When I started out as a journalist, it was all about rolls of film, photo labs filled with strange metallic smells and a lengthy wait to find out if your thumb was in front of the lens. Any thought of making moving images meant you needed three people and a stuffed rabbit on a stick.
Now, however, everybody's more well-equipped than professional photographers and cameramen used to be, with the ability to capture images and share them with millions - all within seconds and using a device that fits in your palm.
That should be heaven for parents, who have long been the most snap-happy creatures on Earth. I have many memories of standing, trying to hold a sickening parody of a grin, in front of some landmark I'd never heard of while a parent called, "Hold it! Just one more!" No, I'm not going to post the results.
Here in this fabulous future, we have the ability to shoot dozens, hundreds, thousands of pictures of our children now at no cost per image, and we can even film them and put them on the TV. But of course it's not as simple as that. First we have to persuade the little devils to stand still.
Oh, it's easy at first. Early on, they can't run away:
SQUIRREL! That sort of thing.
(Come to think of it, this ability is shared by one adult, and one adult only: the Princess Royal. Yes, Her Majesty's eldest child may look kind of severe but Princess Anne's kept the childlike quality of turning away from a camera just as a poor, tired photographer tries to grab the picture he knows his editor will love. She's legendary for it and she's the only royal who does it. It makes covering royal visits pretty funny - but only for reporters.)
The magic eye and its eerie powers
There are ways to control a child long enough to take a photograph.
There are threats. I won't post the product of this idea but of course it's rarely pretty. There tend to be tears - and often snot - sooner or later.
There are bribes:
There's distraction by television: