Making memories.

I literally have thousands of photos of my children, I make no apologies for it, and my camera is never far from my reach. I have hundreds of photos of my husband and the children, taken whilst blissfully unaware, caught in a moment that we will later look back on and treasure forever. I have photos of him sat, beaming at the camera, with a newborn in his arms, singing gently to them at bedtime, fast asleep with a little one on his chest. I have captured all of those special moments, the birthdays, Christmas’s, days out and summer holidays, pictures of the proudest Daddy surrounded by his children.

And yet should you scroll through our photographs, you would be forgiven for assuming that I was not present on those occasions, that I was absent from days out, that I was missing from family holidays. There is nothing at all to suggest that I was ever there, that I too was caught in the moment, other than perhaps a blurred corner of my shoulder or the trace of my hand, quickly ducking out of view to avoid being caught on camera.

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And out of the handful of photographs that I do feature in, it is inevitable that 99% of them will be scrapped, hidden away in my deleted folder, never to be seen again. Because I hold my hands up, I am massively guilty of that, of refusing to appear in photographs with my children. I am far too critical of my unwashed hair, my constant eye bags, the fact that my clothes haven’t seen an iron in the last decade. I am far too self conscious, too self deprecating, too concerned with my own insecurities to see past them and frame those precious moments with my babies. And I know that I’m not alone in that, that there are mums right across the globe who right this minute will be batting away the camera from their face, turning the other way, telling their husband, “Don’t take a picture of me looking like this!”. And so we appoint ourselves as chief photographers, spend a lifetime capturing moments that, in years from now, nobody will ever know we were a part of.

My own Mum was very much the same. I can remember how she refused to have her photograph taken at any given opportunity, resulting in very few photos of the two of us together. And actually, I feel really sad about that, how in years from now when time, and she, has passed, I will have merely a handful of photographs of my childhood, just a few snatched moments of the two of us, her head bowed to hide her face, her smile shielded by her hair, a hand, a newspaper snatched close at hand.

So when we booked in for family photographs the other weekend, I have to admit, I was dreading it. I worried over what to wear, how to style my hair, whether there was enough  make up on the planet to make me look even half decent. And surely that isn’t what it’s about, is it? About only capturing the moments where you look like a better version of yourself? A face plastered in make up, our hair perfectly coiffed, wearing clothes that, although beautiful, are restrictive, too fussy, a whole world away from our daily look. Because in the future, when the children look back, they will want to see photos of their parents looking exactly the way that they remembered. Be that with our hair tied back into the messy Mum bun, our eyes crinkling at the corners, our cheeks flushed with the hundred and one jobs that we had to juggle that day, their own dirty handprints down the front of our t-shirts. And those are the photos that will mean the most, the ones with our heads thrown back, creased up with laughter, with smiles that reach our eyes and arms as full as our hearts.

So, for the first time, I decided to embrace the camera, to throw my arms around my babies and smile the biggest of smiles. And despite the rain, I beamed with happiness, love and complete and utter pride, so that one day, when the children are grown, they will look back and remember a time when they made me happier than I dared ever imagine.

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And one day, in many moons from now, I hope that I will look back and see that once upon a time, when the children were young, I didn’t look half as bad as I imagined.

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93 Comments

  1. June 24, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Like you I take hundreds of photos! I am loving your family photos 🙂 You have lovely children and yes, someday you’ll look back at these photos and it will fill wrap your heart with a lovely feeling. x

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      Thank you. I love looking back at old photos and feeling all of those memories come flooding back. Definitely going to get infront of the camera a little more, time to embrace my imperfections!! Thank you for reading! xx

  2. June 24, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    I could have written this post myself. Word by word. My personal facebook page is full with photos and videos of my little girl and of her and hubby. Sometimes I fear people will think he’s the only one who does things with her as I’m never in them! lol Now you, lovely lady, don’t have anything to worry about at all as you and the rest of your family look absolutely beautiful 🙂 xxx

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Yes!! I’m the same! We come home from holiday and I haven’t appeared in a single photo!! I think actually, my husband needs to accept his part of the blame here, he never takes photos unless he has his “big camera” out, where as I whip out my phone a hundred times a day! Get yourself infront of the camera, it’s all about making memories. Thank you for your lovely comment. xxx

  3. June 24, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    You are definitely not looking half as bad as you imagined! Beautiful family pictures and you look gorgeous in those. 😊

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Thank you so much, we are far too self critical I think, my children have loved looking at these photographs, we must do it more often! xx

  4. June 25, 2016 / 9:32 am

    Beautiful photos to cherish! I’m guilty of exactly the same thing, always the photographer! Well done for getting round to doing something about it, so easy to keep putting it off!

