You are here.
If you’re anything like me, you document that. You continuously share images taken on your phone and on any and all social media. It’s evidence. It’s your precious life’s journey.
Maybe you focus on your children, your job, this amazing world around you, the food you eat. If you do, I applaud you. Well done!! Now, here’s my question. Where are you? Are you there, featured in those wild and moving images?
I am always behind my camera. Not because I feel uneasy of having my photo taken, I’m fiercely the opposite, but because I see the worth in photography. These places, people and things we do, matter.They are our greatest gift we can share with those we love. That we pass on to our children. An heirloom if you like. These moments deserve the best possible way to capture them.
So why (especially us ladies) do we delay having good portraits taken? Professional portraits. Your selfies are great, you’re partaking in life, but how often do you print them? And if you do aren’t you disappointed with the quality?! I’m of the age when film was used in cameras, yes I’m a dinosaur. But, there was always an excitement to getting those rolls of films developed. I remember saving my pocket money to do so. You would run back to the developer and hand your ticket over and virtually snatch the packet handed to you with excitement. I would be looking at the pictures long before I left the shop. Planning how I would lay them out in my photo album or sharing them with family.
But these days I’m in very few. This started to bother me slightly when I realised I hadn’t taken a portrait of me and children over the Christmas. They had plenty of images taken. Some in the studio, some just as private family images. But, where was I? I adore looking at my grandparents and my parents as they moved into different stages of their lives. The hairstyles alone are something to marvel at. But what about me? It sounds selfish but what story am I leaving my children if there is no physical evidence.
Now, some people avoid the camera like the plague. I have heard, so often, men and women describe themselves as “not photogenic.”, “I need to loose a few pounds”, “I’m just camera shy.” If there is one thing I must convince you of today it’s this- how you look right now is completely and utterly beautiful. You will never look like this again. OWN IT!
I am overweight. Fact. I know this, But my children don’t care. They see me as the fun mama who rolls up her sleeves and gets in there and makes mud pies. Don’t I owe it to them to have a picture of that? A friend of mine recently came into the studio, she has three sister’s all of whom have children. Whilst photographing the children I said jump on in. The resounding echoes of excuses really baffled me. Their children were beaming with happiness and yet they chose not to be part of that moment. Quite simply that made me feel sad.
If only once a year, why would you not go to a professional and get a family portrait done? Why would you wait and wait and wait for that possible day when you’re ‘the perfect weight’ or wearing the right clothes? I think you should find pride in where you are today. Find some peace and understand how important it is for you -mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents- whoever is taking the time to read this. That at least for one day of the year you invest and have some beautiful images done or yourself and your family. They don’t need to be formal in a studio they could be outside. Plenty of us photographers, like myself, do location shoots. Heck, even go for your own home if you want to. That’s where family life happens.
So I’ve put my money where my mouth is..here I am..where are you??
Check out more of my work at www.nataliejolleyphotography.co.uk