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You know that one picture you have of your mom?
That one favourite photo you think about above all the others?
She’s smiling big, maybe caught mid-laugh, and her eyes are sparkling with a special twinkle caught just in that very moment.
Maybe you’re in it too, and you can see the love connecting the two of you, like a tangle of threads reaching for each other, you can feel it.
If you have that picture, you know what an absolute treasure it is, and how it makes you feel when you look at it. If you don’t have it, you’re wishing you did, that someone had just snapped a quick photo of her like this, the way you remember her.
I want you to consider something, I want you to mull something over in your head.
Does this picture of YOU exist?
Does it exist for your own children?
I’m a family photographer, I get it, it’s so easy to forget as our family historians, that we need to get in the picture too. We know how important it is to document our children, but we forget that our stories are intertwined, parts of each other, and also important.
We don’t want to talk about it or think about it, but one day these images will be all our kids have left of us.
You know the feeling, after losing a loved one, one of the first things you do is to go looking for pictures.
The simple act of looking at images of our family members who have passed is healing and brings comfort in times of grief. And being able to show our children photos of their ancestors helps strengthen ties, showing where they come from, and how they have their great grandmother’s eyes or their uncle’s fair hair.
Imagine your great-grandchildren holding images of you, hearing your story and tracing the features they themselves share?
Photographs are the legacy we leave behind, the real treasure, the most precious heirlooms that tell our family’s story.
There’s no denying the science behind seeing ourselves in pictures. It boosts our children’s self-esteem and strengthens our family bonds just by looking at them!
Imagine what they could do for you…
We love to look back, it’s in our nature. We love reminiscing, telling stories of our pasts, the good times, the hard times, the firsts and the lasts. We can flip through our baby albums and see our favourite teddy, that ugly old chair Dad loved and Mom despised, the way the house was decorated for the holidays, and that one really terrible awful haircut you had in third grade.
Pictures have an incredible ability to spark a memory, instantly bringing us back, or piecing together the parts of us we were too young to remember.
When you are 60, 70, 80 and beyond, you’ll want to look back too.
You’ll want to see yourself young, your babies when they were still babies.
You’ll want to remember how you wore your hair, how you smiled and laughed and lived a full life of noise and mess and children.
Hand the camera to your partner, or better yet, hand the reins over to me and get the whole family together for future you to cherish forever.
This is a big one, THE big one. We mothers, we women, are incredibly hard on ourselves. We worry that we haven’t yet lost those extra few pounds, we stress that our roots are showing or our hair is a mess. We fret that we didn’t put makeup on this day or wore the same old sweats that day.
And let’s not even get started about bad angles!
Let me fill you in on a not-so-secret secret… I’m a professional…
Everyone who’s ever had their picture taken has had their picture taken badly.
Not everyone knows everything about angles and lighting and flattering poses.
And that’s ok! But please, please don’t make up your mind that you look terrible in pictures if the only ones you’ve seen were taken quickly by your partner, from an awkwardly low angle, while you fed the baby in 3-day-old PJ’s on the couch!
And besides all that, to your partner, to your children, to your parents and everyone else who loves you, you are beautiful. And the only other person that should ever have any kind of opinion on how you feel about yourself, is you!
And let’s be honest, she could probably use a refresher in kindness and self-love!
So this is my mission to you, get in the picture.
Do it for you, do it for them, do it for the generations yet to come.
When you look back you will see a woman who lived, a woman who still had her youth, a woman loving her babies as best she could.
When you look back you’ll remember, the firsts and the lasts and all of the little bits and pieces of a full happy wonderful life.
When your children look back, they will see their mother.
The way she laughed
The way she held them.
When they hold these pictures in their hands 30 years from now, they will spark memories of you and of them. They will hold this piece of themselves and of you in their hands, their mother, who loved them with a ferocity they only now can truly understand, and they will bring tender feelings and comfort in times of need
Give them this gift, give yourself this gift.
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