There was nothing more surreal than the moment I became a mother. In an instant my life was forever changed, my marriage was forever changed, I was forever changed. The first few days after my son’s birth were such a blur. Those days turned into weeks into months, and in the blink of an eye my son was a year old. (At least that’s how fast it seemed to go).
I could see how quickly my son was growing in front of me and I knew I had to capture him, document each stage before it faded away. Little did I know that with every click of the shutter I was giving myself so much more than photographs of my baby.
Now as a stay at home mom of five, (or really work from home and with recent events, a homeschooling, quarantined work from home mom of 5), photography is more important than ever. Here are a few of the “gifts” photography provides in helping me stay sane and feel like a better mom.
Photographing my kids helps me focus on something I can control.
In a world that feels like it is spiraling out of control, documenting my everyday helps me feel in control. Now I don’t mean that I’m controlling my kids in the way I photograph them, rather, I control the way I see things in front of me. I control the way I use light, frame the shot, tell the story. It lets me focus on what is right in front of me and nothing else.
Photographing my kids allows me to forget the to-do list.
I am a task master. I love that feeling of checking off something on my to-do list. However, if you’re like me, you know how it is never ending and how it can be all consuming. When I choose to photograph my kids, I can let that to-do list go. I know that it will be waiting but this moment unfolding in front of me won’t be.
Photographing my kids lets me be creative.
We stress how important creativity is for our kids, yet often forget that we are beings that were created to create. Picking up my camera lets the creative juices flow and helps fuel that creative fire. I get excited as I capture moments in new ways, as I challenge myself to learn new skills, see light differently, tell a story, document a special bond. I can be creative right along side my children, not later when they’ve gone to bed or are busy doing something else.
Photographing my kids helps me be present.
I’m guilty of spending way too much time on my phone scrolling the ‘gram of facebook. Picking up my camera forces me to set my phone down and be present. As I figure out what I want to capture and how, I’m observing how my children are playing and interacting, I’m watching how the light falls, and see if there are any distractions that I may need to keep out of the frame. I am there with them in the moment.
Photographing my kids gives me something that I am proud to show off.
I cannot wait to share a photo I took with the grandparents, or friends and family. Whether I’m including an image in an album, printing it for my walls, texting it to my dad (this is a regular morning ritual) or sharing it on Facebook, I am proud of the work I create with my camera. I am proud that I have captured the stage right now in my children’s lives, that I have helped document their story.
When my kids ask to see photos I have taken of them, my heart flutters with delight knowing they appreciate my creative outlet too.
Photographing my kids gives me something to look at when I need to be reminded of the joy of motherhood.
Motherhood isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. There are tough days. Tough seasons even. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, like you have nothing left to give. Sometimes you might even feel like you’re not enough and letting everyone down.
It is in the times that looking through photos of your family can bring back that joy. It can remind you of the good days, the less hard days, the fun stages, simply the joy in motherhood. And while a little alone time might be what you need, scrolling through photos I have taken of my children is enough to lift my spirits, redirect my focus and change my perspective until I can escape for that me time.
Your child is growing up in front of your eyes at light speed and you wonder if you’re doing a good job. Picking up my camera helped me deal with this. I knew if anything I could capture my child as he grew. He would have proof of his life. He would see how loved he was by his mother. That’s the legacy I wanted to leave. I found myself in the process. I was being creative. Excited to capture light, moments, and then to show him as he got older. The pride that I could give him this. Proof of love in the mundane every day, and not just the birthdays and holidays.
Who knows, picking up a camera might be just what you need to help save your sanity right now. I encourage you to try. I promise you won’t regret that photos you do take.
If you’re unsure of how to use your camera, or want to grow your knowledge then I’d love to help you do just that. My newest ONLINE DSLR photography workshop is coming soon! Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know of launch dates and details. Plus when you sign up get my Ultra Camera Buying Guide to help you buy your next camera (or lens) with confidence!