As moms, we’re often the memory keepers of our family, snapping photos of our kiddos to document their lives through all the changing stages. Whether it’s the milestone moments or the little in-between ones, we happily document our family. But how often do we get in front of the lens? Do we even exist in photos?
As women, many of us feel critical of our looks, whether it’s our weight, our tired eyes, or the fine lines that begin to emerge as we age. We may feel that we don’t look good enough to be in family photos.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am much more comfortable behind the lens than in front of it! In fact, I’ll be honest. Even as the daughter of a fine art portrait photographer, I’ve always felt a bit self-conscious and awkward in front of the camera. But I also believe that it’s so important to exist in photos through the years. Although I may cringe at my frizzy bangs in my high school pictures, I’m glad to have those photos. And as a mom, I want my son to grow up having images to look back on and be reminded of fond memories we shared together as a family.
I hear many mamas say, “I really want a family portrait when…I lose the baby weight…when I get in shape… when I get my roots touched up or my when I can plan the perfect outfits …or when our crazy schedule settles down…”
Well, guess what. I’m here to tell you that Now Is the Time. Think about it. We live in hectic world juggling multiple roles as a mom; playdates, soccer practices and games, not to mention a multitude of other work and/or volunteer responsibilities.
Time doesn’t wait for us. When you have kids, busy becomes a way of life and in the blink of an eye your baby will be a toddler, tween, and teen. Please. Make sure you exist in photos.
Several years ago, the internationally renowned photographer Sue Bryce challenged photographers across the world to use the hashtag #ExistInPhotographs to encourage and help women realize that they’re good enough to be in a family portrait.
“One day your children will look for photographs of you. What will they have?”~Sue Bryce
Exist in photos–not only in the milestone moments and celebrations, but also in the everyday routines and rituals of your family’s life.
For anyone who has lost a loved one, how much do you treasure photos of that person?
Since losing my father in 2008, I’ve found continual comfort in the photos I have of him. Whether seeing him smiling and happy, or more serious and even sad, these photos have helped me heal and focus on my happy memories of him.
I hope that some day the photos of me and my life will help tell my story as a mother, a wife, and a woman, and that these photos will bring comfort and strength when I’m gone.
Whether you choose to hire a professional photographer to document your family every year, set the timer on your phone, or hand the camera off to a friend or family member, be sure to get photos of yourself alone and with your loved ones! Exist in photos with your children, your spouse, your mom and dad. You are beautiful today. I promise you these will become cherished keepsakes! And if you’re not convinced, this might sway you to jump into the frame with your family. Psychologists say that family photos have actually been found to boost children’s self-esteem? Read more about How Family Portraits Raise Children’s Self-Esteem here.
And, be sure to print your photos so you can enjoy them everyday and they can be passed down to your grandchildren. Why print? Read my recent article on The Power of Print and Why Prints Matter.
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Winner of the 2020 and 2019 Most Loved Family Photographer award by Hulafrog, Debbie Camba Photography is a New Jersey Family Photographer based in Scotch Plains. She specializes in natural light, authentic and timeless child and family photography.
She photographs outdoors and in homes throughout Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield, Mountainside, Cranford, Summit, Springfield, Madison and the surrounding area, including Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, and is available in other locations upon request.