We photographers say it all the time! Get in the frame -get out from behind the camera – be in those pictures with your kids – we Mama’s are particularly bad at this – we follow our kids and dote on them and capture their every move in an attempt to treasure their childhood.
But what about the role we play in all of that? We’re there at the school plays and for the grazed knees, and for the wobbly teeth and the favourite foods. We’re there with arms and hugs and kisses to make things better. With fist bumps and high fives to celebrate. We’re there in the background when they don’t even know it – the tiny kiss on the cheek while they’re fast asleep, the folding of clothes so they’re ready for the next day, the shopping for art supplies for a project. We’re there at every single step, but often not seen.
I know I’m as guilty as the next Mama for only having phone selfies with my kids – and I LOVE the fun cat ears and love heart eyes, and the de-aging effects of the filters, don’t get me wrong, but I want to be there in the hugs and the cuddles and the adventures and the every day too. And it’s HARD to do that, really hard…. and to prove how hard, here’s my latest attempt – I wanted photos with my family in the desert, like I used to take for other people, as a memento of our UAE days – and so I tried….. a camera set up on a wobbly camp chair, focus all wrong and composition all over the place (and don’t even get me started on how there are none of me with BOTH my kids!!) but I tried… and that’s what we Mamas do… we try, we try our best, and we’re there. And I’m there, in some photos with my family, in all their messy imperfection. And for that I love them.
The ones where were a mess are my favourites. Where we’re looking at each other and laughing and hugging and falling over in the sand. They’re a million times more real than standing in a line putting on forced smiles for the camera, and I treasure them.
So Mama’s, this summer pass the camera to someone else, set it up on a wobbly camp chair, find a tripod and a remote, hire a photographer whose work you love, tell your other half it’s important you’re in pictures – ANYTHING to make sure you’re there – you’re present in the memories – for your kids, and for yourself – I see you Mama’s – I see your hugs, your love pouring out of you and I want all of us to be able to see it too.
Big love Mamas, Kirsty xx
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PPS If you want to up your photography game this summer my “Photography on the Fly” guide to being more intuitive in capturing life is a series of PDF and video lessons