The outer husk of horse chestnut is bright green, sharp spikes threaten to pierce the skin.
The ultimate prize, like a pearl in an oyster, is the shiny brown conker.
My son runs his thumb over it, delighted with its novelty, as I crouch in the leaves with my phone in my hand.
My finger taps the screen repeatedly, I’ll review the photos later and decide which ones to keep.
My mother, who at 70 is still hesitant to text, huffs in annoyance.
“For God’s sake, can’t you just be in the moment and enjoy it with him,” she said, waving at her grandson.
Hundreds of photos are on my own phone, from the wonderful to the mundane.
Rarely do these pictures come framed, despite my best intentions.
They stay in “the cloud”, a magical invention of technology that stores all my memories if my busy mind forgets them.
The irony is not lost on me, because as a kid, I loved nothing more than flipping through my parents’ photo albums.
Some of the shots were yellowing with age, and I liked the blurry images that much more.
I said to myself that I didn’t want to forget all those little moments that made up my son’s childhood.
Regarding my wedding day, we asked guests to refrain from taking photos during the church service.
We wanted people to be there with us, as we made life-changing wishes.
I spoke with wedding photographer Dani Rose, alongside another parent, to find out how others are navigating life at the moment, and also capture it for posterity.
Darlene Hosea, Mom
Darlene Hosea is a mom of two and admits to taking pictures several times a day.
“I look at my photos every day, either just to remember or because I want to make a photo collage or create a thank you card,” said Darlene, who lives in Aberdeenshire.
“I take pictures with the intention of printing some of them, giving them to grandparents to put in their picture frames or putting them in picture frames in my own house.”
Far from spoiling the moment, Darlene thinks capturing it can allow the rest of the family to participate.
“I think a quick snapshot to capture the moment really means a lot, to come back to it later,” she said.
“I make sure to put my phone down and enjoy the rest of the time with my kids.
“It also means a lot to other family members to help them feel part of when I send them updates, they can feel like they’re there in that moment with us.
“There are times when I don’t remember how my child acted in a certain situation, and then I remember I have a picture of that scenario, and I can find it easily and bring back the memories, which I really like being able to do.”
Dani Rose, photographer
For wedding photographer Dani Rose, who works across Scotland but is mainly based in the North East, a culture of impatience means a loss of quality.
“I think everyone should have a wedding album instead of huddled around a screen,” she said.
“But these days people want to see the photos right away. They don’t want to wait.
“I think there’s a lot to be said for going back to the old school.”
Dani thinks many couples are now asking their guests to refrain from taking photos, which in her experience can only be a good thing.
“It’s often the older generation. But if Granny is too busy trying to work on her phone, she will miss her beautiful granddaughter down the aisle,” she said.
“Some guests may even get frustrated with photographers, pushing us away or taking pictures over our shoulder.”
“So when we deliver the gallery, that element of surprise is gone because the couple have already seen the shots and the professionals have lost their way.
“I rarely take out my camera when I’m with my family, and I want that freedom away from my phone.
“A wedding album is going to be with you for the rest of your life, unlike a USB stick that sits in a drawer.”
Return of the movie
The first camera phone was launched in November 2000 and was called the Sharp J-SH04.
Nowadays, even photo albums have been given a makeover thanks to technology.
You can easily create them online, and there’s no need to spend hours pasting the images.
But the vintage look of traditional photo albums means they’re making a comeback.
Movies are especially popular with millennials, and research shows that photo albums are harder to lose than thousands of images stored on your phone.
Plus, we only print the photos that really mean something, unlike stories that can be taken almost without our realizing it.
Physically holding an album full of memories in your hands is a simple and timeless joy.
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[Has the camera phone destroyed our ability to make memories?]