Parents, can you do something for me?
I want you to grab your phone and/or your camera and scroll back through the photos you’ve taken recently. And while you’re at it, take a look at the photos you’ve shared on instagram and facebook over the last few weeks.
How many of those photos are you in?
I would imagine that the answer is somewhere between ‘a few’ and ‘none at all’.
As parents we tend to be the ones behind the camera. Recording every little detail of our children’s lives. But so often there’s one huge thing missing from those photos.
I’ve written before about the photographer Sue Bryce and how she feels so strongly about the idea that we need to exist in photos for our loved ones.
She talks about this idea that we take all these photos of our children, but the ones they will love the most when they’re older are the ones of their parents.
“One day when you child is 40 years old, they will look at that photograph…and your child will treasure it more than any other photo they have seen of themselves.”
I’ve been taking this message on board and for the last 2 years I’ve spent the month of March taking a photo of myself every day.
I chose March because Mother’s day is in March. And this feels like a good way for me to celebrate motherhood. To celebrate my role as mummy, by making sure I exist in photos for my children.
The reason I do a photo a day for a whole month is because it pushes me. It forces me to move past those feelings of worry about the fact that my hair needs washing and to just get on with it. And while I may not love the way I look in every photo, I still LOVE every photo. They capture moments between me and my children that would just exist in my memory otherwise. My daughter won’t remember me sitting and playing on the carpet with her when she was 2 years old, but the photo I have of that moment will exist to show here I was there.
This will be the third year I tackle this challenge that I set myself. And I would really love people to join in with me. I don’t expect people to get in a photo every single day, but I really would love to see more parents in more photos.
I’ve been using a specific hashtag for my photos for a while and am now hoping to create a proper instagram community around it.
So if you have photos with you in, please do share them on instagram with #ShowYouWereThere.
I want to carry on getting in photos once March is over, once a week at least. And I’ll be posting my favourites on my blog, along with the ones that I love that other people have shared over on instagram.
So if you’d like to feature in one of my round ups please do get using #ShowYouWereThere, with any photos that you’re in. It can be you on your own, or with your family. It can show your face, or not if you’d rather. It can just be your hands holding your favourite mug, or your shoes next to your baby’s teeny ones. Any photo that shows you were there.
New guest post series
If you’d like to get more involved then I have another plan up my sleeve!
I’m looking to start a guest post series featuring people’s favourite photos either of themselves, or of their parents (or someone else they love).
What I’m really hoping is for people to look beyond, “I love this photo of me because my make up looks perfect and I was at my skinniest”. I’m hoping people will share photos that show moments that mean something to them. A photo of them feeding their baby. A moment of them laughing at a joke their toddler just made up. A picture of their parents that they’re really pleased they took while they had the chance.
I wrote a post about why we need to take the damn photo, even if we feel a bit awkward about asking people to get in front of our camera. I’ve dragged my parents out in the garden on a few occasions for photos, even though I knew they would rather not do it! And I am so, so pleased that I did it. My parents live a fair way away, so I love having these photos of them up in my house. And in years to come, I will absolutely treasure them.
So, if you have a photo that you would like to share for this guest post series, please do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you some more information!
In the meantime, grab your phone or your camera and make sure there are some photos of you next time you scroll make through!