Momma’s, get in those photos!
My friend and I were talking the other day and we both came to a consensus that we hated photos of ourselves. And I know that this is something that we aren’t supposed to admit, because “yay women of all sizes are beautiful”, but I just need to be honest for a moment. When I first see photos of myself, one look and I decide that my hair doesn’t look right, I picked out the wrong clothing and that “shapewear” I purchased didn’t make me the right “shape”. But then as time goes on, I look at those photos again and my heart starts to change. I don’t see the flaws quite as much and I start to notice the little moments that were captured between me and the kids.
Kids care about mom being in pictures with them
We have a habit of talking ourselves out of being in photos because of the way we look. Often, that self-consciousness will rob us of having photos that are more meaningful later! Kids don’t care what you look like, but they do care that you are present with them. They immediately love seeing images of themselves, with mom right beside cheering them on. Your kids want to remember these moments of childhood. They don’t start to build long term memory until the age of about 6 or 7, and even then, some of the early childhood memories begin to fade (https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/01/26/whats-your-earliest-memory/64982.html). This means that so much of what makes up their childhood will be unreliable; the photos that we take with them and of them helps them to remember what their childhood consisted of.
I love what I do as a family photographer, that includes so many amazing and sweet moments between family members. But on a more serious side, there have been a small handful of clients who have passed away within a year of our sessions. The photos that we had taken together became the last photos that those children might have with their moms. I don’t say this to guilt anyone into taking a selfie with their kiddo this very day, but I do mention it so we can start to grasp how important it is that we start to allow ourselves to be in the photos with the kids, with the family and to start to participate in the documentation of the family memories.
We have amazing cameras in our phones now, and they get used almost daily, so it’s time to think about what kind of legacy you’d like to leave for their childhood. Will you be present or not?
How to take good pictures with your kids
Things to consider
- When you are planning for a family photo shoot find clothing that flatters your body and that you feel confident in! Have someone take a quick photo beforehand so you can see how it looks in photos.
- Having kids on your lap, or in front of you if you still feel like you need to “hide” a little. This still allows you to be present, even if slightly hidden.
- Having the photographer zoom in or focus on moments! These are some of my absolute favorite photos that we get from our sessions!
- Reflect on some of your favorite moments or photos from your childhood, was mom in them?
- Hand the camera to someone who is with you – make sure you are intentional about this. It could be when you are on vacation, at an event or just an everyday situation. If you don’t ask to have your photo taken sometimes it may never happen!
- Take a selfie with your kids – I know I feel loved and seen when someone wants me to be in a photo with them… I imagine that your kids feel the similar! They are proud of their parents and feel singled out when you want them to be in a photo with you.
So, to put money where my mouth is….here is the latest photo of my and my babies. We were camping, zero makeup, post bike ride and pre fishing expedition but loving on my kids and letting the moment be the moment. I relinquished the camera to my husband and had the kids jump in to remember that they were small enough to fit in my lap!
I hope this information is helpful as we round the corner and celebrate our Mom’s on Mothers Day this year!
Devon is a children and family photographer from the great Pacific Northwest and a photographer at Little Skye Kids Boutique. You can see more of her work at www.devonmichellephotography.com