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Mum why are you missing from all the photos?

Mum why are you missing from all the photos?

I can see it now…my kids all grown up, looking through their baby photos laughing and reminiscing until one of them says ‘where were YOU Mum?!’

 

We’re missing from so many of our kids memories.

 

I know you want to wait till you’ve lost a bit of weight, maybe got some new clothes, or for the love of god just had one unbroken night of sleep!!

 

I get it.

 

The thing is – you can’t keep waiting for that magical moment where you feel like a million bucks…because it’s probably not going to happen.

 

You need to take the plunge and make it happen now. Yourself.

 

And if you feel uncomfortable about how you look in photos consider this.  You are beautiful just as you are. I mean hello amazing lady…you’re raising children! This is no mean feat. You are cooking, creating, cleaning, cuddling…day in day out.  This, THIS is what makes you beautiful. The love for your children shines out of you and lights up your face.

 

And when your babies grow up and look back at their photos they aren’t going to say “woah Mum you look haggard!”. They’re going to remember how you laughed, how you smelt and how you hugged them tight when they needed you most.

 

You are enough. Let yourself be seen.

 

And if you’re on Instagram let’s all use the hashtag #getmuminthepicture so we can inspire and encourage each other. Make sure you tag me @love._the._little._things so I can see too!

 

So…read on for some common excuses and some genius workarounds!

 

 

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But I need to lose some weight first…

– Take the photo from a high angle – hold the camera up in the air and tilt it down towards you. It’s a much more slimming angle.

– Do the turtle neck…pull your shoulders back and jut your chin down and out like a turtle. Even just a little bit. Feels weird, looks good! Play around with it and see the difference it makes to a double chin.

– Stand or crouch behind your child. Use them as a shield in front of your body if you’re feeling self conscious. Hugging them from behind or draping your arms around them will help this feel more natural. Whatever is closest to the camera will look larger, so pop yourself behind your child.

– When sitting down if you’re conscious about your stomach just cross your arms loosely over your stomach. Not like you’re hugging yourself but just cross them over at the wrists. Lean forward toward the camera.

– Take lots off different photos and choose the best one! Keep readjusting and see what works best. Soon you’ll get to know what suits you the most.

 

But I look really tired/old/haggard…

– One word my friend…filters. If you’re on your phone try downloading the VSCO or Afterlight apps (I find them much more subtle than the Instagram filters) and find one that lightens, brightens and smoothes your skin out. B&W works miracles!

– Don’t get too close. If you’re really feeling the effects of a few nights of broken sleep don’t let that stop you getting in the picture – just take it from a bit further away so you can’t see so much detail in your face.

 

But I have no one to take photos of me with the kids…

– Best investment I ever made was a $15 smartphone tripod from my local camera shop. I don’t use it every day but the moments where I really want to have a shot of me and my kids together I whip it out of my handbag and set it up. You can use a self timer but I have a Bluetooth remote on my key-ring that makes this so easy!

– Just ask. I know it feels a little embarrassing to say to your partner – can you get ME in the photo as well? We have this stilly idea that we must be vain to want photos of ourselves. Just keep reminding yourself you’re creating precious memories that your kids and grandkids will love to see one day!

 

But I feel stupid taking photos of myself…

– Start at home and not out in public. I’m not gonna lie…I haven’t yet whipped out my tripod and remote and set up a photo shoot of myself and my kids in a busy public place yet. But I do it at home quite a lot! Then maybe you can graduate to doing it somewhere quiet outdoors.

– Another way to make it less painful is to look and smile at your child. Maybe tickle them or laugh with them. Feels more natural than both of you saying cheese at the camera!

 

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A word of caution – you don’t want to get too carried away with these tips, I always pick a natural shot with real emotion over a super posed one any day, even if it makes my nose look big and my chin double up – but if these tips mean the difference between getting in photos or not at all then by all means go for it!

 

Remember – A photo of yourself is one second in time of a living moving object. You are so much more than one angle frozen in time. If you see a bad photo of yourself remember the angle makes all the difference – a bad angle makes a bad photo! It’s not how you really look to others when you’re moving and laughing and talking. So just remind yourself of that next time you see an unflattering picture!

