Being in the Picture

A couple of months ago, I was asked to send a photo to someone for an article. The photo needed to be of me and the kids. Hours of searching through the many, many photos I have saved (and I am talking thousands!) and all the pictures on Facebook proved pointless. There wasn’t any. Not a single photo of the three boys and me. We had to try and get one really quickly on the sofa, in really poor light.

Being in the picture | www.coffeecakekids.com

In fact, other than the odd selfie, there weren’t many photos of me at all. I’m the one taking the photographs. I’m the one snapping away with my camera or my iPhone. I take a ridiculous amount of pictures, wanting to document and remember all the moments of our lives. As a child, I used to love nothing better than getting the photos out and pouring over them, remembering when they were taken and talking about them. As an adult, it’s even more amazing to look back on family photos. I want the kids to be able to do that. But what’s the point when one member of the family – me – is missing in them? As their mum, I’m obviously a huge part of their lives, but to look at the photos you wouldn’t even know I existed. It broke my heart to see that there were so few photos of me with the kids, and only one of all five of us together.

A lot of it is my fault. I know if I shoved my camera in Graham’s hand and told him to take a photo, he would. I know if we were out with my family and I asked them to take a photo, they would. But I don’t ask, and actively avoid being in front of the camera rather than behind it. I hate the way I look. When I take a selfie, I can control the angle and make sure it is flattering. When someone else takes it, they inevitably catch the rolls of fat, my double chin, my flabby arms. With everything put on social media, the last thing I want is hideous photos of me.

That’s pretty ridiculous when you think about it. When I look at photos of my friends with their families, I never, ever see their imperfections or their wobbly bits. I see how lovely their children are, how happy they look. I’m jealous that they captured that moment of time with all of them there, for it to be looked back on in 20, 30, 40 years. When they are gone, and their children are showing their childrenย or even their grandchildren, they will be there in the photo to talk about. They will know what their grandmother/great grandmother looked like thanks to pictures. ย My kids won’t look at those photos in the future and say ‘god, didn’t she have fat arms?’ or ‘Look at that double chin’. No, they’ll look back and say ‘Oh, remember that day at the seaside?’.

When we were on holiday last week, I made it my aim to make sure we had at least one photo of all of us together. As it turns out, it’s a gorgeous photo. Instead of looking it and seeing my rolls of fat or my wobbly bingo wings, I see three beautiful children standing with their proud mum and dad in beautiful surroundings.

Being in the Picture | www.coffeecakekids.com

I was also really pleased to see that my mum and dad got a couple of very natural photos of us all together in the park. They’re taken from a distance, and aren’t the clearest of pictures, but it’s of all of us, doing something together.

Being in the picture | www.coffeecakekids.com

I’m determined from now on, there will be more photos with me in them. I’m a part of the family, and I should be a part of the photos.

37 thoughts on “Being in the Picture

  1. Oh good for you! I hadn’t ever really thought of it like that, I’m never in photos either and I hadn’t thought about the fact that the girls won’t be able to look back on photos of us together, you’ve inspired me to do the same. Your photos are gorgeous, there’s really no reason not to be in them, you look fabulous.
    Nat.x

  2. I am in most of my family photos. I want people to know that I was there when they were taken, so I always jump in.

  3. This sounds a lot like me. I take most of the photos, my husband has a tendency to blur photos. I haven’t got one photo of me and my baby yet ๐Ÿ™ After reading your post it has given me a kick up the bum I will get more photos with me and my 3 children. Thanks for a great post x

  4. I’m the same, I’m often the one taking the photo then being in the photo, I guess it’s just a force of habit!

  5. That’s a great picture! I also think you should be on the pictures, so when the children grow up and see them, you are also there ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  6. Nice family picture! We all have qualms about ourselves, but we should be happy that we have our loved ones close. You have a lovely family, so enjoy it and saver the time. Kids grow up so quickly and the memories will stay.

  7. Yes, get in those pictures. I think as moms, we are always behind the camera to catch the memories vs. living it.

  8. Nice family photo!
    I keep photos of my kids like a treasure. I always have a snap of almost everything. That for me would be like going back to time. Memories are hard to buy.

  9. Make it a point to always be in the photo or have someone take it for you. I understand the struggle though, because as a mom, I always feel like I have to be responsible for capturing the moment without being in the actual photo.

  10. It usually happens, in most families, one person assumes the role of Photographer with the result that he is missing in most if not all photos.

  11. You are, and you are so blessed to have a lovely family! I can see the heartful bond between you and your kids and I’m looking forward to see your days being filled with enthusiasm for happiness.

  12. I am exactly the same! ALways the one taking the pictures. I hate how I look let alone in pictures, in fact I actually don’t like our wedding pictures at all because I think I look terrible in all of them

  13. Aww we have the exact same problem! We must always remember to get family snaps, they’re so important! Lovely seaside pic btw x

  14. I LOVE this post!! This is so me (I also have three sons, BTW). My husband is in all of the photos with the boys – because I take them all! On the odd occasion that he takes one of us – I’m talking maybe once a month – I inevitably look frumpy, have food on my face, am frowning, or simply look fat. I don’t want my boys to grow up with no pictures of them and Mommy. So I’m going to make it a point to ASK that people take pictures of us, and then allow them to be kept and shared.

  15. I think a lot of us are guilty of this aren’t we. Good for you though and get in those pics more often. It’s a lovely one of you all at the beach x

  16. This is so true for most mom’s. I was just telling my husband we need to make more of an effort taking pictures, otherwise our kids won’t have any pics of us when they grow up.

  17. Being in the picture makes a really big importance. For memories to keep and to treasure in the long term run.

  18. I have photos of me and the boy, but not so many of Jon and him and almost none of the three of us, and were photographers! Its the one thing I want to start making sure we do on a weekly/monthly basis!

  19. Memories are worth keeping. I love taking pictures of my family so when we got old, we can still smile on our memories.

  20. I think that I would run into the same problem if I was asked to send a picture like this. I really need to be in more pictures!

  21. I’m a photo lover but I am always the photographer! Makes me kinda mad since I’m never in pics!

  22. Brilliant! I love your new found convictions and confidence, goodluck with all the future photos, i’m sure they will be great!
    Adorableness overload for the kids.

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