Where are all the photos of mum?
I have been thinking about writing this blog post for a little while as it is something I come across not only with all my lovely clients but also my own family and of course myself. I completely get how hard it is to look at yourself in a photograph if you are not happy with yourself – honestly, I have spent years refusing to be in photographs and then when I have been, I have scrutinised them so closely – not looking at the smiles, the love and the moments but looking at all the bits I don’t like about myself and what has made it worse, is that all the ones I didn’t like of myself, I deleted. All those memories gone and now when I look back through family pictures, holidays, days out – I’m not in any of them, it is like I wasn’t there, like I wasn’t part of that wonderful day or moment. This hit home to me when my son said – where are you mum, wasn’t you there? Although I have those memories in my head, I am completely gutted that I am erased from the pictures that will get passed down the family, laughed at over Christmas in years to come and treasured.
I am sharing this, because I hear it all the time when I take photographs of families. My niche with photographs is capturing relationships, characters, little looks, moments, smiles, hugs, laughter and whilst I can pose in a way that is flattering and maybe make you look a size smaller, I cannot make you a size 10 if you are not a size 10 or very close to a size 10! When you are looking through your pictures and you are looking at your legs or bum or tummy with so much scrutiny, you are missing that little moment that is recorded, like a visual journal. Something I ask myself and this may help – when you look at those old photo albums of your mum, your grandparents, your wider family – do you look at them and think ‘look at my mum’s tummy or wow my mum was fat?’ – of course you don’t, I imagine it is more along the lines of ‘look at that dress’, ‘look how handsome my dad is’, look at how happy they look’, ‘look at how young and beautiful my mum is’, ‘doesn’t my daughter look like mum in that picture’ and so on. I promise in years to come, neither yourself or your children or your grandchildren will look at pictures of yourself and worry about your tummy.
Therefore, lets do this NOW! Lets record our memories, lets be in those pictures, lets smile and relax in front of the camera – whether it is just holiday snaps, a selfie or you and your child or a family photoshoot. Lets all try our hardest not to look at the bits we don’t like but at the smiles, the cuddles, the laughter and remember how we felt while that picture was being taken. Lets do this this summer, not when we have lost weight (because it invariably never happens or actually we find we feel exactly the same way in our minds even if we are 2 stone lighter) and lets put our pictures in an Album and place that Album on our book shelf so we can share it over a family get together in years to come. I will do it, if you will.