The latest Google phone promises to transform my children into perfect, smiling angels. Why would I want that? | Tom Whyman

  • November 19, 2023
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It can retouch, replace and remodel all it wants – I much prefer the fun and mess of unvarnished childhood snaps

I love taking photos of my children. Not because I’m obsessed with sharing them on social media or anything like that (equally, I’m not one of those parents who considers doing this some sort of dreadful ethical violation). These are images to be scrolled through with their mother after we’ve spent another too-long day wearily struggling to look after them; to be shared, every now and again, on WhatsApp groups of family or friends.

This has especially been the case since last year, when I, normally a committed luddite, finally got a smartphone with a camera good enough to take something other than murky, pixelated blurs. Now I long to do justice to the look of wild triumph on my son’s face as he poses with the lollipop he has won for being the last reception kid standing at musical chairs; to catch my toddler daughter having inadvertently struck a pose straight out of a Mini Boden catalogue. I grab my phone, find the right angle, get a few shots – all before she spots me taking pictures and inevitably staggers over, gurning “cheeeeeessse”.

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