Please…no excuses!

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.

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November 26, 2013 - 4:58 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Linda…the two photos side by side..one on left is my youngest and me on Main Street in front of Villagios…the other is my oldest and me at the Superstition Mountains Welcoming center:-)

November 15, 2013 - 1:15 am

Linda Sweebe Barrabee - Love this! so very true. BTW what restaurant in Arizona is that with you and your oldest? I think I have been there, it looks so familiar!

November 15, 2013 - 5:54 am

Doree Post - So funny that my sister and I were having this very conversation this afternoon. I told her I hadn’t seen her in any of the pictures of her with new little granddaughter. Then she sent me one 🙂 and you wrote this! I’m going to be in everyone of the Christmas pictures this year! Thanks so much for the reality check!

November 15, 2013 - 1:15 am

Linda Sweebe Barrabee - Love this! so very true. BTW what restaurant in Arizona is that with you and your oldest? I think I have been there, it looks so familiar!

November 14, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Tina Donolli Olsen - I always tell other moms to get in the photo. I lost my mom and I can’t find any photos if her and I. She never wanted to be in the picture. Your photos all I see is one very happy mom.

November 14, 2013 - 11:40 am

Laura Olmstead-Berkeihiser - You. Are. Right!!!!! Great pics too;)

November 14, 2013 - 11:01 am

Brook Rieman - Great post! Love the pictures. You are too cute.

November 14, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Heather Resch Laskow - SO true! Makes me wanna run out and take some pictures WITH my kids!!!

November 14, 2013 - 2:13 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Thanks Barbara! Glad you enjoyed it and I hope to see some photos of both of you together!!

November 14, 2013 - 2:12 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Thank you Tina! I'm sad for the loss of your mom. Hugs to you!

November 14, 2013 - 2:11 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Thanks Brook! Your profile picture makes me happy:-)

November 14, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - I have a few of you I could post little boy!

November 14, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Tina Donolli Olsen - I always tell other moms to get in the photo. I lost my mom and I can't find any photos if her and I. She never wanted to be in the picture. Your photos all I see is one very happy mom.

November 14, 2013 - 11:40 am

Laura Olmstead-Berkeihiser - You. Are. Right!!!!! Great pics too;)

November 14, 2013 - 11:01 am

Brook Rieman - Great post! Love the pictures. You are too cute.

November 14, 2013 - 4:27 am

Eric Schiferl - LOL adam on the beach.

November 14, 2013 - 3:19 am

Barbara Budd DeSenzo - Thank you for this! I shared it on my Facebook page but addressed it to my daughter. She hates when I take her picture and she’s beautiful all around. Hope you are well. Your pics are beautiful!

November 14, 2013 - 4:27 am

Eric Schiferl - LOL adam on the beach.

November 14, 2013 - 3:19 am

Barbara Budd DeSenzo - Thank you for this! I shared it on my Facebook page but addressed it to my daughter. She hates when I take her picture and she's beautiful all around. Hope you are well. Your pics are beautiful!

November 14, 2013 - 2:59 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Carolyn Ropa There's still time!! And I know those kids and grandkids would love to see you in them!

November 13, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Cyndy Meier - You are so wise! Get my camera. It's time to get over the vanity and start recording family time and memories.

November 13, 2013 - 3:28 am

Carolyn Ransford Schiferl - Haha – I love the trip down memory lane! Maybe you could teach Kevie a few tricks…like how to slow down long enough to snap a picture of us, and oh yeah, HOW to snap a picture of us! Nice blog post!

November 13, 2013 - 1:27 am

Stephanie Doyle Ropa - Oh my, you are so right. I will have to step up and stay in the picture and not step out! I needed to hear that.

November 12, 2013 - 11:56 pm

Mary Iles Kroemer - Well Said! 🙂

November 12, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Sharon Rhodes - Oh, I am so guilty of this! Thanks for the pep talk and the beautiful pictures!

November 13, 2013 - 4:07 am

Carolyn Ropa - I was always the one taking the pictures. You can get left out of a lot that way.

November 13, 2013 - 3:30 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Thanks my dear! Look how fast all of this went by..yet so much more to come! Love you!

November 13, 2013 - 3:28 am

Carolyn Ransford Schiferl - Haha – I love the trip down memory lane! Maybe you could teach Kevie a few tricks…like how to slow down long enough to snap a picture of us, and oh yeah, HOW to snap a picture of us! Nice blog post!

November 12, 2013 - 10:09 pm

Debbie Ungar - Amen to all of this!

November 13, 2013 - 3:09 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Amen Sista! Still need to have our Barcelona talk!!! Coffee next week?

November 13, 2013 - 3:08 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Sometimes we forget that our kids see us TOTALLY different. They don't care….they just want us there! Love you, Steph!

November 13, 2013 - 3:07 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Remember that next September…and every day in between:-) Smile!!

November 13, 2013 - 3:07 am

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - Your kids will thank you Sharon!!

November 12, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Pierina Bevilacqua - I am remembering this Giovanna, every time a camera is snapped and I have an entire meal on my shirt and the ever popular “mom bun” !!! No excuses! Say cheeseeeeeee!!!

November 13, 2013 - 1:27 am

Stephanie Doyle Ropa - Oh my, you are so right. I will have to step up and stay in the picture and not step out! I needed to hear that.

November 12, 2013 - 11:56 pm

Mary Iles Kroemer - Well Said! 🙂

November 12, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Sharon Rhodes - Oh, I am so guilty of this! Thanks for the pep talk and the beautiful pictures!

November 12, 2013 - 10:09 pm

Debbie Ungar - Amen to all of this!

November 12, 2013 - 8:40 pm

Giovanna Matarazzo Mandel - I love you Pierina:-) Lorenzo and Ernesto are two very lucky men!

November 12, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Pierina Bevilacqua - I am remembering this Giovanna, every time a camera is snapped and I have an entire meal on my shirt and the ever popular "mom bun" !!! No excuses! Say cheeseeeeeee!!!