Mamas, we all know that feeling. We sit and reminisce (often after our littles are in bed) about recent vacations or holidays that have passed; scrolling through our phone’s camera roll realizing that outside of the selfie here and there (#newhairwhothis), there are rarely any pictures of us and barely any sweet candids of us and the kids. It’s even more evident when Father’s Day rolls around, and there are an abundance of moments you’ve captured of your family over the last year and hardly any of you.
This is all too evident when I look back on old photos from my own mom and even grandmothers. Where were they? What did they look like in that moment? Moms are the memory keepers and archivists, yet we are rarely a part of that experience, just a voyeur watching. We’ve coordinated, dragged, dressed, and organized these opportunities, and it should be documented that we were there, too.
Step Out from Behind That Camera, Mama.
Yes, I’m talking to you and telling you to take up space. What may seem embarrassing or even self-centered is really important. You deserve it, and your kiddos do, too. These will be moments they look back on forever. So, I’m challenging you to start capturing those moments now. Here are some ways to get in the digital age and get better photos of you in action.
Start by actually asking for your photo to be taken, whether with the kids or by yourself. Don’t be shy with your request and voice why it’s important. Often other people are not aware that you even want to be in the photos. Usually, as mothers, we’re the ones yelling, “alright, guys stand over there,” and once you get one halfway decent photo, everyone is tired or simply unengaged. You then feel guilty for even asking, and now you’re an afterthought. Speak up early in the day or take your pics at the beginning of the event and be specific. Even better? Ask strangers. You’d be surprised by how encouraging passersby are in wanting to capture the moment especially, Gen Z‘ers.
I know not everyone is “doing it for the gram,” but sometimes you want to feel special. Maybe you have a specific idea or endearing photo you want to recreate, so be thoughtful. Look at your surroundings, the lighting, etc. Once you’ve organized your thoughts or what you want the photo to look like, show your “photographer.” Along with being specific, get detailed on the vibe you want. For example, saying a simple statement like “I really love the sunset over here. Can you take my photo by this fountain with the kids?” is direct, specific, and can really take your photos up a notch.
Not every great photo is smiley, fun, or poised looking at the camera. They’re also not perfectly coifed. Be in the moment and be with your kids and most importantly, have fun! Laugh, dance, and be joyful. Movement makes the best memories. Your kids will remember the happiness they saw you feel in those photos and want to capture you, too, and I never say no. No matter how “bad” I may feel or what I think I look like, or even how much quarantine weight I may have gained, they’re seeing something beautiful and are marking that moment, and so should I. So, own it and show them that you know how to be present and take up space.