Just take the photo!
This post is more about being a mom with a camera than a photographer who happens to be a mom. It’s about capturing moments, and documenting memories -- good ones, difficult ones, funny ones, sad ones… because while I love the sight of my sons’ smiling faces grinning at me in photographs, I cherish the images I have of them being themselves and in their world more than I ever thought I would. So today I have a simple task for you: just take the picture. No matter what your little one is doing, don’t interfere – join their perspective and just take the picture.
Take the picture of their chubby tights-covered thighs:
Or the spontaneous nap out of no-where on a Saturday morning, surrounded by friends:
Or the day spent playing train conductor while on home quarantine with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease:
Or playing “hide and seek” in a fortress made out of couch pillows:
Or even crying. Man, how I love this photo! I want to remember this sad and pitiful face when he doesn’t get what he wants. Yes, the boogers too. Have you thought of taking a photo of your kid throwing a tantrum? You should!
Or watching Dinosaur Train after dinner in footie jammies:
Or wrestling with the daddy:
Take a minute to capture what their favorite toy was; the chub on their hands before they develop knuckles; their peaceful and angelic faces while they sleep. Capture the little details, and try to remember these seemingly insignificant moments and sights, because they are what weave the tapestry of cherished family memories. It's these memories that give you those gooey feelings that choke you up.
You don’t need a fancy camera, just use what you have at your disposal. You don’t need multiple courses in photography -- it doesn’t even have to be a technically good photograph. These are not about HAVING to nail focus, or finding the perfect light, they’re about the kids. It's about who they are, and who YOU are, right now. It's about how you want to remember them and their world in a year, or ten, or fifty.
So make a pledge. Just take the photo! Don’t ask for attention, a sweet smile, or to stand over there by the plant. Capture your life, as it happens.
Ava Hristova is the photographer behind Zemya Photography. She's located on the California Bay Area Peninsula, and strives to capture natural, casual portraiture photography for maternity, families, and children of all ages.