"Can I just not be in the photos?
The very words that break my heart.
And before we jump to conclusions, it is not only women that say this to me, but men too. This reluctance and sometimes sheer terror is due to a whole raft of reasons, and I am truly sympathetic with each person who feels anxious about being photographed. Because honestly, even after all these years, I am still so much more comfortable behind the camera than in front.
But, I have to remind myself that being in front of the camera with my kids, husband and loved ones is not to benefit me. In years to come I won't remember that I hesitated to jump into that photo, because all we will be doing is smiling and reminiscing about the day, what we did, what we laughed about, what we ate or who we saw.
My kids won't care for one second that I had messy hair, that I had spilled coffee on myself again, that I had no makeup on or that I felt self-conscious about my body that day. And quite honestly, when looking back, I probably won't care about any of that stuff either. We will all just cherish the fact that we have a precious photograph of us all together. Not just another photo taken by me. But that I am visible and there forever, frozen in time with my babies.
And this is exactly what I remind my clients of. When it feels hard to put yourself into the photos, remember that these moments are for your kids. They are for your grand kids. They are for all those people that love and adore you. They are for you to look back at in twenty or thirty years time and feel that warm fuzzy feeling wash over you as you relive fabulous memories.
Photographs are this magical time travelling portal. And your loved ones will want to see you. They will want to see your smiling face, recall the sound of your laugh, remember the year you had that crazy hair cut, remember the favourite hat that never left your head, smile at the faces you pulled, because it's everything that makes you, you. The very reason they love you. The very reason that there is no one else like you.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is, try not to just be the person who is always taking the pictures. Jump into the pictures and allow yourself to time travel a little more often.