A Mom’s View From Behind the Lens

Like most Moms I am almost inevitably the person behind the camera instead of in front of lens.  It just occurred naturally without any sort of plan.

My family liked photos so I guess my fondness to capture moments on film was inherited.  And honestly, if we didn’t share a love of photography we’d all be relying on dreaded school photos to document our looks through childhood.  Not good. {If you had wonderful school pictures you should consider yourself lucky.}  Sure you have some holiday photos but they don’t necessarily depict daily life. 

In 1988 my photo taking opportunities increased with the arrival of our daughter.  We have a lot of photos of our baby girl…photos with her Daddy, grandparents, of her birthdays, but very few of our baby girl with the person on the other side of the lens.  It was the eighties and nineties – selfies hadn’t been invented yet.  

As the years go by this became the norm as my husband traveled for work.  In his absence I continued to document as much as possible with photos and continued through her senior year of high school.  Remember, no cell phones or FaceTime existed at this time.

Fast forward to now.  It’s blatantly obvious who took the photos [me].  Thank goodness our daughter and I are very close, and thank goodness she knows I was always there…on the other side of the lens.  While I knew this it became apparent when we looked through family photos to find one of me!

I reached for the camera with little thought.  I enjoyed capturing special times and life events, and I still do.  I wanted my photos to help us recall special occasions, as well as everyday life. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Or sometimes a good laugh!  They help us remember what is important and how we grew up.  Photos become part of our legacy by giving glimpses of our lives and those of our ancestors.

Don’t worry if you are in your pajamas and haven’t put on your face, or it is an average day and your didn’t plan for any photos, and your kids are in play clothes, take the photo…we all hesitate [I have too] but get on the other side of the lens this time!  Heck, you can take lots of photos these days, edit, then delete the bad ones.  We used to take photos using film cameras and then wait for days to see if our printed photos had thumbs covering half of the photo or if eyes were closed.  Sometimes you ended up tossing half of those photos, and it was impossible to recreate the moments, they simply became memories only. 

So, happily or reluctantly, get in those photos! Your notable presence in your children’s [and grandchildren’s] photos might prevent your kids from asking the same question that the hatched baby bird asks in P.D. Eastman’s book “Where is my mother?” .

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