I want you to pull out your phone and scroll through your photos. In the last week, how many pictures of your kids did you take?
My phone shows about 20.
Now, how many of those photos are YOU in, mama?
My phone shows two.
In fact, if I look back over the last year, I bet I’m in fewer than fifty photos of my kids. (I’m not really counting the silly selfies we take at the HEB to avoid a meltdown while waiting in the checkout line).
Every year I put together a little family yearbook filled with pictures to show how the kids have grown. Every November I struggle to find photos of me with my kids, mostly because I’m always behind the camera… but also, because I so rarely like photos of myself.
When I’m putting these books together, I get a little sad that my kids will look back at the 2016 book, for example, and there are a whole two pictures of them with me included. I take millions of pictures of my kids – virtually every moment of their babyhood and toddlerhood stages is backed up in the cloud. They’ll always have photos from when they rolled over, or when they tried bananas for the first time.
But what did mama look like then? How was my hair cut? What crazy outfit was fashionable in that moment, will look hideous to them in 2030? I haven’t been good about recording me for them.
Get in the picture, mama!
Listen, mamas, I’m preaching to myself here too. Even if you need to lose the baby weight. Even when you didn’t do your makeup. Even when you hate that your teeth aren’t straight, or whatever.
No, it isn’t practical to hire a professional photographer to follow you around and catalogue every moment. But you can make a big deal out of milestone moments – like pregnancy and life with a newborn. That’s why people like me are around! And I try to make it as simple as possible for my clients to make happy memories to treasure forever.
But for those less significant moments, like when your kids are playing in puddles, get in the picture.
Hand your phone off to a friend or your husband or even set the timer if you’re home alone with your littles. Don’t delete the photos just because that extra 10 pounds is there. Your kids will treasure these memories of you with them, and they aren’t going to pick you apart the way you do yourself. Think about it this way – when you see photos of your mom when you were little, are you thinking about her baby weight? Or do you see your mom, living in the moment with you as a young child?
I always tell my clients, the happy memories we make during photo sessions aren’t just for you – they are for your kids. What a beautiful gift to pass down to your children – images of them, with you, celebrating whatever stage of life you’re in.
I’m doing my best to be on the other side of the camera now – will you join me?