Friday, November 20, 2015

Stepping Into the Frame

Written by: Shanda

Well hello there! I thought I would take a second to introduce myself. I am a momma to 3 beautiful kiddos ages 4, 2, and 6 months, photographer of over 9 years, and aspiring minimalist. I also am a kid at heart, a great starter, but horrible finisher, unorganized (hence the desire for minimalism), indecisive, and fly by the seat of my pants. My husband is one of the most organized people I know and yet still loves me and drops anything to go on one of my crazy, last minute adventures. That is true love right there!


My brain functions on picture mode. I see everything as a tender moment that needs to be captured. I see light hitting the floor and think, “I need to put my baby there”. We constantly want to document our children. We want to have these special memories of them to cherish. We want to be able to look back on these images when we are old and relive those special little people in our lives. A photograph can draw you back into a time, moment, or feeling. It brings back memories of things that may have been forgotten. Our children are our most treasured memories, so we document them. We blow up social media with pictures of our kids, stories of things they did or said, and how proud we are of them or love them. BUT how many times do we take the time to create cherished memories of ourselves for our children?

I felt an overwhelming push to start a page on Facebook, Yes I Do Have a Face, encouraging mommas to be in pictures with their kiddos. I must admit that I mainly started it just to get my butt in gear! I was shocked with the response. I got countless emails from moms saying how they haven’t had a picture of themselves in years because they just didn’t feel pretty enough to be in pictures. That hit me hard. How many times as women have we avoided having our picture taken because we didn’t feel pretty enough? Here are some questions to ask yourself:  

1. Do you have a recent image of just you?
2. Do you have any pictures of you interacting with your kids?
3. Do you hide from pictures because you don’t feel like you look good enough for a picture?
4. Do you let yourself worth affect whether or not you get into a picture?
5. Do you never have pictures of yourself on a family outing?
6. Are you embarrassed or feel like you are putting people out by asking them to take a picture of you with your kids or by yourself?

If you can say that one or all of these questions applies to you, then you are probably in the same boat as most moms. I know that there are many times where I would feel like a pain asking a friend or family member to snap a quick picture of me with my kids. I felt like I was being a burden or was embarrassed to ask. There were and still are times where I don’t want to take a picture with my kids because I haven’t gotten ready for the day. We have to realize that our children see us both ways. Probably more not ready then ready! So why would they not want pictures of us looking both ways?

Here are some tips that I have found that have helped me to not be afraid of not being ready or “picture perfect” in order to get in the frame with some examples.

Have your child take a picture for you - I found that asking my oldest to take a picture of me takes the burden or embarrassment away. I felt more comfortable in front of the camera with my sweet little one holding it. Another plus to this is it produces real smiles watching them direct the picture.


Use your timer - This one takes a bit of effort, but turns out to be pretty nice, especially if you are wanting a picture of you with all of your kids.


Hide your face - I wouldn’t recommend doing this ALL the time, but in some cases it works. If there is a day where you really are feeling a moment, but aren’t ready for the day, jump in the frame, but pose so that your face isn’t showing.


Ask -  This one is kind of hard for me because I get embarrassed for some reason, but if you are with a friend ASK them to take a quick picture for you!


Let go of perfection - Our society makes us feel like we must be photoshopped, or everyone looking and perfect in order for a picture to be worth it. I say GET OVER YOURSELF to this! Some of my favorite pictures I do for my clients or myself are the ones that show the real life moments. A screaming kid, or a mess in the background don’t matter, but help to tell your story. Embrace the imperfect.


Get professional pictures done EVERY year - This is one thing that I feel SO strongly about. I wouldn’t ever have any good pictures of my family all together without hiring someone to take them for me. While you are having them done, you are already done up, so ask for one individual. It’s ok to get a single picture done. You never know when you may need it for a profile or business thing.


Those are just a few of the things that I do to help me feel more comfortable in front of the camera. I also like to do pictures with my family. It helps me to feel like the focus isn’t directly on me. I encourage you to make sure that you have pictures of you and your spouse. Our children are going to cherish those images one day. Seeing mom and dad together at special outings and events that they remember will be priceless to them. We don’t have to be perfect, but we do need to make sure that we are remembered. Always keep in the back of your mind that our children love us for who we are, not just when we are ready, skinny, dressed up or whatever else our reason for not being in the picture may be. They love us regardless, so show them love back by leaving something for them to cherish, a pathway to the past, a memory forever, a picture.


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