I had read some books on photographing infants and toddlers while pregnant with J and was gifted a nice SLR camera for my birthday that year. It was fun to try everything I had learned and it resulted in some nice pictures of J that soon filled a large album. That was the first four years of her life. I bought my first digital camera right around that time. The novelty of instant gratification wore off very soon. Taking a picture in my film camera was a slow and deliberate process. Much had to align right before I clicked that button. Now I always took five to six pictures in a row so atleast one would turn out right.
From age four to twelve (which is how old J is now), her images do not tell a story or capture the moment in a special way like the pictures in her album do. I enjoy looking through the album even today. Organizing the thousands of digital images wears me out and I don't get from any of them the satisfaction of a moment perfectly captured - the happy trigger for nostalgia. This article about smartphones being the death of professional photography touches on a topic close to my heart. I grew up in a family with a few amateur photographers who could work magic using very crude cameras. It was an art form I admired and wanted to learn. Turns out the learning was minimal and the practice of it woefully shortlived.