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you! I think it’s hard, especially when you like taking photographs, but I do need to make more of an effort to appear in our photos. Thanks for reading! xx

  5. June 25, 2016 / 10:22 am

    Bravo! Show up, appear in the shots and memories! It’s so important. My mother ripped up every photo she appeared in. What did that teach me? How did that affect me. I won’t do that with my kids and I’m glad to SEE you with yours. Now, to get the Mrs. in the shots with us…that’s a challenge. #fabfridaypost

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you, I completely agree, I hope that my children grow up to be confident and embrace the camera, although the way I carry on I think they are sick to death of having their photos taken!! I love taking photos but yes, definitely time to come out of hiding once in a while! xx

  6. June 25, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    Your photos are beautiful.

    You make a good point. I too hate having my photo taken but if our cubs are to look back at their lives and ours when they grow older and we may not be there then I have to push past my insecurities and be photographed.

    For someone with a blog called shoe box of memories you would think I would have got that sooner!

    • June 25, 2016 / 12:27 pm

      Haha yes, although I think the majority of us hide away from the camera don’t we? Thank you though, I’m really making an effort to get in front of the camera, I would hate for my children to grow up shying away from the camera with the same insecurities. xx

      • June 27, 2016 / 4:44 pm

        It’s interesting seeing how they approach photos now we have digital cameras. When I was their age photos were a bigger deal and a slight element of pot luck as you wouldn’t always know if the results would be worth the price of developing!

        Now you can click away as much as you want and edit the results within seconds.

        #mg

        • June 28, 2016 / 7:45 am

          Yes! Gosh remember when you had to wait two weeks to have them developed too and they’d come back with half a head missing!! I use my phone for 99% of all of my photos, the “big camera” only comes out for special occasions!! xx

  7. June 25, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    What some absolutely gorgeous photos and wonderful memories captured in time. x

  8. jermbarnes
    June 25, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    You’re beautiful Laura, and should never doubt it. Lovely pics. I will admit, however to making my wife delete any picture she takes of me where I wan’t aware enough to try and suck in my gut. I think everybody judges their own appearance more than others, even us fellas. #pocolo

    • June 25, 2016 / 3:16 pm

      Aww thank you. That did make me laugh, it’s refreshing to know that men feel the same as us women! You’re right though, someone once told me that the only person who cares, is you! I suppose when you become confident enough to not care, that’s when you can really embrace your own skin! Xx

      • jermbarnes
        June 26, 2016 / 4:33 pm

        I think that most of the truly happy people out there would say that’s part of their secret. back again from #justanotherlinky

  9. June 25, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    Such a beautiful post with so many amazing photos and memories that you have created x

  10. June 25, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Great Post!! I read a post recently that was about how dads are never in photos!! an I thought but i know my mum is hardly ever in them either. I only have a handful of her with Holly. An she doesn’t know I have them or I would have to delete them!!
    Great Post

  11. June 26, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    Laura, you are just as beautiful as all your kids – and you well know how beautiful they are!

    • June 26, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      Thank you Lynne, that’s so lovely of you. Xxx

  12. June 26, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    So many mum’s do this! Even if the only reason is just that they are the ones behind the camera, thinking about capturing a special moment. Your photo shoot prints are amazing. So pretty. So happy. Truly something to be cherished. Xx

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:52 am

      Thank you so much, I completely agree, I’m definitely not the only one! xx

  13. June 26, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    Same here. The reason is because when my husband takes photos, there will inevitably be one head missing out of the shot or 90% sky in it!! You’ve made me think.. And it is time to make some more effort to get myself into those shots. #puddinglove

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:52 am

      Haha see my husband is a way better photographer than me but he very rarely takes the time to snap away! Probably because I always do! I worry if I don’t and he doesn’t, we will miss the moment! xx

  14. June 26, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    Oh my goodness I completely identified with this and on so many levels. I am snap happy with my phone camera since the children were born but when it come to me being in the pics that is rare or they get deleted!! You are so right-how ridiculous and made me teary where you wrote the children will want to remember us how we looked! The family photos are just precious and beautiful- i hope you display them around your home rather than hiding them away now!! #JustAnotherLinky 🙂 Lou at http://www.peppermintcove.com

