In the Picture

Today, as I was working on a project, I came across this post that I wrote almost a year ago. I didn't share it here, but rather wrote it for The Daily Digi, a site dedicated to digital scrapbookers and photographers. However, I think it is an important topic for us as mothers.

Tomorrow isn't promised. We're but a vapor. The long days turn into short years and all of our excuses for not being in photos with our kids will amount to empty albums and wondering hearts.

"What was my mom like when I was young?" "What did she look like when she was a young mom?" "What did she do with us?"

I know your kids will ask these questions someday because I ask them often. I remember surprisingly little about my childhood and so while our family works to create happy memories, I know that the memories may only exist in the photos we take.

I am part of their story and I want the photographs to prove it. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I dislike many other things about my physical appearance. However, I cannot and will not let that stop me. I know that these moments are important and I know that my kids will be thankful that I set my insecurities aside long enough to be in the photo.

divider graphic     I'm passionate about a lot of things. If someone brings up one of my hot button topics, there is no stopping me. When I believe something, I believe it all the way. And this, dear readers, is one of those topics.

You need to be in the picture.

I know. I know. You plan on doing it. You'll get in pictures with your kids when you get out of your yoga pants. When you lose the weight. When you do your hair. When you get some new clothes. When... I know. I've been there. I don't always want a camera pointed at me. There are days when I haven't showered and I am many months away from being at a weight I am happy with. And yet, I still get in. This is a picture of my mom with my older brother. I LOVE it. Adore it. Am jealous of it. I love the way her happiness just beams. She is looking at this little boy who she waited so long for and she is completely in love. I love this picture for so many reasons...the look on her face, the Pooh wall hanging she had made, the diaper changing station on the deep freezer, the plaid pants, the paneled walls. What's not to love? This is a photo that captures a beautiful moment in time. Priceless. Unfortunately, I have very few photos of me with my mother. In all the scrounging around I have done, only a few have turned up. These photos are so precious to me. But I wish I had more. I wish I had photos of my mom holding me as a baby. I wish I had photos of us playing together...her reading to me...me watching her cook. I understand why there aren't many. Photography used to be a much more expensive hobby. Buy the film. Pay to have it developed. There wasn't opportunity to take a hundred photos of every outing. So my parents, like most, mainly took the obligatory holiday photos of just the kids.
When I had my children, I knew I wanted more. I wanted my kids to have photos of me. I wanted them to have documentation of a life lived together. I wanted them to be able to see the love in my eyes. I wanted them to have photos of me loving them, snuggling them, and laughing with them. When they get older, these (I hope!) will mean the world to them. In 2003, I had my first daughter. And from then on, I have made it a point to be in picture. I don't always love how I look, but I am so glad to have the memories. This is our life together. I want to be a part of it. With each child, I have continued to push myself to do whatever it took to be in the picture. Here is me, nine months pregnant with #3...

Here are some tips for being in the picture:

1. Stop Worrying. Don't worry so much about your looks that it keeps you out of the picture. Your children won't care how much you weighed or what your hair looked like. They care about you. Don't worry about what your house looks life. Real life is beautiful...and real. 2. Ask someone to take pictures for you. I often ask my husband or other children to grab the camera. I love to take photos but sometimes I want to be on the other end. My kids and husband are getting pretty good! 3. If all else fails, use a tripod, a phone, or a mirror. Do whatever it takes to be in the picture. Photo Booth can be your best friend! 4. Hire a professional. I adore our real life moment photos, but I am also glad that occasionally we have someone outside of our immediate family take pictures for us. Not only is the quality better, but also that person has a view of us that we might miss. Photos are an investment. Don't be afraid of hiring someone. 5. What do you want to remember? Ask yourself, "What kinds of things/events/moments/activities do I want to have photos of? Think about those special first moments, activities you do every day, and special events that you want your kids to know you were a part of. Write some down and be more intentional about getting in the picture. 6. Not all of you necessarily has to be in the picture. Try different angles and shots that show relationship. 7. Don't wait. Do it now. Do it today. You never know when tomorrow will stop being an option. 8. Start scrapping! Check out "Get In The Photo" for more tips from Katie and our team.

Do you get in the picture? What motivates you? What hinders you?

2 thoughts on “In the Picture

  1. Crystal

    I love this post and it came at just the right time! I have been behind the camera for most pictures, but I want my guys to see me, in our home and school life, the good and the messy! Thank you for this reminder. Your posts are always a blessing to me!

    Reply
  2. HC ...

    You look so different Janet, I cant even tell which child you are in the pictures with your siblings!

    Reply

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