Woman, get in the picture! Not just behind the camera, but in front of it too! I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and if you haven’t heard it – you need to! Most women struggle with feelings of insecurity whenever a camera is pointed at them. I’m telling you, you need to get over it. Find the confidence to let a photographer capture you in your most flattering light, and you will thank yourself for it. This is important for every person, at every stage of life and it’s a lesson I’ve had a hard time learning.
I got married young, to a man with three small children and had an insta-family. I was always diligent about getting family pictures done as well as individuals of my kids. I didn’t necessarily use the best photographers, so many of my pictures are mediocre, but I love them anyway because that was my family at that time. When my babies were born, I had monthly pictures taken for the first six months and twice a year after that. I’m not gonna lie, I’m proud of myself for documenting their lives so well. Fast Forward 12 years and I get divorced. Aside from all the other drama that entails, it also meant that I now had a fractured family and a fractured vision of what my “family” now was. Was it just me and my two bio kids? Did it still include the 18 year old that chose to live with me over either of her bio parents? What about my teenagers that were constantly moving from one home to another? Ugh! So what did I do about it? I stopped taking family pictures altogether because nothing ever felt “right”.
SHAME. ON. ME.
There were all kinds of emotional things happening in my life at the time, and I’m honestly not beating myself up for the choices I made, because I did the best I could at the time with what I had. And that is TOTALLY OKAY!
When I started working for StandOut Photography, I remembered how much I LOVE pictures: how precious it is to capture those moments in my childrens’ lives. I want to remember their cute little smiles – and their adorable frowns! I want to look at pictures and hear their little voices. I want to remember how busy I was, and how crazy life was and those amazing moments when none of it mattered and we went for a walk in the rain. I want to remember my life. That means remembering all of it. As important as it is for me to remember every little smile, tear, and pout; it is equally important for them to remember me. Because when my kids look at pictures of me, they don’t see what I see. I see cellulite, wrinkles and grey hair. They see smiles, memories and love – they see their mom. Why wouldn’t I want to preserve that for them? And why not preserve it just the way it is?
I’ve had to push aside the questions of “Is this really my family now?” “Does a single parent family count as a family?” “Do I look good enough for pictures?” You know what, none of those questions matter! By the way,if you’re wondering, the answers are Yes! ABSOLUTELY! And 100%!
I had to stop worrying about the details, and just get family pictures taken. I finally took the plunge and did professional pictures of my boys and me, just the way we are now, and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be happier to preserve us just the way we are now. With all of our imperfections, all of our craziness, and most importantly, all of our love. These pictures are some of my favourites. I now have prints hanging on my wall and it makes all of us happier to see our faces on the wall, just the way we are. I have never regretted that shoot or the money spent on the canvases.
So pull out your phone, grab your camera, or book a session. Wherever you’re at in your life, capture it now.
This is my family. And I love it. I will never be disappointed that I captured it just the way it is now, but I will be disappointed if I let those moments pass undocumented.