Mum- you need to be in your family photos. Here are four reasons why. | Family Photographer Glasgow

19/10/2018 Blog

Let me guess: you hate having your photo taken.

You’re not alone in feeling this way- I would say about 90% of my clients tell me this (and the other 10% of them are babies and can’t speak yet, so you get the picture). And I can sympathize. Really I can! I vastly prefer this side of the camera- so much so that I must admit it played at least a small role in me moving towards a career in photography. But despite totally understanding how you feel, I’m going to tell you something you might not want to hear: you need to be in your family photos. Here’s four reasons why:

The photos aren’t just for you. Of course, you’re the one who has decided you’d like to have family photos, you’re the one who is paying for them and you’re one of the people who will most enjoy seeing the photos on your wall or in an album for many years to come. But you aren’t the only one these photos are for- they’re for your partner, for your parents, and most importantly of all- they’re for your children. This is for them. Because one day they will be able to look back on these photos and see themselves with you. These photos of you together will bring back happy memories for the rest of their lives- a physical reminder of their childhood with the person they love the most right there beside them.

These moments are fleeting. And once they are gone, they’re gone! Your children will never be this age again. They will continue to grow and change everyday, and before you know it you’ll be sending them off to college (or so they say.) Documenting those changes means you’ll always have memories of them being that small, and one day you’ll be able to share those memories with your children. And while the photos of your children might be your favourite, I’m willing to bet  the photos of all of you together will be theirs.

Your children won’t care what you look like. They won’t even notice. We are our own worst critics, and we all have things we don’t like about ourselves. As mums, a lot of us struggle/are struggling to “lose the baby weight” or “get our pre-baby bodies back” (like we are so often reminded by the media. I don’t buy into any of that, but that’s another blog post). We have less time to do our hair and get our nails done and put on a full face of makeup before we go out. Our clothes might not fit the same way they did before. In my experience, it’s often our negative feelings about the way we look that make us feel self conscious about being in photos. I get it, I’m human. But I’m here to tell you it does not matter. Your children will not care what you weighed, or if your hair was perfect, or how baggy your jumper was. They will be looking at the smile on your face as you watch them play, the way you held them, the love they can feel when they look back through these photos.

You are a member of your family (and a pretty important one, I might add)! Family photos are just not family photos without you in them. I bet you take tons of photos of your children, and maybe your of your partner with your children. But how often do you ask your partner to take photos with you in them? You don’t need to hire a professional photographer to make sure there are some family photos with you in them- just ask your partner, your family members or your friends to snap a photo with you in it you once and while. 

You might not be fussed about being in your family photos, but your kids will love it for you one day. I promise. Photos are something we all treasure- physical proof of happy memories we don’t want to forget, memories we want to share with the people we love now, and with future generations too.

I recently returned back to Scotland after a trip home to Canada, and my mum sent me back with a gift- she had put together an album of photos from my childhood for me, from when I was born right through to my graduation and beyond. I had never seen most of those photos, and looking through them instantly brought back childhood memories. Their were photos of grandparents that are no longer with us, the very first family photos with me and my parents together, photos of me holding my sister for the first time beside my mum in the hospital bed. A treasured keepsake for me, and one I will enjoy handing down to my own daughter, Charly, one day.

I’m going to end this post by letting you know that I practice what I preach. Despite the fact that I hate being on the opposite side of the camera, I make sure to get family photos done as regularly as we can. We did photos when I was pregnant, newborn photos as a family, we hired a photographer for Charly’s naming ceremony and we have autumn family photos scheduled for the end of this month. A lot for someone who claims to hate having her photo taken, I know, but they aren’t for me. They’re for her. When we travel or visit anywhere new, we try to remember to get a quick family photo (even if it’s just a selfie) so that one day we can show Charly all of the places we’ve been together. And for all of those in between times, I try to remind my husband to take photos of Charly and I together too. They don’t have to be “perfect” photos, and usually they’re just quick snaps on his phone. My hair is usually a riot, I’m often in joggies and I’m certainly not “instagram ready” but I sure am glad we have those photos to remember our time together. And more importantly- I know my daughter will thank me for them one day.

Photos by Eaglesham Photography (left & right) and Emma Lawson Photography (middle).

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