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Moms: Get In Front of the Camera, You Won't Regret It.


When was the last time you were in a photo with your kids?

You can't remember a time? I know the feeling. After my third kid, I dreaded pictures- knowing that I would look tired, over weight and well- momish in them. Can you relate?

You don't know how many times that I do a photoshoot with a family and a extra family member shows up to help. Like a grandma or an auntie. They say that they just came to "watch" or "hold stuff." I always ask them if they want to get in any of the the pictures. They usually say this: "I'm not dressed for it." or "I don't have my hair done."

One particular grandma came to help wrangle her three grandkids during one of my shoots and "make them smile." And right at the end of the shoot, I ask them what they were doing afterward. They told that they were going to celebrate the grandmas' birthday. I turn to the grandma and say, "Happy Birthday!" Then I ask her to hop in with the family for the last picture of the shoot.

I'm not surprised by her answer, because I've heard it over 50 times, "Oh, I'm not dressed and I don't have my makeup on."

I pretty much told her, "I'm not going to let you all leave with out a picture of you and your family ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!" So then she decided it was okay.

Can I tell you that she was so happy with the photo that she took the time to comment on it thanking me for making her do that- even though she didn't "look her best?"

I got over 9 likes on that photo within the first day and several people commenting about it. Everyone had nothing but nice things to say about her photo. So it really was a great emotional boost for her.

That's the power of a photo- you can freeze time and capture a moment. One that you will remember forever.

So as you know, I am usually in front of the camera- being hired to document other people's lives. I have so many pictures of my mom and the kids, my husband and the kids. But I don't have many of me and the kids.

I might have some of me during traditional picture times. But I don't have many of me just living life with them- you know being silly and having fun!

This year, when my third child was born- I decided to change that mindset. I decided to do something TOTALLY crazy! Teach my 5 year old how to hold my $3,000 camera and push the button! (Yes, it's the price of a small car!)

Being a homeschool mom, my husband is always working. So I can never get him to take pictures for me. But as soon as my daughter was big enough to take a picture, I was showing her how to work a DSLR. I'm so picky about image quality that I didn't want her learning on a little point-and-shoot. Nope, not in my house!

I can take the most beautiful little moments of my kids lives, but unless I get in photos with them, it's like I'm not there enjoying life with them.

Twenty years from now, I want my kids to remember OUR good times in THEIR childhood. I want them to see the places that we've gone together. I want them to gather memories of me for their kids to see "grandma."

So many moms want me to photoshop everything about them. Everything from thickening their hair, to taking out moles, to slimming their hips.

Well, first I tell them that I'm not that kind of photographer. But secondly, I tell them, "No one will notice your imperfections. They will just notice the fun you are having and the joy on your face."

Of course I'm always right. After I post photos on Facebook, there are several comments and usually over 20 likes on each album. All the comments say something to the tune of, "Beautiful family." or "Gorgeous." No one would say (hopefully,) "Oh, you need a tummy-tuck."

You see, LOVE and joy make us moms the most beautiful.

One of my old college roomates posted this week about her friend. He was 35 at the beach with his three girls and his wife. They were having a great day and hopefully even taking some pictures on instagram documenting the trip.

Then all three of his daughters got pulled under the current. He went to save them, but instead, he didn't make it and they did. Those beach photos were the last ones that their father would ever be in.

Life is short. You never know when your last instagram photo will be their last memory of you.

Don't lose out on the moment because you don't have your make up on. Don't lose out on the moment because you need to lose weight. Seize the moment to make memories today.

You won't regret it.

Be you.

A note about the photos: they were ALL taken by my five year old holding my camera, with no fancy lighting, just the kitchen windows. I had NO makeup on and it was 100 degrees outside, and I was sweating it up from being in the HOT car all morning. But you can't tell these things from the photos. Mostly because we were just having fun and the joy on my face was REAL!

Christal

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