Over the past few months I have had the same conversation with numerous women. A conversation about being present in photos, why they are important, and why most women shy away from the camera. Most women are under the impression that if they don’t look great in a photograph that somehow the photograph isn’t album or wall worthy. That if they could just lose that blasted 10, 20, or 30 extra pounds they would somehow look acceptable to themselves, their spouse and their kids. Here’s a big surprise…nobody cares. Your kids and spouse don’t care. My husband has a favorite saying …..”You are, what you are.” As much as that saying annoyed me to no end for years, he was so right. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were there. What matters to your kids and spouse is that you were together and enjoyed the time.
Tragedy can come out of anywhere. There are so many stories of families losing a mother or a father. I was chatting with one of my clients a few weeks ago about what photographs mean. She lost her husband 18 months ago leaving her with two high school age kids. Her comment that struck me to the core was that she wished she had more photos. More family photos, more goofy photos, just more photos.
I searched for some of my most UNFLATTERING photos to share. Why? Because I really don’t care. I don’t care what someone else thinks of the photos, I only care that it brings back a memory, or a laugh, or a smile to those I love. I even posted a bathing suit photo:-) Each of the photos represent a different time in our lives. When the kids were young most of the time I looked TIRED! Dark circles under my eyes and matted hair. Doesn’t matter. I was there. I was thinner then…running after those two boys, teaching full time while my husband traveled a couple of nights a week …. it kept me at my fighting weight:-)
It doesn’t matter that as the years passed and I wasn’t running as much that I got a bit doughy around the middle. Doesn’t matter. I was there. We were hugging, and laughing and smiling. Some crying occurred but I didn’t really take photos of that:-) What I love most about our photos is that both my husband and I are in them. We have so many photos of our life and our children growing up. It makes my heart happy to know that my kids will want these photographs someday to share with their kids.
So if you have been hiding from the camera, please don’t. You’re beautiful because you are there. You’re beautiful because you took the time to be present in your child’s life. Document it. Let someone photograph you. Your kids will thank you.