For a while now it has haunted me that I will not exist in my children's, childhood memories unless they are selfies or a photo I rely on someone else to take. I will be honest, as much as I love that man o' mine he is not one to pick up a camera and to photograph a moment just because it is happening as much as I do. The selfie just doesn't do the job as far as telling what our day and moments look in true fashion. And from what I am hearing from my single mom friends, life isn't much different in their lives either.
Mission : Motherhood Parent Portraits
Beginning of my self-portrait work.
I guess I have been taking motherhood self-portraits for a while now but not in a way that was making this chasm in my heart full by knowing that I was providing images of me in our story doing life together. Most of my images were posed, selfie or just body parts, not really true life actually happening and in the moment kind of stuff.
It wasn't the good, the bad and the mundane, it was just the highlight reel. And while those are all fine and dandy, it isn't the everyday life and reality that makes up my moments in motherhood. I work, I cook, I clean, I teach, I play, I bathe, I drive...all of that will be out the memory window if I don't choose to slow down, learn how to do this and do something different than continue down the selfie road.
Ask yourself what you would have wanted to remember in the everyday moments of your childhood.
Just think back, do you remember many moments with your parents cooking, playing, driving just the everyday moments. What I wouldn't give for a trip back to a few of those moments to just soak it in...photographs are our only trips back in time.
"A Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever...it remembers the little things long after you have forgotten everything." -Adam Siskind
In the moment reality...
Next began getting comfortable using the self timer on my iPhone camera and getting used to being in front of the camera regardless of the moment, trying to figure out the right lighting but just accepting the moment, me and the conditions for what they were. In the words of our Karate Master, Mr. Reyna, "time to get comfortable, being uncomfortable"!
While most of us find that our camera phones are the easiest to use in the everyday moments, I quickly decided that it still wasn't the best or easiest to use in these circumstances. Either I had to still take photos fairly close in able to reach my shutter button, or I had to set a self-timer and RUN back to my place. Either of which still did not feel genuine or "in the moment" reality.
Time To Dig Deep and Get Real.
So with a little more education on the subject I discovered I could purchase a simple little remote for my Canon 5D Mark ii. Hopped on my lovely Amazon Prime and it was on my doorstep in about 24 hours!
And like Magic
It was as if someone entered our home and began to capture the everyday, the REAL. YES!!!!!! Gosh it took some practice figuring out what height I like to set the camera and such. Walking through presenting the focus and light meter was not terrible but something to get used to. The most challenging, a dose of REALITY.
I Had to Set My Self- Judgement on The Back Burner.
This is me in the now.
No Make-up and looking tired.
From not preferred camera heights but from the perspectives of how my children see me.
A weight I am not comfortable in my skin.
My mom uniform.
Isn't it sad we see all the negatives? Isn't it sad we see nothing like our kids or even God sees?
Time to Change my Filter
So after I had my negative party, I decided to change my "filter" or perspective on these things I saw.
This is me in the now - Living my story in REAL life.
Unfiltered. - Authentically showing up and being BRAVE with my life.
No Make-up and looking tired. - No "mask" I am hiding behind.
From not preferred camera heights but from the perspectives of how my children see me. - They see me loving them the best I know how. They see a safe place, a mom who chooses to live life fully, arms and heart wide open.
A weight I am not comfortable in my skin. - practicing what I preach, take pictures now! No matter how you feel about yourself in this moment. You will either look back and think, "Damn, I look good!" or you will think, "wow!! Those were some hard and fierce years, but there was a ton of growth in that season."
My mom uniform. - Yes, I get to wear YOGA pants everyday to work and not some uncomfortable suit that makes me feel like a stuffed sausage!
So part of this project is getting down on my kids level and learning to photograph us from their perspective or level. The world is so different from down here. It's a good one, and almost more full and honest than the adult level.
When I stepped into this Motherhood self-portrait project I had NO idea the self growth it would cause in me. I am thankful yet anxious with the wrestling in it. This is only just the beginning.
Letting Them Lead
Part of this process was also letting go and letting my kids lead me, and letting go of control (Can I get an AMEN if you are a control freak sometimes?) So I gave my kids the camera remote and let them have a blast. I was worried about letting them do it, and once I stepped back, I don't even know what I was trying to control... but in the letting go there was JOY and BEAUTY.
Enjoy some of the silly here in their perfect innocence and curiosity.
Now I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this. I am really contemplating teaching a course in this because I feel like it is a realm that many of us yearn for but don't know how to step into. Would you take a course in this? Are you looking for more of an authentic view of life like this in portraits?
Please comment below and on my Facebook feed if possible. (copy and paste) I am hoping to get more traffic on this blog and it takes me being vulnerable enough to ask for it. So here it goes. If this pings your heart, PLEASE SHARE, PLEASE COMMENT!
Love, Grace and Peace,