“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
– Theodor Seuss Geisel
Dr. Seuss was a wise man! I share the above quote with you in this sense: do you ever open your Facebook and get the dreaded ‘Memories: On This Day’ post, and all of a sudden you’re washed over with a major case of the feels? I’m not talking about the picture of you from 9 years ago in Mexico with a horrendous orange tan, funneling a margarita. Or sporting a questionable Juicy velour jump suit with bleached blonde hair that was more brassy and offensive than Rosanne Barr (thank you for reminding me how far I’ve come, Facebook). No, I’m talking about the ones that pull at your heartstrings, and instantly take you back the emotions you felt in that moment – the time you visited a foreign country and snapped an excited selfie on the plane; when you joyfully said ‘yes’ to the dress with your best friends and family by your side; or when you proudly posted your desk setup at the first ‘grown up’ job you landed. And for us mothers? There are those even deeper ones that will bring you to tears, especially the dreaded ‘firsts’: when you held your newborn baby in your arms for the first time and they felt so tiny; the day she took those wobbly first steps across the living room floor; when he bravely smiled at you while waiting for the bus on his first day of school…Lord, just typing this is making me feel weepy! These pictures are like a time machine – you can glance at them after years and everything comes back to you – you’re right there again, feeling the moment. The photos we capture and share are of special and amazing times, ones we want to remember forever but can’t always recollect perfectly by memory alone. This is exactly why after I had children I learned the importance of capturing these memories for myself and others, and how family photography became the passion project of my life.
How did it start? I was the girl who carried around her camera and took a ton of photos all the time – vacations, concerts, countless nights out with my friends – I was always snapping pictures and documenting my adventures. Looking back now I think I did it because I truly loved looking at them later and remembering all the fun we had…. especially when I was going through times that weren’t so fun. As long as I had photos of the happy memories to look at I’d be reminded that the bad times were temporary – and better times were ahead.
Based on this I knew that when we started having children it would be the most important time of our lives to remember. Their childhood was going to be the years that we looked back and said ‘those were the days’, and I wanted to make sure I had it all documented. I’m not gonna lie – I acknowledged right away that I was going to be one of those moms who takes and posts a million pictures of their kids. And what the hell is wrong with that, really? People can scroll on or even remove you if they don’t enjoy your content. When you’ve made something that is a little piece of you and truly a miracle, you want to stare at it all day and have pictures of every moment, from their first smile to their first poopsplosion (if you aren’t a parent yet and plan to be, just wait – this one will be a fun treat for you!).
So take the damn pictures! Take a hundred of them in the same pose, from a million different angles. Keep them just for yourself or share them with the world if you want to, and the people who don’t like it can hop on a broom, gather their flying monkeys, unfollow you and fly far, far away. Don’t worry about the people who aren’t happy for you – they probably aren’t happy for themselves either. Lastly – and trust me on this one – I understand all too well that when you have young kids you may not feel your personal best. But I can’t stress this enough- it is so, so important that you try to get in some pictures as well. Your kids will be the ones looking through these moments too, in years to come, and will be so happy to have these memories of you – even if it’s with a mom bun, wrinkled shirt and tired eyes. And because it’s what we specialize in, I highly recommend an occasional family session with your friendly local photographer (I can suggest a great one, once she’s off maternity leave) to get it all documented- the laughter, the tears, the screams, the joy – because “a good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” (Eudora Welty).
My upcoming photography posts will include my basic momtography tips, how I went from taking simple cell phone pictures to getting much higher quality photos of our firstborn; my learning curve in the beginning, equipment and props I used, how I started getting those professional looking photos, and how you can too! In the meantime you can subscribe by email at the bottom of this page to make sure you receive notifications for these and my other posts. Happy snapping!