There are constantly moments where I think “God I wish I had my camera.” I see things every day that I frame into a photo in my head but never take the shot for various reasons (no camera with me, no patience for my photography shenanigans from the people I’m with). Usually these are passing moments with strangers that I won’t ever think about again, but often they are moments in my own life- moments that I would have loved to have captured and printed.
Being a photographer means that the lives of the people closest to me are very well documented. I have taken several pictures of my son for every day of his life. I do photo shoots with him every month. I take pictures of any friends that will let me and bring my camera to most events I attend. But I’m hardly ever in the picture.
I think a lot of moms can relate to this.
It’s so easy to get caught up in capturing every moment of your kids lives. But what about one’s own progress during this time? Being a mom completely changes a person. When I look at photos of myself before and after having my son, I see an entirely different person. My body has changed, my outlook has changed, everything about my life is a little bit different.
Obviously, I believe in the importance of photography. I want my son to look back at old pictures of us with amazement- at both the changes in himself and in me. I want him to see the way I smiled at him as he “helped” me cook, the proud look on his face as he takes his first steps.
This is why I place my focus in lifestyle photography. When I look back at posed pictures from my childhood I laugh at the way we all looked and the clothes we all wore, but it doesn’t represent my life to me. The pictures that resonate are the ones in a baby carrier strapped to my father as he gives commands to the family dog, or the photo of my brother and I playing together, me standing in his work boots.
As I capture these moments for others, I’ve been making a point to be sure they are taken in my own life as well. Whether it’s through the art of self portraiture (and some plain old lselfies, too) or by handing off my camera on occasion, I want to be sure that these memories are saved. They are too important to miss.