Recently one of our mum members mentioned that ‘she’s always the one behind the camera and not in front of it’. Thanks for the wake up call El x.
I’ve thought about this a lot since then and have taken polls among my friends, work colleagues and clients. It seems to be quite a unanimous state of affairs amongst us mums; we spend all the time capturing the moments, carefully downloading the images, sharing with friends and family, compiling into beautiful books for Christmas and then carefully backing them all up on external hard drives. And yet, rarely does any one of us feature in these shots.
I cannot tell you the number of images I have captured of my children with their father; rumbling, wrestling, him playing the guitar and them singing, them showing him their Easter baskets overflowing and them all chasing each other around the garden with water bombs. Yes, when it comes time for someone to put together the ‘slideshow’ of his life, there will be a significant library from which they will be able to choose.
Can I say the same for me? Well there are probably a few more now than there were a year ago which has only to do with the fact that the children have somewhat mastered the iPhone and sometimes take photos of me (usually that I don’t know about) from incredibly unflattering angles. The focus is well, out of focus and the image is usually blurred so when I recently saw an opportunity to jump into a shot with my children … I took it.
When I’m not chatting to you all on facebook, packing boxes of dishwasher tablets for MoM Reviews or writing blogs for Mouths of Mums, I have a job. That job is a lot of fun, some of the time and pretty good a lot of the time. A few weeks ago, we were shooting a campaign that you’ll all see in a couple of months (I’ll tell you when). The short story about this photographic shoot was that they needed three children in the photos so I volunteered my children and they willingly agreed – particularly when they realised it meant a day off school!
Needless to say, the shoot went off really well, we got everything we needed and we were about to wrap (finish the shoot for the day) when suddenly I remembered El’s comment about always being behind the camera. Just as the kids and the other talent were about to jump up and run off, I shouted “Wait!!” Everyone turned and looked at me wondering what on earth was wrong. I then very shyly asked the photographer if I could jump in with my kids and have him take a quick snap. It was very late in the day and it was nearly dark so there was certainly no time for brushing of hair or glossing of lips but I didn’t care.
My objective was a pic of the kids and I and I got it. My challenge to you is to do the same thing this week. It doesn’t matter what you look like, just bundle them all together and capture the moment.
To reinforce my point, know this. Nearly 7 years ago when Emma (my third child) was born, I kept forgetting to put the two boys and her on the bed in the hospital to take a photo of the three of them together. The hospital photographer had cancelled for some reason so we decided we’d arrange it when we went home. We left hospital that day and when we got home, I wanted to put the three of them on the bed and take it that afternoon. Noah was pretty tired so we decided that we’d do it ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately the tomorrow where I could put my first 3 children together on the bed never came … Noah died that night. That photo is the closest thing we have to our family of five at that point in time – Dad, Toby, Noah, Emma (in the crib) and my big nose! My Mother-in-Law had taken it as my hubbie walked into the room to introduce the boys to their sister. When the midwives found out that we never got a photo together, they promised themselves that they’d never let another family leave the hospital without one of the nurses getting a photo of the family together. 7 years on and they’re still doing it.
Sorry that got a little depressing didn’t it? I didn’t mean that to happen. But it does highlight my point – I want you to have a photo of you and your kids. Yes, definitely get Dad in too but if he’s not there for whatever reason, get it anyway. Take the pic and treasure that moment in time.