"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Friday, August 7, 2009

If a mother's picture is taken without her kids does anyone see it?

I know that most blogger/mothers are like me - we love to take pictures. Photos of our families, of places and things we love and we love to share them. I think it gives us all an ability to really get to know each other even when separated by time zones and borders. I love seeing photos of other people's kids and homes and even the meals they have created but what we rarely see is pictures of ourselves.

When I look back at old family photos from my childhood, of which there are many, there are lots of me and my brother and sister. Many of us with our father and grandparents, our pets, taken on holidays at the cottage or camping. And some just everyday pictures of us growing up but there are next to none of my mother. She was always behind the lense. I remember her not wanting to be a group shots, she was self concious about her weight even though she wasn't a big woman at all. In early photos of her I see a beautiful, young mother.One professional shot of her and me when I was a year old was even used as an ad for the photographer.(Again, I wish I could show you but I am posting on my bb from the dock) But as the years went on she slowly disappeared from the pages of our albums.

Now I see the same thing happening to me. When the boys were younger I was in many pictures mostly because I was the one holding them and my husband was forced to pick up the camera. A few of them I love, others I could happily burn or delete if not for the adorable baby or toddler in my arms. As a teenager I documented most of my friends' terrible 80's haircuts and boyfriends. Fortunately for them the photos are safely in albums in my basement not on facebook. To this day I tend to pick up the camera at parties and events, partly to hide behind but also to give me a purpose. In our family life I love to capture candid shots of the kids and friends with a long lense. As for me, I may have to ask my sister-in-law who is a professional photographer to train her camera on me when I am not paying attention.

It is that age old question that mothers sometimes ask themselves, "Do I exist outside of my family? Or "If a picture is taken of a mother without her kids, does anyone see it?"


  1. We love our families too much to remember to ask for a photo of us too. I just want to capture a moment in time. But my younger sister..

    has a ton of photos of herself around the house. Just her. She is a little narcissistic. She doesn't work because other people are too stupid for her. So...

    I would guess you and I are little kinder and not self centered??

  2. Thoughtful post, Cid...but the first comment? Oh dear....

  3. I take almost all our photos. I'm kind of Ok with it.

  4. I've noticed this a lot too, so I often tell Ian to take a shot of me and the kids together; I figure the kids will want to see pics of me at some point too. Or the other thing, I take pics of me and the kids close-up all the time, goofy images, usually we're all eyes and teeth LOL!

  5. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Ah, your Sugarland song just started playing -- we just saw them in concert.

    I hardly have ANY PICTURES of me over the past 20 years. If anyone took a picture it was ME. Nobody offered to include me in a pic. When I look at my MIL's albums, there are probably a handful of pictures with me in them.

    THEN CAME THE DIGITAL CAMERA! Oh yes, that was my ticket out! I take my own picture with my daughter and she will have tons of pictures to remember what Mommy looked like throughout her childhood. Yay for digital cameras1

    If you look at my blog, MOST of my picture are taken by my long left arm. ha.

  6. Hi! I was the comment after you on the secret is in the sauce. great post. I'm a snap happy mum who doesn't have many pics of herself either.

  7. Hi, just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts and how wonderful your pictures are - really breathtaking ! Thankyou for sharing

  8. Well put. I really would like to try to get in the shots more. The hubs looks like a single parent. Ah ha

  9. Interesting thoughts! Every now and then I hand hubby the camera & tell him to take pictures of me with the kids - usually I'm the one taking them. Of course, my grandchildren will think I was stunning because all the unfattering ones get deleted :) I heart digital cameras!

  10. i try to get a few shots with me in it

  11. I think, as mothers, (or at least me), we feel especially inclined to reach for the camera. For everything. So I feel I'm often behind the lens mostly because I'm the one with the motivation. But mama pictures ARE important. Babies and children LOVE their mamas and we, as mothers, should remember that when we're documenting their young lives. Such a good point Cid!


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