Growing up, it was my mom who was behind the camera. Like her father, she had ideas for the pictures she wanted to take. My mom’s big rule was that you don’t take pictures of things unless there’s a person in the picture alongside them. I laugh at how many pictures there are of me as a little girl next to a vase of flowers or a pretty birthday cake (not necessarily mine but sometimes one she made for someone else).
Unfortunately, the family photographer (often mom) ends up not being in photos themselves. They direct others to pose or snap on the sly with the camera always close at hand, so others don’t worry about taking pictures knowing it’s handled. When you look at a family’s photos over the years, you can usually figure out who loved taking the pictures by the lack of their presence in the family photo album.
This Mother’s Day, and at all your gatherings this spring and summer, make sure the photographer gets in the picture. If you are the photographer, ask someone to take a few pictures for you. They may not do as good of a job (ha!) but give them a chance. If you are not usually the photographer, make an offer to turn the camera around on the photo-taker. They may object at first, but tell them it’s important to be part of the memories of the event.
Next year, you can have me put together a photo book with all the wonderful new pictures that represent everybody! Wouldn’t that make a nice Mother’s Day gift?