I’m not really a stranger to stepping onto the other side of the lens, but it’s definitely something that I’ve fallen out of the habit of doing regularly. Recently, though, my mother was over, looking through some of our photo books. She noted, kind of off handedly, that I wasn’t in a lot of the photos of our daily adventures, of our travels. “You want to watch that,” she said.
It wasn’t an indictment, but rather, I think, something she was just noticing. Maybe something she has noticed about my family of origin’s photos. Now, my dad took a fair number of the photos in the family – in that way my mom shows up a fair bit. At least, a fair bit more than perhaps some other families. By and large, women – moms – tend to be the memory-keepers, the documenters, the ones who remember to snap a photo of particular occasions.
In some ways, this has been a product of passion. I love photography. I love documenting my family, my kids, our days as things pass by. BUT, this also means that I have to make a particular effort to make sure that I’m also in the photos. And I try, I do, but it does take a concerted effort. So, I’ve turned to those camera-in-hand-look-into-the-mirror shots, and you know what? I kind of like it. These shots show up in our daily records.
I also have this project – backyard family photos – where every month, our family heads into the backyard and we do a family portrait. We’ve been doing it every month since my oldest was in utero. At the moment, everyone in the family is bought into it and is happy to head out for our photos. Here’s hoping we can keep that one going for a good long time.
How are you showing up in your own photos? Maybe it’s actually in front of the lens. Maybe it’s evidence that you were there in other ways. I’d love to hear about it!
All the best,