So I needed to get your attention somehow. If you are reading this, you are either amused or offended, but I will take either to get a chance to put my point across.
I get a lot of family photoshoot enquiries that read as “we are looking for a session for just the kids”. There would be nothing wrong with just having the children photographed, if not for the fact you probably haven’t got that many images together WITH your children. I would let you off if you did, but it’s a safe bet you are short changed in this department as much as any of your mum friends.
We create life, then this little life takes over. It takes its toll on our body and due to lack of time and energy, the said body deteriorates. Then it hits when it hurts the most: in our confidence. We give this whole “working out from home with kids” a go, but unless your kids sleep a lot and you have someone to look after the house, it may prove to be tough. Not impossible, but since we are already running on energy deficit, it’s bloody hard. We give up, run around all day making sure everyone’s happy, and at 9pm, when kids are finally in bed, and we finished the last load of washing, we collapse. Damn right we deserve that cuppa and a packet of Oreos.
We get fatter, our body doesn’t cope with the surplus of calories, and it starts accumulating around our bottom / arms / belly. It’s too much to shift, so we let it go. Occasionally we make a half-assed attempt at the Cambridge diet, Keto or Weight Watchers, only to slip a couple of weeks later, because slipping is easier, and we have no energy. Because we are fat, and tired, and over-caffeinated, and lacking in the sleep department, because we worry into the night and cannot get a lie in.
We look on Facebook, scroll through Instagram and see images of our friends, having professional photoshoots, or just great images from holidays, bikini clad and happy, tanned all the way to the nipples. We would never dare to bare all that skin, not anymore.
We may have a moment of weakness, parental guilt, and enquire about a family photoshoot. “Looking for a shoot in about 3-4 months time”. I can possibly fit you in earlier, but you want to have those few months between now and then because you will lose weight.
Maybe you are stopping yourself from enquiring, because you are thinking of losing weight. This is not happening, another year passes, kids change so much in that time, and you realise the only images of you all have been taken at someone else’s wedding or as a selfie through the low resolution reverse camera on your phone.
The truth bombs are hard to swallow. No one wants to hear them. Ever. I am here to bring you this painful truth, not for yourself, but as something I will do for your own children.
You will never be as young as you are today. It’s a fact we seem to be oblivious to. We are getting older. Why not catch this time in our lives, before things go south and we are beyond the help of Botox?
Years from now your children will be looking back and reminiscing about their childhood. Memory fails us, so the images are the closest we’ll ever get to remembering the details from the past. Their chubby hands, their curly hair, dimples, peachy bottoms. Unless you are writing a thorough diary of your life, that will soon be released as a book, images and experiences are all that will be there to remind us of the happy moments from our past. Images. Every image tells a story. Make sure you have stories you would like to relive and get back to, when your children grow up. For you, but more importantly for them.
You hate having your pictures taken? So does everyone except for professional models and Instagram influencers. We all hate it. Putting trust into strangers hands, believing someone will catch you from the right angle, when you cannot see the results in the camera is a huge ask. You need to have trust in their abilities.
When having a professional family photoshoot, you stand in front of a person that needs to capture your best self together with the most natural expressions from all your family members. It’s a lot to consider, and a huge responsibility to put into someone’s hands, but they do this for a living and you can always check their portfolio to see if they are the person for you.
Family photoshoots will always include images of your kids together, but the important ones are the images where you are there, with them, present just as you are every day of their life. You are there every step of the way, so why not show it to them when they look back at their legacy?
You will be the one administering medication, when they have cold, cleaning their sick up when they get stomach bugs. You will be the one teaching them their first steps, their first words, hugging them the first time they overdo it on beer, whilst they are trying to convince you they only had lemonade. You are there every step of the journey, building their biography with them, being responsible for their memories.
Be present in those memories. Don’t leave it for the “skinny days”. Unless you are actively doing something about it, those may never happen, and that’s ok. They still love you beyond your wildest dreams, skinny, fat, bold, poor, rich. Make sure you repay this unconditional love showing them you were there.
Photo credit: Jorge Zapata