My favourite tip for killer photos

My favourite tip for killer photos

If you’re anything like me you take 20 quick pictures of the exact same scene because a) kids move fast and b) kids move fast!!

You might think anyone can take 20 pictures and have one look ok, but I think the real trick is in the selection. So often we go for the ‘everyone smiling and looking nicely at the camera’ shot, but when you think about it that can be kind of boring! When you already have 500 pictures of your little cherub’s smiling face how about trying something a little different?

Try embracing the imperfections – who cares if they have hair all over their face, or they look a little cross eyed?  Life is messy, life is crazy and sometimes it just plain sucks!  So why not have your pictures reflect this too?

The important thing to think about when you’re flicking through those 20 near identical shots is what story do you want to tell?

 

Maybe it’s that one time at Halloween we were confined to our house with a super infectious virus!

Halloween sad
Or maybe you want to remember the fashion sense…of your husband! Yup, outfit by Dad.

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Newborns are tiring…

Yawning Kim

Iceblocks are cold…

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And café’s are boring…

Sylvie cafe

Yes Lila’s hair is all in her face – but the second I spotted the expressions on the faces of those guys on the left, I knew I had my shot.

Girls orange wall

I took about 10 photos of my husband pulling out my daughter’s wobbly tooth but this is the one I want to remember!

Mila tooth pull

And there were loads of photos of Sylvie smiling sweetly but I never want to forget how she loves to see herself pulling funny faces in the camera screen!

Sylvie & Mama

So next time you’re looking through those multiple photos trying to decide which one to keep…embrace imperfections and go for the unexpected!!

Freedom to roam

Freedom to roam

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately…about my own childhood and how I would head off for hours with my friends to play around the neighbourhood – the only instruction being to be home in time for dinner.  As much as possible I want a similar experience for my own kids.  I want them to learn about risks, decisions & consequences now – not when they’re 16 and trying to decide if they should get in a car with a friend who’s been drinking.  I struggle with letting go (does any Mother not?), but I know how important it is to let go of my anxieties and let them climb that really high tree, learn to cross the road on their own and to have the freedom to be outside exploring rather than inside watching tv.

A little while ago we went on holiday with friends who feel the same way us, and it was really lovely to watch the kids spend hours making their own fishing rods out of sticks and flax, and head off alone to the estuary to ‘fish’ and explore and get completely covered in mud.  I think they came home from that holiday just a little bit more grown up.

Sidenote – I can get a little lazy with personal photography…picking up my iphone far more often than my DSLR!  But this holiday I let my passion for taking photos consume me and completely indulged my urges.  So thanks to our lovely friends putting up with me snapping away like a crazy lady…boy do I love it!

Enjoy x

 

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Vibrant!

Vibrant!

Vibrant is the word that comes to mind from this shoot – not just because of Jo’s gorgeous red dress, but their three amazing boys were so full of fun and energy.  I really enjoyed shooting this one, even though it’s taken me ages to get around to blogging it!!

enjoy x

 

 

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The Good life

The Good life

I’ve been forcing myself to pick up my proper camera lately when I want to document my own family.  It’s all too easy to grab my iphone and just chuck the photo up on Instagram.  So when we went on a family holiday to Waiheke recently (thanks Susan for letting us house-sit!!) I made myself take these photos, and I’m so glad I did.  We often talk about moving out of the city, maybe getting some chickens and having a decent vege garden!!  It really did feel like the good life.

Enjoy x

 

Waiheke - family photography

Waiheke - family photography

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Third children never get photographed

Third children never get photographed

Third children never get photographed…well let’s be honest, second children never really do either!!  First children are so well documented there is now an app called ‘Unbaby Me’ that removes your friends relentless baby pictures from Facebook for you 🙂

Anyway this is not something Walt will be indignant over when he grows up – we recently did a little mini session with just him and his Mum.  I’m quite passionate about Mums being in the picture…we need to stop waiting till we’ve lost a few kilos or aren’t looking as tired.  When your children look back on photos of you together they won’t think ‘wow Mum looks haggard’, they’ll remember your smile, your hugs, and how loved they were.

Enjoy x

Emma&Walt - family photography

Emma&Walt - family photography

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