If you have read my previous post on my 1,180 day photo journey, you will see how tough it was at times. I wanted to share my four takeaways that may help you in your quest to be in more photos as a parent. This isn't a controversial post, quite the opposite. That's intentional.
1. Social media isn't always kind to Mums
It saddens me that the selfie obsession is firmly rooted at both ends of the spectrum. It's either the 'being a Mum is hard with my chaotic house, stained breakfast clothes plus a screaming baby I can't console' or the 'look at my baby beautifully swaddled, lying peacefully like an angel.' Conversely it's the 'look how fantastically in shape I am in my matching gym outfit' to the 'look at my post partum belly after giving birth'. Where are the in between photos? Why do these get missed? We all have good and bad days but usually it's a balance and therefore the ideal time to take what I call the 'average' photos. The everyday moments which beautifully and authentically capture moments for our children in the future. The regular, routine things that Mums do day in, day out. In reality, being a Mum isn't always plain sailing but that isn't a reason not to photograph life.
2. Mums must be better cheerleaders. It isn't a competition
I want to empower Mums to take personal responsibility for realising the benefits of being in more photos with their children on a continuous basis. It bugs me that most Mum's don't get in enough photos and I am on a mission to stop this for the sake of our children. Moreover, what gives us the right to make this decision on their behalf? And it shouldn't be up to the Dads either, don't get me started! In reality, I understand we are busy but if we spent one less minute using our phone for other purposes to instead take just one photo, surely we can manage that? What impact does looking at a celeb with their child really have on your life? Will your child thank you for this? If we all cheer each other on too, amazing things can happen.
My own Mum sums up my passion through this poem which is meant to hit the core. Don't let it be you.
Make sure you capture your Mum Story, don't have any regrets.
3. It's not all over!
Like most journeys, the past 1,180 days have had their highs and lows. Major milestones have gone but new ones approach. Take last Sunday when for the first time, Victoria explored the world through reigns. The photo below is all smiles but I know that just a while earlier, tears rolled down my cheeks as I realised my babies are no longer babies.....
A moment of realisation that time passes quick
4. It's actually easier than you think!
Take these four quick and simple tips to make photos a new habit.
i. Change mindset and behaviour. When on your phone, stop and take a photo with you in it. It doesn't matter what your family are doing, where you are or what you look like, just get into the habit. Don't compare it to what you see on social media!
ii. Purchase a selfie stick. Transform your photos as you can play around with the distance and angles until you know what works best and makes you happy. I leave mine in my baby bag! The more you use it, the quicker and easier it becomes to get that perfect picture.
iii. Embrace the reality of life. It's true, being a Mum is the hardest but most rewarding job. Don't be afraid to take a photo with no make-up on or a messy room. No one is asking you to 'do' anything with your photos but it is worthwhile that you take them and keep them rather than live with the regret.
iv. Ask family to help. We all need a bit of accountability so ask family to keep reminding you to get in photos, whoever takes the photo. Practice makes perfect. Likewise, if you see a Mum friend doing something great, take a photo for them.
So here's to the next 1,180 days. I've come too far to let the side down now. Whatever stage of parenthood you are at, it's never too late to up your game. And I know your kids will thank you.
I'm providing a range of free tools to support Mums with my mission which are all complimentary and will be accessible via my blog at Inspired By Joseph Photography.