They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
I couldn’t agree more.
In fact, I am sorta obsessed with taking pictures of my kids. I want to capture their indescribable beauty and every detail of their precious lives. I have tried to teach myself as much as I can about using my camera to capture their innocence in a way that does their sweet little lives justice. I want to remember as many moments as I possibly can, and I believe pictures (and videos) can conjure up memories better than just about anything. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to look through our photo books from years passed, page after page filled with the light of our oldest son’s eyes, the enthusiasm of our middle child, and the purity of our baby girl all on the backdrop of amazing family adventures and yearly traditions.
And when it comes to earthly possessions, nothing is more precious to me than pictures of my babies.
But I think it is time that I resign from my position as the family photographer…at least for a little while.
In the past month or two, I have been increasingly convinced that perhaps we need to step back on the picture taking just a smidgen. Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch was amazing and wonderful, but my husband and I had a few tense moments discussing aperture and what the appropriate depth of field should be in our photos. And I watched as my 5-year old rolled his eyes as I tried to snap just one more picture of him with his birthday cake before he blew out his candles.
This is one of the worst times of the year to have this revelation. CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEK. WHAT BETTER TIME TO TAKE PICTURES OF A FAMILY THAN NOW?!?!
But that is exactly what I am going to do. Step back. Use the iPhone camera more. Stop requiring posed smiles.
When my children are grown and look back on our family albums from years gone by, I don’t want them to think, “Oh look, there is the fake smile I gave after my mom had yelled at me twenty times to look at the camera, for crying out loud!!!” I don’t want memories clouded with stress and high-expectations. I want the photograph to be a snippet of the joyful memory created, not the other way around. And I want to be in the midst of it, having fun with them and enjoying life instead of insisting on resuming my position behind the lens of a camera.
After all, I would much rather be present in our family memory-making rather than just trying to capture it.