I have seen several posts now about how women especially do not want to be in a lot of photographs as they do not like the way they look. I did not want to jump on this bandwagon since others have already written about it. However, I am jumping on this morning after seeing a news story that brought me to tears. They showed two pictures side by side. One was a picture of a woman and a man partially hidden behind a set of doors with one on one side and one on the other. The next was a picture of a child and a man positioned in a similar manner behind those same doors. The first picture was of a bride and groom. Sadly, his wife died from cancer and left behind their daughter, who is in the second picture with her father. These pictures brought me to tears because this little girl will only know her mother through pictures. The little girl, who was three years old when this picture was taken, lost her mother at the age of just a year old! The father and daughter were moving out of the house that held so many memories, and these pictures were taken in an effort to hold on to those memories in that old house.
Take the picture, ladies! Despite what you “think” you might look like – no matter if you think your hair isn’t perfect, your makeup isn’t “just right,” or if you didn’t lose the last few pounds you wish you had prior to someone bringing out their camera at an event – take the picture any way! These are precious memories in the making right here, and one day your loved ones will want to look back on pictures of you and fondly remember what every one was saying and doing in the pictures. They will look back at the pictures of people laughing wildly and wonder what was so funny when this shot was taken. Don’t let your children or loved ones flip through a photo album and not find a single picture of you in them! Your loved ones only want to see YOU! And you know what? YOU are far too hard on yourself. You pick yourself apart when others are just happy that you are there and are a part of the occasion, that you are a part of their lives!
Very early on I realized that I was busy taking pictures of every one else in the family with my new born baby, but no one was taking pictures of ME with my new born baby! Then I started taking “selfies” long before “selfies” were cool. Now that seems to be all we see on Facebook and Instagram, but I started taking these self portraits of me and my daughter just for the simple reason that I wanted her to have pictures of me. Should anything happen to me, I wanted her to have those pictures that she could look at and so that she could know me through those pictures. I wanted her to see me being a part of her life! Imagine my delight when I purchased a camera a few years later with the self timer mode! I can’t tell you how many “family pictures” were taken by ME previously, and since I was the one holding the camera, guess who was left out of the “family pictures?” I was! With the self timer, though, those days are no more as I press that button and race to find my place right along with the rest of the family. People laugh when they see me scrambling to get into position, but it is important to me to capture that moment in time, those memories with my family, with ME in the picture, too!
Do I ever take a bad picture? All the time! Do I ever wish that my hair was different or I had a chance to fix my makeup? You betcha! But, the important thing is that I’m in those moments right along with my children having fun despite what I may look like – there are even some bed head photographs of me with my pajamas on laughing and acting crazy with my children … but you know what? Some times THOSE are the best kind of pictures!! It’s great to have the beautiful family portraits with everyone on their best behavior looking all neat with their almost plastered on smiles … but the ones that really provoke laughter and smiles are the ones where we are acting as silly as we possibly can! THOSE are fun pictures to take because we’re laughing so hard and cutting up in the moment – the fun moments with my children – the fun moments my children will remember me being a part of! Yes, THOSE types of pictures are the best ones!!!
Do people groan when I take out my camera? Sometimes! BUT, what is important is that despite all of the “Ah man …” and “Really?” and “Awww, Mom!” comments, they will grow to appreciate these pictures in years to come! I know from experience. I love looking through old photographs! My children do, too! We can spend an entire day going through old pictures and letting those memories linger in our hearts and minds. There are days that I take down the baby photo albums of both of my girls, and we’ll flip through together and oooooo and ahhhhh over those adorable little baby pictures! It means a lot for my girls to see these pictures … and yes, to have me in them!
So please …
This holiday season, take the pictures! Get in there with your family. Make those memories and capture them in photographs that your loved ones will look back fondly on in years to come. Remember: Having YOU in the pictures is all that they truly care about – not your hair, not your weight, not your make up. Nothing else matters except that you were there sharing in that moment in time with them.
Take the picture!