Momtographer Resolutions:: Four Tips for Getting Yourself in the Picture

Momtographer Resolutions:: Four Tips for Getting Yourself in the PictureIn every family, one member gets designated group historian, the ones who always takes the picture. And let’s face it, nine times out of ten it’s the mother. My family is no different.

From the earliest days in our dating history, it fell to me to document the events in our lives. He booked our travel itineraries, and I captured them. He coordinated our big family Christmas potluck and I made sure the group photo with all four generations posed by the twinkling tree was taken, uploaded and shared with the extended relatives. 

Of course my role became significantly more important as our mini-doppelgangers joined the family. Their milestone photos taken with adorable monthly stickers {that, for the love of god, would not stay on their dang onesies}. The screaming pictures with Santa, pre-school Valentine’s Day party, first trips to the dentist and triumphant grin as they master their first steps — each and every important moment that makes up a childhood, all lovingly {and perhaps a little obsessively} captured and preserved by me. 

But as almost all women fulfilling similar roles can attest, I rarely make it into our pictorial history. This is due in large part to the simple fact that ninety-five percent of the time I’m the one behind the lens {and perhaps the other five percent because I hate how I look in nearly every picture taken of me}. My husband will snap a photo every now and then, but for the most part it’s me catching my two boys and their Daddy as they look at the giraffes or share an ice cream cone. 

My own childhood photo albums look much the same. Thousands of me smiling and showing off my newly missing teeth. Hundreds more of my dad carrying me around on his shoulders or coloring one of my numerous Care Bear coloring books. And only a handful that include my mother. 

I feel a small pang when I look through those albums now, wishing I could see her smile next to mine more often. And as I scroll through the literal thousands of photos of my family I’ve taken over the years, I can’t help but wonder if my children will feel the same sadness one day. Will they wonder if I’d thought the sea lions at the zoo were funny too when they look at the picture of the three of them giggling together? {I did, for the record.} Will they know I also wore a matching Mickey Mouse shirt to the Christmas party we went to at Disney World? 

And so amidst the New Years resolutions I’ve made about getting in shape and limiting desserts I’m fairly certain I won’t keep, I’m adding another I’m determined I will. I resolve to be IN the family photos this year. My kids won’t care if my makeup wears off long before we get around to taking a photo, or that my shirts often look wrinkled and simply refuse to hide the peanut butter my youngest smears all over me on a regular basis. They’ll just want to know I was there. To see Mommy captured in the moments of our life together. 

Tips for Getting Mom in the Picture

Momtographer Resolutions:: Four Tips for Getting Yourself in the PictureFor any mamas out there who need to be similarly motivated, here’s four tips to hold you accountable. Think of them like the gym buddy who makes sure you don’t skip leg day or take three weeks off from marathon training. 

#1 – Download an app like Project365 to document a photo a day for an entire year, and – now this part is key – make sure you’re featured in at least ONE photo every week. 

#2 – When visiting a zoo, pumpkin patch, theme park or any other special location you know you’ll want to capture, enact a 50/50 rule with your spouse. If you document the first half of the day, be willing to hand over the camera for the second half. And if you’re anything like me, resist the urge to micromanage, review the photos {and delete ones you don’t find flattering}, or take back the camera five minutes later. 

#3 – If you’re doing something fun with your kids like making cookies or building a fort and no one is around to document the moment for you, prop up your phone, set it to video and record the moment that way. A) You’ll have a video to cherish of you and your kids having fun together, and B) you can pause the video and screenshot particularly cute moments to add to your photo albums etc. They may not be the highest quality photos of all time, but your kids won’t care. 

#4 – If your family prints out photos to hang on the walls, makes a digital photo book of the year or generally finds a way to get photos off your phone and into the world in one form or the other, make sure your spouse {and possibly even your kids} gets a chance to pick some of the shots. As the “historian” of the family, I’m usually the one culling though all the family photos we’ve taken over the year and often wind up choosing photos that don’t have me in them. My husband, on the other hand, always chooses those in which I’m a prime feature along side our beautiful boys. I may not like how I look in those photos, but my family does, and it’s important that they’re memories of me are preserved. 

So to all my fellow Where’s Waldo mamas out there, nearly impossible to find in a sea of family photos, make this the year that you step into the frame. Your kids will thank you one day. 


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One Response to Momtographer Resolutions:: Four Tips for Getting Yourself in the Picture

  1. Ashley KB
    Ashley KB January 24, 2020 at 1:50 pm #

    So incredibly helpful! I am always complaining that I rarely get good photos with the kids… I MUST be more intentional! The 50/50 rule is so simple, but I never thought to enact it!!!

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