Why Your Kids Want You In The Picture
Every year, I like to offer portrait sessions to my local community. My offerings aren't anything fancy, but in each session, I try to capture the bond between subjects. Unfortunately, when it comes to portraits of moms and their families, I often hear the same, discouraging comments: "I just want photos of the kids; I look too heavy to be in them," or "I would totally book this if I looked better right now!"
So, there's something I'd like to say in response: your children do not care! You are their everything. They think you're beautiful, and they are right to think so! Simply being a mom who loves her children makes you a beautiful woman. Kids don't notice if you have bags under your eyes or if you've put on a little weight. Don't make the mistake of saying, "When I do such and such, then I can be in photos." After having four kids, I am not the size I want to be, and I'm tired on certain days, but that is okay. My children still love me and tell me I am wonderful.
One of my favorite things to do is look through old photos. There is something almost magical about revisiting the past through photographs. My favorite images are the ones taken of my whole family. We don't have many because my mom was usually the one to take photos, so I treasure the ones we do have. My Mom never made a huge fuss about what she looked like. When it was suggested we take a photo, she would occasionally laugh and say, "Oh, I look terrible"—but she always said it with a careless disregard and would jump right into the frame with a cheerful attitude. She never made excuses. We never heard her say, "No, I look awful. Just get one of the kids." Her attitude about being in photos with us as a family is one of the many reasons I admire and love her.
Now, consider your own kids: what are some ways you can make sure you get in the frame with your children? One option is to hire a photographer! There is a photographer for everyone's budget, so if your budget is small, look for a photographer who is just starting out and is looking to build their portfolio. If your budget is a bit larger, find a well-established photographer who can create a beautiful gallery for you.
If hiring a professional photographer is out of your budget altogether, or it simply isn't your thing, grab a friend to take photos of you with your children. These days, the cell phone in your pocket can take impressive shots, so there are no excuses. Choose a striking location outside or snuggle up on the couch. If you are still worried about imperfections and how they might show up in photos, pile your kids up in your lap, or take some candid shots. These can be great strategies to help you feel more confident in front of the camera—and you get sweet snuggle shots in the process! Most importantly, have fun with it. All these positive things will translate to the photo, and you'll have a record of some beautiful memories.
Also, don't forget to take pictures with your parents as well! If you are fortunate enough to still have them with you, it's important to get photos with them too. Sometimes we only remember to take pictures of our parents when they are with our own children. You're never too old to capture memories with your family, and as the years pass, they will become more and more precious to you.
Always remember to capture the special and ordinary moments with your children—the days pass too quickly. Enjoy it! Don't stress over the minor details that someday won't matter a bit. Eventually, your children will lovingly look at those photos and remember how you always jumped in the frame with them.