When I first became a mother 8 years ago, I was guilty of doing what all mums are guilty of doing. I would take 1000s of photos of Celine as she was growing. Often with her Dad in them or her grandparents or other various family members and family friends. But it was very rare when I look back at them to find photos of myself with Celine, even though I was the person with her all the time. It’s a trap that every parent has fallen into at some time or other.
Photos are a great way to preserve memories but often as parents and particularly mothers because let’s face it, we are usually the one behind the camera, we forget to add ourselves in. It might be that we aren’t wearing makeup or we’re wearing unflattering clothing. We may not feel that great about our looks on the day. Maybe we just aren’t that comfortable in front of the camera. Whatever the reason, when we look back at those preserved memories? We aren’t in them. We are forgotten. When our children look back at those photos, they don’t realise that you’re the one taking the photos, they just don’t see Mum or Dad being present. Which usually raises the question from them of where are we?
Me being actively present in our photo memories
When Celine was a couple of years old but before Blake was even a thought, I read an article about making sure we were in the photos for this very reason. That article made sense to me. I looked back at all Celine’s early photos and I’m very rarely in them. Of course I didn’t have a smartphone back then. Most of my photos were taken with our old Canon which isn’t exactly easy to take a “selfie” with. So unless someone else took a photo for me or I held the camera at an odd angle, I just didn’t appear in them. But still, I can very much see how someone looking at those early photos may assume I was an absent mother, even though I wasn’t.
Nowadays, when I look back at the early photos of Blake and Dani, and even the later photos of Celine after I read that article, I am a lot more present in them than I had been with Celine’s early days. But I still wasn’t as present as I am these days. It was blogging and starting the daily vlogs that made me aware of how much I wasn’t present in the photos. Now I try to go out of my way to be in the photos and videos. I kind of forget with the vlogs sometimes. Even though I am usually the one recording, I still feel awkward being in front of the camera. But I am trying to do so, even if it’s just in one of the fast forwarded clips of me cleaning or leaving for work etc.
It’s hard to do but I do try and do it, so that when I look back on our memories in those photos, my children will know that I was there.
What about you? Are you present in your photo memories?