That’s completely shameful. How could this be? What is WRONG with me?!
These are all the thoughts I had running through my mind as I scrolled for what seemed to be minutes on end, hours even. I was scrolling through all the photos from my phone, but on my computer where I could see more of them even faster. I was looking for a picture to include on a post for this very blog. I needed one of us all together. The hubby being in the photo would have been a bonus, but I figured surely I could find something where we were all smiling together. We have gone on so many adventures, traveled more than ever and there had to be too many to choose from.
Instead, the reality of what I found made my heart sink. I did take plenty of photos of my children- yes. I took individual photos, group photos, and shots with me one-on-one with each child and special events. But only a few scattered images reflected us all together.
My favorite thing as a mother is being with my kids and experiencing things together. I try to be in the moment as much as possible and am actually quite the opposite of an “Instagram mom”. I have to remind myself to document moments and events. I’d rather just live them than capture them! I think this comes from a life where my mom always had the camera in hand and we begrudgingly smiled for photos.
But I’m paying a large price now, as I see what I have “lost”. I have the memories, and surely the kids will remember these moments based on the photos I DID take. But I’m not there. It’s as if a ghost came and followed my little people around and captured the most memorable moments in their lives. But where was mom? What was she wearing? What did her hair look like? How did her lines and wrinkles appear throughout the years? Do her eyes look happy, stressed or sad?
I may be overthinking this, but I feel that if I experienced sadness of this level in NOT seeing photos, it must be important at a certain level for me.
So mama- PLEASE GET IN THE PICTURE. You’ll never be skinny enough, toned enough, rested enough, made up enough, or in the perfect mood to be in the photos. Take pictures when you’re snuggling in bed before you’ve checked your reflection in the mirror. Take photos when you’re out on a walk and you’re sweaty with mismatched workout clothes. Take photos together when you’ve had a bad day and want to capture a good moment.
Whenever and however you do it, just GET. IN. THE. PICTURE. Your future self and your children will thank you someday!
Some tips to achieve this:
-Get a tripod and keep it in the car! Buy two if you need to so you always have one with you. I like expandable ones that I can keep in my purse
-Selfie sticks. Who cares how embarrassing it is? Some of my favorite pics are with me holding a selfie stick because I’m in the photo with my smiling kids!
-Be brave and ask another mom or stranger passing by to take a photo for you. Lots of times people will offer when they see you taking a photo of the kids! Accept the offer!
– Give it a few seconds. Taking pictures to document moments doesn’t need to be a big “to do” every time. Just give the memories their seconds to be captured!
-Act natural. Not every photo needs to be posed. In fact the most interesting photos to look at later are raw! Just snap something while you are looking at things together, prop your phone somewhere and run around, setting the timer on your phone!
I hope you won’t wait for perfection before you capture what is already far more perfect than you can imagine!