have a record of what you need to provide handy when you go to the store or sit down at home to try and remember.

Pokeman watch held up in store
My kids can find something they can’t live without no matter where we go. At least with a photo, I have a chance at remembering what they want.

6) Things to Buy

I constantly snap photos of toys and clothes and other things on my phone. In theory, I later remember to go back and add it to my kid’s wish list. But even if I forget, it stops the whining in the moment for me to buy them this, that, or the other. Instead, I offer to take a picture to add it to the list and they know that’s the end of it.

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