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:51 am

      Aww I think it’s only when you look back over photos that you feel regret for not stepping into them more often. I cant change what’s already been but I can change what will be, and I definitely plan on getting my face on more photos! Thanks for reading lovely. xx

  15. June 27, 2016 / 6:43 am

    Awesome photos!! and a great post!
    Woman shouldn’t be so bothered with how we they might look in a photo because even on a photo a person’s soul signs through…and that is why I love photo’s of the Wife. Whether she’s prepared for them or not.

  16. June 27, 2016 / 9:03 am

    I had the same problem and gave myself a kick up the bum a couple of years ago. I am in a few more pics now but still behind the camera most of the time. You have a gorgeous family and these photo’s are amazing

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:50 am

      I think I will always be the main one behind the camera but I’m definitely going to step out from behind it a little more. Thanks for reading. xx

  17. June 27, 2016 / 10:31 am

    They’re amazing pictures and you look great. I am rarely in any pictures too, as I’m always the one taking them. I HATE having my picture taken. Like you say, I’m aware that I haven’t washed my hair, or have no make-up on and generally look very scruffy. But I’m so glad you have these now, They are beautiful. Sarah #FabFridayPost

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:49 am

      Thank you. I’m the same, and even in these photos I can see that my hair is wet (it was raining) and I had barely any make up on and yet I suppose that’s me, that’s how I look 99% of the time!! It’s important to capture yourself as the children know you, my kids literally can’t stop looking at me when I am going out OUT, they stand there saying, “Oooh look at your hair!! Look at your face!! Look at your dress!!” like I am a complete alien!!! xx

  18. June 27, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Aww… such a lovely piece. I am the same. I am very conscious of my body right now especially when I have put so much weight on and can’t seem to shake it off just like that when I was younger. I think you look fab anyway however you are. I just love your photos with the kids and your husband. Such precious moments. Thank you so much for linking up with us with your speical post on #FabFridayPost Xx

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:47 am

      Thank you, I can’t believe it took two years to get a photo of the six of us! I think it’s true that we don’t look even half as bad as we imagine ourselves too, we are our own worst enemies that’s for sure! xx

  19. June 27, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    These are gorgeous photos – top marks to the photographer! You look gorgeous – you’re your own worst enemy!x #marvmondays

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:46 am

      Thank you, and I KNOW!!!! xx

  20. June 27, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    You look great! You should be in more photos! My mummy is very conscious that she should be in more photos as a reminder for me, so I can look back in years to come xx #FabFridayPost #BigPinkLink

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Thank you. You should tell your Mummy to take lots of photos of your time together, it’s so important isn’t it? xx

  21. June 27, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    I absolutely love these photos – your family is gorgeous and you look just stunning! I’m so guilty of this myself – I’m always behind the camera and rarely allow myself to be photographed, particularly if I’m not feeling I’m looking my best. As a result I only have 2 photos of me while I was pregnant which makes me sad. You’ve inspired me to get out there in front of the camera more! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Thank you! Yes definitely step out from behind the camera, it’s difficult when you feel self critical or even just plain old uncomfortable, but it’s lovely to have photos to look back on, especially if your memory is anything like mine! Thanks for reading lovely. xx

  22. June 27, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    Aww! What beautiful photos…
    I am always behind the camera. I hate having my photos taken but I really should make more of an effort x

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:43 am

      I think most women are the same, we should make more of an effort though, I would hate for my children to reach adulthood and look back and have no visual memories of our time together to look over. xx

  23. June 27, 2016 / 8:27 pm

    Adorable photos! You have such a beautiful family!

