To all you moms out there who have a bigillion photos of your family but you are not in a single one of them. Hand raised high on this home front. I have had to make an effort to get into more photos. Maybe you don’t like your body right now or maybe you don’t want to inconvenience anyone around you to take a quick photo…whatever the reason, please STOP!
We have a guest blogger this week ladies (and gents)! Teresa Milner is a photographer, a wife, a mom, and just an awesome human being that just so happens to take our pictures! She has a fantastic insight into the matter and I am thrilled she took the time to share her thoughts with you!
P.S.- You can find her work HERE
When’s the last time you took a picture of your family? If you’re like me, probably 2.2 seconds ago. Now I want you to remember when the last time you took pictures WITH your family? Formal family photo, candid snapshot…how many pictures are YOU actually in momma?
Not as many as you should be in, I know that much.
Yes, we mommas are usually the one packing around a camera or phone, organizing the family and taking the picture. And unless it’s a selfie, it’s really hard to take the picture and be in the picture, let alone do all that and get a “good” picture!
But I think we’re also shying away from pictures because we don’t like how our bodies look in them.
Friend, I get it. I really do. I passed “a little heavy” thirty some pounds ago. Sometimes I look at pictures of myself and hate my weight, my thinning bangs and my boobs that are definitely not on the same plane that they were before kids.
She sees her mom. Her mom having a tickle fight in the backyard or mom being silly taking a picture with Santa Claus. Momma on Christmas morning, messy hair and glasses and helping her put together some Legos.
As a photographer, I have friends tell me all the time “I really want to do family pictures, but I need to lose twenty pounds first.”
My dad passed away four years ago. I have dozens of photos of him that I love. Sure, if I look closely, I can see his body change and age over time. I see him put on some weight and his hair go gray. That’s what I see. But what I feel when I look at those pictures is ten thousand times more important.
I feel his arm at my back as he teaches me to country swing in our living room. I hear his voice calling out my name over the loudspeaker as I took home a ribbon at a horse show. I feel him throwing me into a pool because I wouldn’t jump in myself. I hear his laughter, his beautiful tenor voice. I see the twinkle he’d get in his eye when he was pulling my leg. I look at these pictures and he becomes so vivid in my mind, I want to reach out and hug him.
And so will your kids.
Someday, your kids will want those pictures of you. They will NEED those pictures of you. They’ll need them to help them get through going away to college. Moving away from home for a first job. Making the house they share with their new spouse feel like home. Reliving all the crazy, silly, beautiful times they had with you because one day you won’t be there to tell the story anymore.
I’m not telling you this as a photographer. I’m telling you this as a friend and as a woman who’s lost her father and cherishes every image she has of him.
As we head into the next decade and make resolutions, make one to get in the picture with your family every chance you can. Hand your phone to your spouse or your girlfriend. Hand it a friend or a stranger on the street and then get in the picture with your family. Make an appointment with your favorite photographer to take family pictures or do a lifestyle session enjoying your favorite activity. Or ask a friend to come do an informal mini-session for you.
Document the big moments like a lost tooth or first date. Document the small moments like lunch at Burger King or cuddling on the couch. Take pictures on vacation or doing nothing at all.
You don’t even have to post them on social media (But you do need to print them!) These pictures aren’t for the world. They are for you, your family and your journey together.
Your family won’t see extra weight or gray hair. They won’t see laugh lines or crow’s feet. They’ll just see their beautiful momma, holding their hand, laughing on a hot summer night as fireworks pop in the distance.
Your family will appreciate the pictures you’ve taken of them, yes. But they will love and cherish beyond measure the pictures you take WITH them.