Every year around Christmas time I get the idea to send out a family holiday card to our friends and family. I log onto the socials and make a big declaration that I will send a card to anyone that wants one. I get the list (of about 60 people when all is said and done) and then go to get the cards.
I started the process of grabbing our family photos from the year and realize something that makes me stomach drop : They are no where to be found. We had spent a week in Drumheller and made the point of taking a few family photos and now they were gone. I tried to stay calm, but I was pretty heart broken about it all. (And to those of you reading this, I expect you to go and back up your photos as soon as you finish this post)
So I put the list away and couldn't even bring myself to do any cards after that.
This year has been different. I am a bit obsessed with taking family photos whenever we go on an adventure.
It is an awkward feat, usually because I forget the tripod and there is always a photo of someone not quite ready, but in the end we get one or two photos that work. In my dreams we would be able to afford to get professional photos every year (this is why I still share our photos from our last sessions) but it isn't in the budget. So I take out my camera and we make it work.
There are 3 reasons why I really encourage you to take photos too!
This is a morbid one for sure, and a bit dark for a blog post maybe, but hey, it's a part of my story so deal. People die, sometimes in 50 years from now and sometimes in 3 months. Capturing this sliver in time will be meaningful to you no matter how that comes to pass. I also think about all the photos I have with Sarah. Now, four years after her death, I cringe when I think about the photos I erased because I was being critical of myself. And I also am thankful for all the times someone else grabbed the camera and snapped some photos too.
We have neighbors that are snowbirds (this means they migrate to the warmer climate south of Alberta during the winter months). This spring they almost didn't recognize our daughter from one season to the next. It happened quickly, but somehow my little girl found her way to being a big kid.
In our family there is one photographer for the most part :me. And I love it, so I wouldn't really want that to change, but it does mean that I am not in photographs unless I give someone the camera and smile big.
Getting photos taken, is an opportunity for me to have photos of myself and my family that I love.
Sometimes it is tempting to think that we should wait until the perfect time of year, or until our pants fit better, or after the next kid.
This brings me to a photo of my Oma from her mothering years. It is one of my favourite photos because I can feel what that moment was like. Her laugh is so genuine, and from a time when most photos were posed and stiff, it gives me a small glimpse into that time
. The truth is , it isn't a "good" photo. It isn't particularly aesthetically pleasing or flattering (although I think flattering is completely overrated).
What the photos represents is a very real moment and I am so grateful it was captured.
So grab your camera and set the tripod up. Take a family selfie. And maybe once in a while hire someone to take professional photos. I have never regretted taking a few months to capture our family together.
One of my last motherhood sessions still takes my breathe away, check out more photos here