The best Mother’s Day gift – get in the picture!
Moms are everyday super heroes. By superhero I mean care taker, driver, domestic goddess, working woman, wife, single mom, ultimate multitasking machine. That list doesn’t even come close to the realities of what it means to be a mom. There is joy, worry, pride, unconditional love! All of these amazing attributes quite literally come to a woman once she becomes a mother. So, what is the best Mother’s Day gift? Read further to find out.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner I am reminded of another role that moms seem to play pretty consistently. Family photographer. I have hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of my family with one nagging feature, my absence. I am there, I am taking the photo. To me this idea that I am there is a sweet one. I am taking the photo. I am watching, capturing those moments I think we will want to see in years to come. These are moments I will hold dear. Years from now, when my child looks at a picture I took, I hope there is a moment of appreciation and comfort when he realizes I snapped the photo. I took the photo because I was watching and the scene gave me joy! I had to have a picture of it. However, there is a recurring theme of me not being in the picture. My son will want to see me too. Mom, get in the picture and give yourself the best Mother’s Day gift!
Using the timer to get a great group photo.
While setting the timer to get a great group photo is not always realistic, it is a great way to include yourself in a few shots. Obviously there are some situations where a timer is just not going to cut it. If you have very young children and your day is chaos it is not a realistic endeavor to put any moment on hold for 3 or 10 seconds. A lot can happen in 10 seconds when you are with children, I know. However, every once in a while there are more calm moments. You and your family are at the right place at the right time, literally and emotionally. Set that timer on your iPhone! Put that sucker on a tripod, or against a steady surface and set the timer! Watch it count down! Fake a candid photo or look at the camera and give it your best smile! I promise, with the automatic burst feature on your timed photos, you will end up with some surprisingly wonderful photos of your family with you in it!
Love the timer? Get a remote shutter release, or get out your headphones!
So, now you are in love with the notion of the timed photo (check out this blog post for more tips). You can set up your phone and set the timer, and if you could only be where you need to be and press the shutter button all at once you could really get some quality shots! Well, you can. There are a couple options here that are really amazing. You can use your headphones volume button as a remote shutter release. It does obviously have a limited range since they must be plugged in, but can you imagine the possibilities already? Whether you are holding your sweet baby, or trying to capture playtime in all its glory you can do it.
From personal experience I can say that it doesn’t take long for babies to notice that you have something in your hand that they want. So if your child is old enough to notice and too young to be deterred then you may need a remote shutter that uses Bluetooth to take the picture. If you have a tripod or a good place to set up your phone with a great view then after you get the remote shutter there is no excuse for you to not be in the photo. Set it up and click away. Take candid photos of your everyday life or take great portraits of you and the kiddos together. I love seeing my mom in photos, when she was me, taking care of my little one. Your children will love seeing you as well, especially if they decide to start a family of their own one day. The understanding you finally have of your parents when you become one is humbling and an introspective adventure.
Love your image.
I think that some moms are quite happy to be taking the picture, perhaps judging photos of their own selves a little too harshly. If you are one of these moms, this is a friendly reminder that you are a lovely, beautiful woman. When I see photos of my mom I think that she is beautiful and wish I had more of them to look at. I see a woman in the photo that is my age, who is going through the same family milestones and hardships that I go through now. I like the woman in the photo, wish I knew her as a friend, glad I know her as my mom.
Get as many moms in a photo as you can! The more moms the merrier!
If you are fortunate enough to have your grandma, and mom, and your own children in the vicinity get a picture! There are so many reasons to do this that are obvious, but perhaps everyone needs reminding. Get those moms and grandmas in the photo. Have a portrait of the women that raised you, influenced you, loved you more than they loved themselves. Take joy in the features you share, like a smile or eye shape. Or take joy in the fact that motherhood is not based on whether someone gave birth to you, looks like you, but that they loved you and cared for you. If you were lucky enough to have had that love then really take joy in it.
Maternity Photo Sessions
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention expectant moms. Whether with a swelling belly or preparing for adoption, awaiting a new member of the family is life changing. This time in your life deserves documentation. If posing for maternity photos is not your thing consider a lifestyle photo shoot. Hire a photographer you trust and have them come to your home and document the little things about your life that mean so much in retrospect. Let the photographer capture a moment when it’s still just you and your partner, or you and your first child. Or let the photographer document the changing landscape of your home, like decorating the nursery.
If posing for a maternity shoot sounds like fun then talk to your photographer well before you are expecting. You obviously need to wait until you are showing, but there is no need to wait till you are 38 and half weeks to have your session. If you are anticipating a bundle of joy through adoption there are many many beautiful moments leading up to the birth or arrival of your child. There is as much preparation, anticipation, nervousness, and joy to document. Motherhood is as beautiful and diverse in its many forms as moms are themselves, all deserve documentation and storytelling.
Fresh 48 Photography
When your child does come into the world consider doing a Fresh 48 session. Have your photographer come to the hospital and document the awesomeness of delivery and your afterglow following the birth of your child. The afterglow includes sweat, tears, smiles, IVs and hospital beds. As a photographer, I can say it’s unique for every experience and those are some of the most beautiful parts to document. If you are comfortable you can have the photographer in the room during delivery or C-section. Capturing the wonder in a sibling’s eyes and that first interaction in that relationship is so special.
Again, Mom, get in the picture!
This blog has focused on the idea that we as moms need to remember that our visual history will be valued and treasured. Challenge yourself to be in more pictures. Have your partner do the main part of the picture taking on your next outing. Use the timer on your iPhone and explore ways to use the camera on your phone to tell the stories you want to tell. And, honestly, this is the best Mother’s Day gift you can give to yourself.
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Happy Mother’s Day!