Those little people of yours are the CUTEST, aren’t they?! How will you ever remember their tiny arms fitting perfectly around your neck? The exact magnitude of the Spaghetti Dinner Disaster Zone? That quirky face of intense concentration while mastering the alphabet puzzle?
In this house (and I suspect in yours too), we take pictures. These pictures tell our story. They remind me my work is important. They help me say Thank You for the gift that is my life. I look at them and I see God in the quotidian moments that otherwise might be forgotten — written off as insignificant.
Here are 3 things I keep in mind as I’m photographing my family:
1. Photograph the Routine.
It’s easy to remember my camera on birthdays and holidays, but there are so many other details I’m desperate to hold as my babies slip into the teen years. I’m taking those more-seasoned mamas seriously when they promise me it all goes by too fast. Sometimes I get this achey-in-my-gutt feeling when I glance at my little sipping water or rolling a car across the floor. I’m thinking, “I have to remember just what he looked like when…” and I know it’s time to pick up my camera.
2. Use Windows and Shade.
Indoor lighting is harsh. Direct sunlight is harsh. Whenever I can, I open the blinds and get between the windows and my babes or move to a shaded area. I’ll ask them to come look at something SO AWESOME out the window (a bug or a dinosaur-shaped cloud) or move their toys to get them into natural, softer light.
3. Change the Angle.
I might have to awkwardly hold the camera over my head (straining my muscles and praying I don’t drop the load), to remember how my little snuggled perfectly in the nook of my neck. I might back way up to portray just how big the world is around my tiny. I might balance precariously on a stool to look down on a fingerpaint masterpiece. Whatever the case, I don’t confine myself to one angle.
BONUS: Put Down the Camera.
This is practically photographer blasphemy, but some of the best memories are made when I’m fully engaged. That quote from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty got to me: “If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”
Here’s to recognizing the miracle that is your everyday life. Stay in it.
Music for editing: Feel Again by OneRepublic