  24. June 28, 2016 / 6:04 am

    Your family pictures are beautiful! I’ve never had any professional photos taken of our family because, like you, I don’t like how I look in pictures – but now I’m thinking maybe I should. #PuddingLove

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:41 am

      Thank you! You really should, it was actually quite liberating in a way to just fight off the insecurities and just enjoy smiling alongside my family. I have no idea why I have become so insecure over the years, in my late teens/early twenties I was modelling and had no fear whatsoever of the camera. Funny how life changes you? Thanks for reading. xxx

  25. June 28, 2016 / 7:44 am

    Your photos are beautiful and I think many mamas are guilty of being left out of pictures. I definitely would rather be the one taking them, but I always try and make sure I have some taken! Not for my sake, but for my children. #TwinklyTuesday

    • June 28, 2016 / 7:53 am

      Yes you’re so right. I don’t have to look at the photos if I don’t want to but I know that some day my children will want to, and that’s why I plan on getting infront of the camera a little more! Thanks for reading. xx

  26. mackenzieglanville
    June 28, 2016 / 8:53 am

    we are far too critical of ourselves aren’t we! I am glad you embraced the camera, and have such a amazing photographs with your family. I have been loving them on Instagram, #mg

  27. reimerandruby
    June 28, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    I’m the same, I’m so self- conscious in front of camera too and when I find the photo not appealing, I tend to delete it. I shouldn’t, I regret it when I look through photos again and I don’t have any in it. Lovely post! Beautiful photos of all of you, such a wonderful family #TheBabyFormula

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      Me too! I’ve deleted so many lovely photos of the children just because I think I look terrible stuck in the middle, it’s crazy really. Our children really couldn’t care less if our hair is washed!! Thank you for reading! xx

  28. June 28, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    I hear you. Over the years I’ve ducked out of being photographed too. Yet it is important for everyone in the family to be captured on camera. #mg

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Definitely! Thanks for reading! xx

  29. June 28, 2016 / 7:07 pm

    I don’t know what you were worried about, you look beautiful 🙂
    Lovely family photos x

    Thank you for joining in with #MMBC Hope to see you next week xx

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Thanks lovely, will see you next week! xxx

  30. June 28, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Spot on and so beautifully written. I’m always behind the camera, my hubby isn’t too fussed about taking pictures. We’ve been together years and years and besides our wedding photos, there’s possibly only a handful of us as a couple and even fewer of us as a family. I made a point of having professional pictures taken of the girls, but we rarely feature.
    You are a very attractive Mummy, even if you don’t see it yourself. You certainly do look the picture of happiness surrounded by your gorgeous children. My favourite picture has to be the one of your two girls kissing your cheeks.
    Thank you for sharing!
    #TwinklyTuesday

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you, that is my favourite photo too, it actually made me cry when I saw it as I couldn’t believe how happy I look. It took such a long time to have the family we had dreampt of, I still cant believe they are all mine! I’m definitely going to get in on more photos, even on days when I haven’t washed my hair and I feel tired and disgusting, it’s so important isn’t it? xxx

  31. June 29, 2016 / 7:22 am

    I think the majority of us are exactly the same, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to be in the photo lately rather than behind the camera. These shots are stunning, lovely and you are gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you, it’s much easier when there is a good photographer taking photos and you’ve had chance to have a wash!! Thanks for reading! xx

  32. June 29, 2016 / 11:13 am

    Laura, you look gorgeous in those photos along with your equally gorgeous family but I know what you’re saying. I am so camera shy and I absolutely hate being photographed. I always make a lot of excuses and it’s high time I stop too. #bigpinklink

    • June 29, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you, I think that we are all guilty of it aren’t we? I don’t know many people who LOVE the camera, I am definitely trying to like it a little more though! xx

  33. Over Heaven's Hill
    June 29, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    These photos are so so so so gorgeous! I’m forever being the camera too #thebabyformula

  34. June 29, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    What a lovely set of photos you had done at your family shoot! We had one outdoors recently and they’re brilliant to keep. As you say, one of you is always chief photographer so images of the entire clan together are unfortunately rare. Lovely post.
    Potty Adventures
    #BloggerClubUK

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:44 pm

      Thank you, family photos are so precious, I definitely need to make more of an effort with them! Xx

  35. June 29, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Oh lovely you write so beautifully. I’m the same I take so many pictures of my girls but there are not many including me. I hate the way I look and hate having my photograph taken – but I need to get over myself. I want to look back at all our fun times including me!!!

    I have hardly any pregnancy photographs of me and my girls which makes me so sad. So this pregnancy I’m definitely going to try make more effort !!

