One Day Your Children will look for photos of you, what will they find?
Do you ever think to yourself, I wish I had a picture of my mom when she was my age? Or maybe, I wish I had a photo of myself from when I was younger?
We often forget to show up in photos because we are always deferring to our children. I can’t tell you how many times as a photographer I hear, “No, I really just want photos of the kids this year.” Which actually becomes every year. What if I told you that your kids don’t care how you look, just that they are in a photograph with you. They want you there. They want to see you. More importantly they need you there. They want to see who you were before them and as they grew up. They want to see how super freaking awesome you are.
I’ve said it many times and I will continue to say it. In 5 years, you will never look as good as you do right now. Yeah, yeah, I know. Funny statement, but it’s true! What happens in 5 years, when you’ve put on a few extra pounds, or you don’t like your hair because you’re turning into a silver fox? Here’s what happens… you celebrate that too! Who said as moms we need to put our self-worth on the back burner? That we need to put our kids first always? Taking care of yourself and your needs and celebrating you is in fact putting yourself first for your kids.
For many years I was that mom. Yep, the photographer who never appeared in photos. I was too big, I didn’t feel attractive, all the feelings. And then it hit me like a freight train. I need to celebrate all of me and my accomplishments because I’m worth it and I’m pretty darn amazing, so I did. And guess what happened. I started to value myself more as I took more and more self portraits. Realizing that I wasn’t just showing up for me, but I was showing up for my husband and my kids. My confidence began to build and my self worth began to build. I finally realized by stepping outside of my comfort zone that I was not only growing as a person but I was beginning to remember who I truly was and who I wanted to be. Then guess what happened…. You know that icky feeling, the self doubt, the self loathing. The feeling that makes you think why bother? Why bother getting dressed in nice clothes, why bother doing my make up. It started to go away. It started to diminish bit by bit and I realized that I am the only one who has the power to make me feel confident and worthy.
The power of a good portrait is so important for all of us. We need these portraits to show we existed. That we weren’t just a blip in the universe. That we were important to someone including ourselves to have our images frozen in time.
So here’s the deal… I love it when people tell me all the reasons why they can’t do a portrait because I’m going to show you all the reasons you can. Feel free to post your “I can’t because…” below. I’d love to challenge you!