being in the memories

I have always taken a lot of photographs
and becoming a mother for the first time 
(shortly after buying a DSLR)
just made that obsession with photo taking even greater.
Mothers grab at memories,
they try to remember every detail of their growing children,
cataloguing every milestone,
desperate to record their babies
as the moments and the time speed by
like sand through their fingers.

Since my beautiful boy was born
his days and his experiences have been photographed.
And the same can be said for my beautiful girl
although her life is recorded 
in the minutest of details
from before she was even born.

Photographing my children gives me a huge amount of joy.
I somehow feel like it makes their growing older a little easier,
because as much as I relish in seeing them grow and learn,
it can be bittersweet at times.
Your children race forwards
and you lag behind,
wishing the time would just slow down a little.
And so we snap and snap and snap,
collecting photos and memories of our babies
to help us remember forever.

As 2012 drew to a close
- an amazing year which had seen us become a four - 
I flicked through photos,
remembering the changes,
the special days we'd had,
the milestone moments,
and looking at how my family had changed.
And I found that someone was missing from the majority of these photos,
these precious memories of my baby's earliest times;
and that missing person was me.

I know exactly why I wasn't in the photos.
I was taking the photos.
But at no point had it crossed my mind to pass the camera to someone else.
And if it had come into my thoughts, I hadn't asked.
The sad reality is that I didn't want to get in the pictures because I didn't want to ruin the shot.
We all see our own flaws as if they are under a microscope,
and the camera seems to hold a light up to those.
My children look like perfection to me,
both in real life and through a lens.
Me on the other hand,
I was carrying a bit of baby weight,
the post-pregnancy hair loss had left me with a lacklustre do,
I smile a bit crazily sometimes,
and my face looks far wonkier in photos that it does in the mirror.
The photos were far nicer when it was me behind the lens
and my lovely bubbas in front of it.

I'm not sure why,
but I suddenly had visions of my children looking back at photos of their childhoods
and asking me what I'd looked like.
I know that one of the best bits of my own baby photos
is seeing my mum and dad look so young, so different.
My parents look flawless in those photos from my childhood,
I'm sure they both had their own hang ups at the time,
but all I see are their smiling faces,
their pride in their family,
their youth, their dated clothes, the crazy decor.
And I want that for my children.
I want them to laugh at how we all looked,
to mock our clothes and hair
and giggle at young and skinny we were.

So I decided that my resolution for 2013
was to get in the photos more,
to be present in the memories
and not just the person recording them.
I wanted to get a photo of the four of us together each month.

This idea gave birth to the Me & Mine project,
and the commitment of saying I'll blog a monthly family portrait,
gave me the kick I needed to make sure I followed through.

If anything I've gone overboard on the whole
"lets get a photo of us all together" thing this year
and I've taken far, far more than one a month.
I plan opportunities now to get in the photos,
to grab my beautiful children
and get it recorded just how proud I am that they're mine.
And I genuinely couldn't be happier about it.

Don't get me wrong,
if I look hard enough I still see the flaws.
I smile far to widely sometimes and look a bit crazy,
I'm still carrying baby weight,
and I'm sure I look a bit more tired and wrinkly than I did this time last year,
but somewhere along the line my mindset changed.
I don't see those flaws first anymore,
I see what I hope my children will see in years to come;
us as a young family,
full of love and having fun together.

We do an okay job grabbing Me & Mine photos each month.
Sometimes it's a tripod and remote job,
more often than not it's a case of smiling nicely at my mum or dad,
and handing them my camera
and trying to direct them while also looking relaxed and natural in the photos.
I love the shots I've got each month
but I really wanted to get some real, genuine "us as we really are" photos.
And the only way I was really going to get those sorts of photos
was going to be by booking a professional and leaving my own camera at home.

And I really couldn't be more thrilled with the results,
of totally relinquishing control and letting a professional do the hard work.
We played together,
we ticked the children,
we chased each other,
we laughed a lot,
and I let someone else be responsible for getting the shot.

If you have ever, even for a moment, considered booking a family photo shoot;
You won't ever regret getting pictures of your family.
And if you can't do that,
use your camera's self timer,
buy a remote,
or squish in close and take a selfie.
But for goodness sake get in the photos with your babies.
Because your kids won't notice your double chin,
they'll see someone they love.
And your children will thank-you for it.

All photos in this post were taken by Natalie of Erin May Photography.


  1. I love all your photos. I keep trying to join in, there never seems to be a good one of all five of us. Will keep trying! X

    1. Haha. If you look really closely, there is very rarely a good photo of all four of us, you just don't notice it. As an outsir you just see a happy family spending time together, and that's what I'm trying to see when I get photos. It doesn't matter if they're perfect, it just matters that you take them. x

  2. Such an inspiring thoughtful post* I'm stumped, it is so the same with me. I take photos on my phone a lot without looking at the screen as I want to be present in my eyes documenting the happy smiles too. But I've never really been secure enough to ask even a family memeber to take a family photo until a recent holiday where we took some. In most shots captured one of us wasn't looking or a bubba wasn't smiling but I see them differently now. Its a memory for our children and a chance for them to see us young happy and if were all pulling funny faces which is the usual request, carefree!!! Thank you, amazing post :):)

