Putting Yourself In The Photo
Written by: Keli Hoskins
Let’s just state the obvious. Not very many people enjoy taking photographs of themselves past the age of 17.
But it’s important to start stepping in front of the camera! Why?
If my daughter, Emma Grace, looked at a photo album of the first year of her life, do you know how many pictures of me she would see?
Less than 20. And most of the pictures of me were taken on the day that she was born when I didn’t have control of the camera.
I guess it’s mostly because I am the family photographer, and my husband doesn’t take pictures. But it’s also because I never gave him the camera. I never stepped in front. I never handed it over to anyone and said, “Can you please take a picture of me with my daughter?”
I am solely responsible for not being there in pictures.
I think that moms, especially, forget themselves once they have a baby or two hanging from their hip. They are constantly saying, “No, I don’t have makeup on,” or “Wait, I still have the extra baby weight,” or “Oh no, my kid is much cuter than I am. Take his/her picture instead!”
No, No, NO!! What will our kids see when they are older and looking back at pictures from their childhood? Will they see a family? Or will they just see pictures of themselves with invisible parents?
I’ll never forget right before Emma turned one, she got sick for the first time. I mean, the up-all-night, wouldn’t-eat-or-drink, dry-diaper-for-hours, crying-all-day kind of sick. At the time, I was working from home with a small sewing business, and I needed to get an order finished. So I stuck her in the Ergo and kept on working.
A picture of a sick kid is sad, but a picture of a sick kid snuggled up to mommy while mommy is trying to get something done? That’s LIFE. It’s the epitome of being a mom, and I am so glad I captured it.
Even if you’re not a mom or a dad, you still need to document your life with you in it! Think of it this way, if you’re looking through someone’s vacation pictures, aren’t the pictures with them in it usually more interesting than the other pictures?
Challenge yourself to take more pictures of YOU! Take pictures of you with your kids. Put your camera on the counter, set the timer, and take pictures of you making cookies with your kids.
Or napping with your kid.
Hand the camera over to daddy every once in a while. Give it to the grandparents when they come to visit.
Use reflective items – one of my favorite ways to “be there” in pictures.
Yes, a child’s first time sitting in a Bumbo seat / holding her head up while sitting is pretty momentous. So why not put her in front of a mirror and be there with her?
One of my friends saw this picture of me and my daughter playing with our shadows and said, “You can tell you have so much fun with Emma!”
Yes! We do have so much fun, and I want Emma to look back and see that we had tons of fun together!
If you’re traveling, hand over your camera to a stranger! Okay, maybe not, but try to find someone you trust to not run off with your camera and get pictures of yourself wherever you are.
Don’t forget … you are the reason your kids have a childhood.
You are the one living your life.
Be a part of it!
Keli Hoskins is a wife, momma, pianist, photographer, web designer and chatterbox. I think I might be addicted to organizing and coffee, which, lucky for me, go hand-in-hand…and I blog at Kidnapped by Suburbia.
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