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Ahh thank you. I completely agree, I wish I had documented my pregnancies more, you can never get that time back. Get snapping that beautiful bump!! Xx

  36. organisedjo
    June 29, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Love your post and this could have been about me too! I, like you, am always on the other side, never comfortable enough to be in front of the camera. Your family pics are gorgeous, you and your family are beautiful. You have inspired me to take the step to the other side! #MarvMondays

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Ahh thank you. I’m glad i have inspired you, go for it! Xx

  37. June 30, 2016 / 5:53 am

    What gorgeous photos of you with your children and how lovely to capture those moments with you in the shot too. I’m often chief photographer and end up not being in photos with my children although joining in with the Me and Mine photo project each month is a great way of making sure that there is at least one photo every month of the four of us together and that there will be photos with me in the shot too. It’s such a good point that one day our children will look back and want to see those photos with us there enjoying the moment too.

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      Oh I haven’t heard of the me and mine project? Maybe I need to get involved! I’m always chief photographer although my husband is actually a much better photographer than me! Thanks for reading! Xx

  38. June 30, 2016 / 8:35 am

    What a beautiful set of photos and a gorgeous family you have! I’m new to your blog, just discovered it through then #SharingtheBlogLove linky. I have a similar problem and wrote about it last year, I’ve got hardly any photos with me in them but my problem is that even if I’m happy with how I look, noone ever takes photos of me! Haha! I did plan to take a monthly pic of at least me with the boys, but broke my tripod arrrgh. Must get a new one!x

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Ahh thank you for visiting! Yep my husband doesn’t take photos either, very rarely, so even if I wanted to I wouldn’t be in many! A tripod is a great idea, I really need to try harder! Xx

  39. June 30, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Love these photos! They are so full of happiness. 🙂 x #SharingtheBlogLove

  40. June 30, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Crazy lady 😉 you look absolutely gorgeous and you all look so happy in these photos they’re brilliant. Get in the photos more, you have nothing to hide 😉 (says the woman who HATES having her own photo taken….) Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Haha we are all as bad as eachother aren’t we? Thank you though, I’m working on it! Xx

  41. June 30, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    These photos are lovely! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky Sorry the comment is late – we’ve just returned from holiday!

    • June 30, 2016 / 3:31 pm

      Oh lovely! Hope you had a fab time! Xx

  42. June 30, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Wow you take such beautiful pictures! I am totally guilty of the same thing. Just read this and had to go and take some pictures with the kids and me in them with my tripod otherwise there would be none! Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG

    • July 3, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Ahh thank you! I’m glad you took some photos with your family, I think I need to invest in a tripod! xx

  43. June 30, 2016 / 10:23 pm

    As others have said the photos are gorgeous – and I think it’s good to step in front of the camera sometimes. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  44. July 1, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    You look absolutely amazing in those photos – definitely some to have printed out and hung round the house. I too shy away from the camera, but luckily my husband is good at getting sneaky pictures and I look best when I don’t know they are being taken! Thanks for linkin gup #PuddingLove x

    • July 3, 2016 / 7:48 pm

      Ahh thank you. I’m definitely going to display them in our home, they are too lovely not to. I much prefer a sneaky photo than a staged one, I find it so awkward!! xx

  45. July 1, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    What beautiful photos! I too take so many photos and am normally behind the camera. Thanks got linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    • July 3, 2016 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you! I often think if I don’t take photos then nobody else will! xx

  46. July 5, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    What a beautiful set of photos, I’m much the same as you I think I can count on one hand how many pictures I have of me and kipper (now 8 weeks!). You look brilliant in these and have inspired me to get more photos of me and the boys – even if I still have a baby tummy! Thanks so much for joining us at #Bloggerclubuk hope to see you again this week X

    • July 5, 2016 / 6:05 pm

      Ahh you should definitely take lots of photos in those baby days. I think I was guilty of that too, not wanting to be in those first photos because I looked like death and felt fat and frumpy and blah, but actually those are the most precious ones aren’t they? I wish I had taken more. xx

  47. July 6, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Seriously you look amazing, so happy, and such a gorgeous family together. I think you need to get a selfie stick and just use it, even if noone sees the photos, if you never publish them, they will be there sitting for your kiddies to find in years to come. Like you say it’s those photos that hold the funny, silly, everyday life memories.

    A lovely post, and one we can ALL relate to! Thanks for sharing on #TheBabyFormula xx

    • July 7, 2016 / 12:44 pm

      Ahh thank you. A selfie stick is a fab idea, my eldest has one lying around that we could use! Not today though, today I am sporting a huge angry spot….but maybe tomorrow!!! 😜xxx

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