exist in photos | a mother’s guide to getting in the frame

exist in photos | a mother’s guide to getting in the frame

i didn’t coin the phrase “exist in photos”.  the first place i heard it was from the uber talented glamour photographer, sue bryce.  her message was, that no matter what we look like right now, or even how we feel… it is our job to exist in photographs for our children and future generations.  i took that message to heart and started to think about the different ways i could get back in the frame for my kids.

selfie with my little girl, existing in photos for my kids, even with frizzy hair.

sometimes… that means a selfie.  but that selfie arm is so old.  i owe a group of friend’s for telling me that my iphone had a timer, so i’m going to share the wealth.  that’s right ladies… and gentleman.  your phone has a timer.  so you can set it down… hit the button… and 3 or 10 seconds later you can make a photograph with you IN it, but not with your weird arm thing!

let me tell you a story about how this typically aloof, free range mom got a big kick in her big butt this weekend, and now is more determined than ever to make sure she is in photos of her family’s life.  no matter about her butt!

(WARNING:  this might sound crazy, and i don’t care)

the evening before mother’s day, i decided that miss a and i would take a trip to the mall together to pick up some last minute things for our trip.  armed with just my little ricoh grii, i packed her up and headed to roosevelt field mall.  we went into nordstroms.  she was as wacky as i have ever seen her.  running, dancing, hysterical laughing.  i found myself wishing i had a documentary family photographer with me, because no one ever captures these random outings with my and my girl!  then we went shopping around the mall and eventually made it back to nordstroms.  just when i thought we were making excellent time and would be home for normal bedtime routine, she hits me with the “MOMMY I’M HUNGRYYYYYYYYY”.  so that turned into a really awesome dinner at the nordstroms grille.  who knew there was good food in there?!

so… dinner, dessert, shoe shopping and we were ready to go get daddy a present.  and then over the loud speaker:

“customers, a situation has come to our attention that requires the store to be locked down.  please do not leave the store.  i repeat, do not try to leave the store, stay where you are.”

{insert panic here}

here i am, with my beautiful girl, and my normally level-headed brain goes straight to… omg.  there’s a shooter and he’s in here and he’s going to kill people and we need to hide. 

that might sound crazy to you, but in the world we live in, it just didn’t seem crazy at the time.  we were on our way down the escalator and when we got to the bottom there was a lovely employee there who must have seen my panic and said “ma’am.  there’s a situation outside the store.  you are safer inside.  don’t worry, it is going to be ok.”

“all customers please go up to the third floor.”

now… next thought… terror attack.   and ava and i head to the ladies lounge to call daddy and calm down.  and hide.

20 minutes later, the doors opened and we went to the car and got the hell out of there.

on my drive home, i couldn’t help but think of daddy and dean, home safe and in bed.  and think of ava, and how she is 6 and just so little.  the world is a crazy place.  i refuse to live like a hostage, and i am super proud of the legacy of images i will leave my children (one day in the far away future), but how many am i in.  i don’t want to be a ghost.  not now and not when they’re older with kids of their own.  so i’ve been consciously and unconsciously making sure i’m in the frame more.  even in the smallest of ways.  i’m going to be in the story too.

little girl fixing a mannequin, roosevelt field, trip to the mall with mommy in long island, nordstroms roosevelt field

girl being silly during mommy and daughter date

i am drawn to the details that matter.  like her 6 year old handwriting.  and how she insisted on place settings.  (side note:  paper tableclothes are the absolute best.  see, lauren was there)creative ways to exist in photos, capturing her baby girl handwriting on the table at nordstroms in roosevelt field,

dancing in the closed circuit tv at nordstroms in roosevelt field mall, mommy daughter date

sophia being the mc of the art show, mother's day 2016 photos, long beach family,

cousins putting on an art show, mother's day 2016 photos, family photos,

big girls reading grandma's mother's day cards, getting grandma in the frame

grandma, her best friend and her baby girl with the dogs on the couch, getting grandma in the frame

the kids are the obvious subject for my work, but this mother’s day i decided that grandma and the other mothers at my house were going to make an appearance.  i want to remember how my mom laughs with her best friend.  and how beautiful and stoic my sister is.  i want to remember how mom puts on her glasses to help the kids read and how she leans against the counter in the kitchen.  i would give anything for a photograph of my poppy leaning, and i hope i find one.  but my mom leans her own way… and it is just as important.

getting myself in these shots wasn’t easy.  with all the running lunatic children, a tripod was out of the question, so when they were wrestling, and i was watching, i didn’t frame my toes out of the composition… because i was there too.  and before the night was over, i handed the camera to mister lk.  i did some basic settings, and he made sure i was there.

capturing the classic grandma knee bend

kids jumping on daddy with mommy's toes in the frame

grandma, mom and kids taken by daddy, guide to existing in photos

hugging my kids in the kitchen, mother's day 2016, exist in photos

i want to help you exist in photos for your children and their children.  i want to make you a tangible record of what life was like right now with you IN it.  until then, take your selfies and don’t forget to ask your husband to use his phone too!!!

if you’re interested in getting my help to exist in photos, a documentary family photography session this summer is the perfect thing.  luckily, july has some availability!  tans, beach day, ice cream, pool, bare feet, sunscreen, lazy summer days… all some of the perfect opportunities to capture your family this summer!!!

 

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