Family photos are a yearly tradition for many families. Every year moms across the country book a family session to capture their family as they are at that moment. All moms want these pictures! We all want to freeze time and make a record of our babies at the stage they are at right now. We don’t want to forget a moment.
Moms don’t like to be photographed
There is a conflicting internal dialogue that is also running through the minds of these moms across the country and it’s “I don’t like to be photographed.” Truth be told I don’t like to be photographed either.
All the time I hear, either out loud or spoken in a women’s body language. So many women would like to have more photos of themselves either with their family or on their own, but they don’t feel like they look “good enough.” Women will tell me, “I need to lose X pounds and then I will get photos done.” “I need to work out first and then I will get photos done.”
Negative internal dialogue
Being photographed can be really awkward! You don’t know what the photographer sees when they look at you. You wonder what they are thinking. You feel like you don’t look good or worse, that you look ugly. This negative internal dialogue often stops moms from being in the picture. Clients often say they want to wait until….
Perfect doesn’t exist
Truth is, that magical moment you are waiting for will never come! Perhaps you will lose the 10 pounds you set out to lose but there will be something else you want to change when you get there. Chasing a perfect body is an impossible exercise and the goal posts will keep moving. Ironically while you’re waiting for this imaged perfect time to be photographed you are missing out on being in your photos now.
Photos aren’t just for you
The important thing to know is that family photos are not just for you. They are for your children to have years from now, to remember their childhood and that moment in time. Your children do not care if your clothes fit perfectly, if you have lost that 10 pounds you want to lose or about any other worry that you have in your own head. All they see is a picture of the mom they love. Children want photos of themselves with their mom.
New babies and new bodies
I am a newborn photographer and I see moms just days after they have a baby. For many moms this is their first child and they are completely unprepared for how a pregnancy and childbirth will change their body. I remember seeing myself after my first child was born, I had gained around 50 pounds my arms, ankles and feet were SO swollen and full of water and IV fluids. I didn’t recognize that person. I was also in a lot of pain and discomfort as moms are after they have just endured labour. Basically I felt like crap and I felt that I looked like crap. I was also unprepared for how long it would take to “get my body back” and the truth is, you don’t get your old body back. Having child changes your body forever. But eventually you get to a point where you accept your new body. Maybe it’s a week, 6 months, 1 year, 10 years or maybe 40 years. I hope for all the women out there that it’s a short journey to accepting your new body. But I see many women during this new stage. They are wearing a body they don’t see as their own and for many of them they despise the person they see in the mirror. The absolute last thing these new moms want is to get in front of the camera.
Get in the picture
It can be hard and sometimes maybe you just can’t do it right then. But I always strongly urge moms to do it! Get in the picture for their kids but also for themselves. Maybe they won’t want to look at the photos right away and maybe their postpartum pictures will make them feel uncomfortable to look at. But there will come a day when they will look at those photos and be glad they have them.
One day you’ll look back
This is true for photos in general. I think my most self conscious years were my teen years. I felt like I wasn’t skinny enough, I had too many pimples, I didn’t like my body or I wanted to have a body more like someone else. The things so many women say to themselves out loud and in their heads. But now when I look back I think, sheesh kid. You were young, healthy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. And I know when I’m 86 and I look back on my photos at 30 I will say the same thing to myself.
As awkward and as silly as you feel do it! Perfect doesn’t exist so take the selfies, hand your phone to a stranger and book those family photos. Get in the photos for your kids and for your future self who will thank you.
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