One of the things I hear people say over and over:

I don’t like the way I look in photos.

You know what?! I don’t either!

But you know what I hate even more?

The thought of me dying and my children not having photos of me with them.

Stop saying no and just get in the darn picture!

 

Photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

 

I have been on the other side. I lost my dad and don’t have many pictures WITH him. Even worse, my younger sister doesn’t have a single photo with the two of them. For my sister Melissa, NOT having pictures with our dad makes her question a lot of things but mostly it robs her of feeling connected.

Both her and I were young when he passed (3 & 4) and so we don’t have any memories of him.

These photos serve as evidence that we exist, that we care + love those around us.

 

Photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

 

This topic also takes me back to my childhood when my mother was in her child-rearing days. I remember she was the most beautiful woman with her bronze skin and blonde hair.

Some of my favorite memories of childhood are baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch with my mama, hiking around the little log cabin we lived in (with a dozen cats in tow), and going out in the woods to cut and drag our Christmas tree home.

The thing is: I don’t have photos of her and I doing THESE things.

 

I know that she loved me and toted me around on her hip just like you probably do with your little one. While these photos ARE for you, they’re also for your children. They don’t see the imperfections you see.

They love you and think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world.

Just like I did with my mom (and just like your kids do now).

 

Photo taken by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

 

I know it’s not that hard to imagine BUT things change.

One day these memories won’t feel as vibrant and alive as they do right now. Though we try to hang on, over time our brains fail us and details become fuzzy. The very best moments of our lives, the ones that make us who we are, will one day be forgotten.

Photographs have the power to keep stories alive and breathing for us and our children.

 

Photo taken by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

I got in front of the camera this past summer.

 

David had gone to California for work for 3 months and it really made me reflect so much on what it must’ve been like to be a single mother (like my mom). It seemed like no better time than NOW.

Was I uncomfortable at first? YES! BUT my experiences as a child led me here.

I knew having these photos later in life would matter MORE than the way I currently feel about my body. 

I was so thankful to have my photog friend Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller come over on a normal summer morning and follow us around documenting things that matter to us right now: being a stay at home mom, breakfast together, walks down to our neighborhood beach, baking cookies together, love + connection.

 

photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

Photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

photo by Melissa Helmick of The Photographic Storyteller

The best gift of this time spent with Melissa was being able to give “documenting mom” a break and just be fully present with the kids.

 


Is there something I can help you with to get you past not wanting to be in photos? If so shoot me an email.