I'll be the first to admit that I am insanely guilty of this. Not only because I am a photographer and more comfortable behind a camera than in front- but also because I'm a mom and more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. I look in the mirror and think "I'll take more pictures with the kids when I lose some weight", "If only I didn't have the bags under my eyes... or my clothes fit better (or were cooler) - then I would be in more pictures". When my husband actually corners me long enough to shoot a few (He's an amazing photographer himself)- I immediately steal the camera and start deleting the photos that don't "look good". If he did the same thing to me I would be really frustrated- so thank you husband for your patience with my self judgement. While I have 1000's of pictures of my children, and 100's of my husband with my children- I only have a handful of me with them. Most of them are on days the kids were born- you know- when I couldn't duck and cover. Months have gone by without a single image of me goes onto my hard drive, let alone me with my kids. Sometimes I think they will wonder if their mom was even around. We didn't even have a professional family picture taken with Noah until he was almost TWO. I was massively pregnant then too.
I regret that. DEEPLY. I know that there are a lot of you out there in the same position. When was the last time you had a family picture taken? And I'm not talking about a snapshot at Bob and Winifred's cook out. When was the last time you took a photo with your kids- snapshot or professional? Can you remember? Moreover- can you remember the last time you felt GOOD about a picture you were in?
Lately... I have realized how deeply important it is to take that time to take the picture. To make that investment. We have friends who have lots spouses to illness and tragedy. If something happened tomorrow- what would my kids cherish? The pictures of us together. They won't care that my shirt didn't fall "just so" to hide the soft tummy I still have from bearing 3 kids. They won't care that I had a bad hair day or my nose "looked too big". They won't care if my hips are wide or I had a double chin. They won't care that I wasn't feeling particularly beautiful. They'll care that they have a piece of me. A piece of our relationship.
I am going to make a concerted effort to have no regrets from here forward. Because whether tomorrow or 100 years from now- the images we make together will be cherished. I encourage you to do the same. Holiday picture season is upon us and there are dozens of talented photographers near you in all different price ranges. Make sure you take the time to get in front of the camera- get those pictures together. This time in your family's life will not happen again. Capture it. Cherish it.