Okay, I am asking for a show of hands. How many of you found your love of photography after becoming a mother (or father)? MEEEE!! Yep, no inspiring photography class in high school or time spent in the dark room developing film for me. So many of us fell in love with taking photos because of the cute little faces of our babes and all the adorable things they were learning to do. And what better way to document all those moments than picking up a camera!
I have been a mother for going on twelve years. It was not until I gave birth to my third son six years ago that I began being moved by creating images rather than solely clicking the shutter on my iPhone to preserve a memory. Once I got a camera, my obsession started. And as crazy as it sounds, I’ve been documenting them daily for going on three years now. Now, taking on a daily photo project is daunting, but I have learned a few tricks on how to create images of daily life that will help tell the story of your growing family.
One thing I think you’ll always want to remember are the everyday moments of raising your children. Do you have pancakes every Saturday morning or have a special nighttime routine? Document it. These everyday moments will slip from your memory, but having images of those routines will be treasured. So many of the images from my childhood are from holidays and events. There are only a few photos of my brothers and me just doing the regular, everyday things. I love that I am able to capture these moments for my boys to be able to look back on.
What They Love
I have three boys. Three country boys at that. So my days are filled with dirt and critters. They LOVE being country boys. And I love documenting them in their element. If your child gets engaged in an activity they love, they will hardly notice you snapping away. Right now my middle son is obsessed with cooking, so you bet I have several images of him in the kitchen preparing food. Seek out moments where they are engrossed in their hobbies, and you will be able to document some of these memories.
I love taking simple portraits of my children spaced apart by a measurable amount of time. Of course, I love documenting them around their birthdays so I can see how they have changed from year to year. But other times like the beginning and ending of school, or even a before and after of a haircut. Photographs are the perfect way to freeze the changes your children go through.
The Out of the Ordinary
Does your little one dress up in a Halloween costume to go to the store, or is your teenager performing in a violin concert? All these events beg to be documented. I can almost guarantee that these will be the moments your children will look back on and laugh about and be able to reminisce on the memories. These out of the ordinary moments will be easy to recognize, so be ready with your camera (or even your smartphone!) snap them before the moment is gone.
Getting in the Photo
I have said it a million times, mamas and daddies, get in the frame with your children. Sure, taking photos of just your kids is easier and does not require much more than clicking a shutter. But it will be worth it to invest in a remote (or just use your self-timer) so that you can jump in the frame from time. When your children are grown and have children of their own they will love looking back on the fun times you shared with their parents when they were small. Have your partner snap some photos for you interacting with your kids, too. All will be cherished.
Always keep your camera ready! Now that you have some ideas on what to document, I will give you a more technical lesson on how to do so coming up in the next blog post.
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES:
Allison Wheeler is a lover of lifestyle photography from Norman, Oklahoma. Her eyes were opened to photography by toying with Instagram in 2010. She got a camera soon after and learned to use it by documenting her life with her husband and three young sons. She now happily does the same for others, from births to weddings and almost everything in between. To see Allison's most recent work, visit her Facebook page. She often gets on Pinterest to avoid cleaning her house.