    1. I'm so glad you found it inspiring. I just keep thinking and reminding myself that it doesn't matter of we're all looking or all smiling, it matters that we were together having the photo taken and that there is a story behind it. x

  3. Ah its lovely to see your family shots, well some more of them anyway. My favourite is definitely the one of the two of them on the blanket- it's just so totally natural and lovely to see them smiling away with each other. I definitely know what you mean about looking back on old family photos, I love looking back at my family shots. I am sure our children will be the same, except they will have so many more as we live in an age where they have such a large footprint, both online and offline. x

    1. I don't think our children will ever have enough hours in the day to look back over all the photos from their childhoods. But I'd rather have it that way than not have any. And I really think it'll be the whole family photos that will stand out for them and be their favourites. x

  4. Love post and gorgeous photos! I am so glad that you came up with the Me & Mine project and even more pleased that you asked me to be involved! I love it and it want it to carry on forever! x x x

    1. Thanks lovely, and don't you worry Me and Mine will be back for 2014!!!

  5. I love these pictures - such lovely shots of very special people - in familiar settings that make me feel all nostalgic for my childhood! And no more of this "I'm not good enough to be in pictures" rubbish - you're beautiful - inside and out - and it shows in your lovely lovely smile!

    1. Awww, thanks lovely. I think we all see flaws in ourselves, I'm just trying to see myself how my kids see me more. And they don't notice my wobbly belly, and if they do, they definitely don't see it as a bad thing!!! x

  6. These are amazing! I can see why you are so pleased with them. The one of you and BB behind the tree is fabulous!
    And the post is so true. If it wasn't for Me and Mine we would have very few photos of me (so thank you) I look around the house and there are loads of photos of the three boys and 3 of me.
    How wonderful that you were able to have such beautiful photos taken outside your own home and in your garden ;-) xx

    1. Haha, yes. We're hoping to move somewhere bigger soon. It's just so squashed with the four of us!!!
      I'm so glad that everyone is loving Me and Mine, it's so simple and easy but I really think we'll all be so glad we've done it. x

  7. That sounds exactly like me: always after the perfect shot and always worrying that I'd spoil it. The truth is, that for our kids, the perfect shot will be the ones with us in too.
    I'm so glad you got on board with Me and Mine and are loving it so much, and fear not Me and Mine will be continuing in 2014. Just need to decide if the format will stay the same or not. One things for sure, the monthly family photos will be a feature on this blog for a long while to come. x

  8. I totally get how you feel, I had the same realisation not that long ago and now I make sure I get in photos but all I ever see is the things I don't like about myself! I guess that in 20 years time I will be looking back and wishing I looked like how I do now though! These are gorgeous pics with a gorgeous mummy in them xx

    1. That's the thing isn't it? What we see as flaws now, we won't notice in a few years because we'll be older and have newer ones. We will be wondering what on earth we were so worried about. x

  9. As I said this morning this is just gorgeous and you've got it so right, I never look back at my photos of my mum and notice baby weight (although I do sometimes notice dodgy glasses!) I just see a lovely mum enjoying her children just like I always see in your photos. This is something I am going to try to do more in the future; I never even thought about them being for my children to see and not for me to criticise myself. A really great post xx

    1. Ahhh thank-you I think it's so important for kids to see photos of their family through the years. I can already picture us sitting together laughing at photos of us now and thinking how young and funny we looked. x

  10. I find it impossible to get natural photos of all of us! I don't mind being in the snaps, just wish there was a few more of all of us ;) x Your photos are gorgeous - far better than anything I ever take! lol x

    1. Ahhh thank-you. It's so hard to get natural ones with yourself in, that's why I often ask my mum or dad to take them, I still kind of direct the shot but they do the actual clicking. x

  11. I really need to do this. I rely on my phone camera which doesn't come with a tripod and remote so we have very few family photos. Your me and mine project is really encouraging me to get in more pictures though, even though I never seem to manage to link up! (I already have one for August) x

    1. Oooh, well done for already getting an August photo - good work! I don't think it matters if they are taken on a phone camera, as long as you have them. But it is nice once in a while to get some really nice ones. x

  12. A lovely idea and something that we too must do one day. I did dabble with the idea of getting a tripod just to get me in a photo with the kids, and I expect I'll do that too - like you say they need to look back at the family photos and not just the ones of them. I found when my dad died that there weren't that many photos of him as he was the one always holding the camera and that made us all feel really sad so I totally appreciate how important it is x

    1. I really do think it's so important to get photos with us in too. I'm sure our children will thanks us for it one day. And I can't wait for the day that I get to see a photo of you with all your brood. One day you'll do it, I'm sure. x

  13. Beautiful photos of a beautiful family. I am exactly the same when it comes to taking photos of my little family, I am always the one behind the camera, we have a photo shoot with Natalie in a few weeks and seeing your photos has made me feel even more excited about it! Evie is growing so so fast and it is such a comfort to know that I have lots of photos to look back on all of the memories we have made together xxx

    1. Ahhh thank-you. Natalie did a great job and I know she'll do the same for you. It's so lovely to have pictures of your family as it grows. x

  14. Such lovely photos! Your really are a beautiful little family. I really must try harder to get in photos with the kids.


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