That is me, my mom and my sister. I think I was 4 or 5 years old at the time. I don’t remember the house, the matching dresses, the dolls or my mother’s sari. But seeing this photograph, I can imagine my mom getting us ready, combing our hair into two little ponytails and hair clips. Perhaps we insisted our dolls be in the photograph? I wonder who took this photograph? Was it my Dad? My grandfather? The way my sister is standing is the exact way her son stands now, their smiles are identical. I don’t have thousands of photographs of my childhood (unlike my kids!), but each and every one that I do have is so very precious to me. Especially the ones with my mom.
Moms need to be in photographs more often. That is my passion. I don’t know how many times I have said it to my friends and clients. So many times my clients will say ‘Oh we don’t want to be in the photos.. just our beautiful children please!’. At first, I used to oblige. But now I refuse. Nope. No can do. Sorry but you have to get in front of the camera, with your children. I don’t care about the ten pounds you have to lose, your hair or your outfit. Trust me, neither do your children. Do I look at the photo above and think ‘I wish my mom had worn a solid red sari so as to co-ordinate better with us!‘? No. The thought does not even enter my head.
Sometimes I will see photographs of beautiful birthday parties with all the perfect details.. except one. There is no photograph of the birthday child with their mom. The same mom who spent hours putting together all the beautiful details, didn’t take a minute to get in front of the camera. She didn’t think to hand the camera to a friend or family member and stand next to their child for a photograph on their special day. She forget the most important detail. The child may remember the matching balloons and streamers but most likely in thirty years, she will remember the love that her mom put into her party and wish she had a photograph with her mom on that day. Do you feel like I am speaking about you? I might be.. but actually I am speaking about myself. I don’t like getting in front of the camera either. I care too much about technical details like light and composition to give up that control.. but I am learning to let go.
So, I am asking you moms out there, it does not have to be a professional photograph at all (this is not a sales pitch!), it can be a camera phone… but get in front of the camera. Just do it. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Your children will thank you, not today but a couple of decades from now.