“To the world you are a mother but to your family you are the world.”
How important is it to have Mums in Photos?
As a mum on a good day, I reckon I have about a million different things going around my head at any given moment in time – has Charlie finished his dinosaur homework? When am I going to organise Evie’s party? When will I have time to walk Josie tomorrow? etc etc. I am not boasting, I am not feeling sorry for myself. This is reality and will be for the forseeable future. I always seem to be the one thinking to the future as well – get togethers with friends, summer holiday camps, holidays etc. As a family photographer, it is totally normal for me to have my camera in hand. I think we all do in a way don’t we? Our phones have such amazing cameras in them these days that it’s just so easy.
So we use them. A mum will always be there to capture the first steps, take that magnificent picture of the tantrum or poo explosion, or even the general – the walks in the woods or scootering to the parks with friends. I reckon if I had to do a survey, then it would be mums who are the ones to capture these moments 95% of the time. It’s not that men are useless or selfish – they just are not as tuned in as us. Let’s face it – men are very good at being in the here and now, whether it be playing or reading stories but they just don’t think about taking photos for the future or to capture the moment. And that’s ok, because we do! But then where does that leave us? Missing from the majority of pictures of our kids childhood! Now I’m not trying to be all dramatic here, but from the kid’s point of view, in years to come those photos will be the only thing they have to remember that day trip by. And you’re missing from it! “Where are you Mummy?” my 5 year old son asks me regularly. “I’m behind the camera”. Again.
This got me to thinking. When we take photos, who are we taking them for? Is it for us to put on the walls or put in a photo book? Is it for the kids so they can be surrounded by warm memories or is it more than that? Personally, I like to think it’s for the grandchildren and future generations as much as it is for us now. I’ve seen very few photos of my grandparents and parents growing up but the few that we do have I just adore! I love looking at their clothes, the activities and places they visited and just their faces – how young and happy they were! It helps me to learn more about both my parents and grandparents and I love that.
Having recognised this obvious mum absence, I have made it my mission in my family photo shoots to focus a lot more on the mum (excuse the pun) to ensure that she has the opportunity to have as many photos of her with her babies as possible – whether the kids are aged 3 or 53, they’ll always be Mum’s babies!! One lady even asked if it was too indulgent to have photos of herself with her young boys? How sad is it that a mum thinks of photos with her kids as indulgent? It’s not being spoiled, vain or narcissistic – they are your children and you have every right to have photos with them. You will only regret it if you don’t!
So many mums will say they hate the way they look, their make up isn’t right or don’t like how they look in photos, but it really isn’t about that is it? Kids don’t see the weight gain, the lack of make up or the dark circles in photos. Children see their mummy – the person they run to when they’ve hurt themselves or the person who makes them smile every day. We need to include ourselves for the sake of the childen if not for ourselves. Imagine your child looking back in years to come at a photo of the two of you laughing and smiling together – that can only make them happy and feel good about themselves, no matter how old they are!
So ladies let’s just go for it. It is not indulgent or bossy to get in front of the camera for once and get the Dads (or better still somebody else) to snap away. We owe this to the kids, the grandchildren not to mention ourselves! We may hate having our photos taken, but we’re likely to hate it even more when we look back at all the photos from the children’s childhoods and realise that we’re absent! And Dads? Just humour us, please – make sure Mum is involved in the photo rather than behind the scenes! We can’t spend the rest of our lives taking selfies!
If anybody would like to know more about a family photo shoot or contact me, I would love to hear from you!