Motherhood: The Power Of A Photo & The Importance Of Taking It
The Power Of A Photo
If you're a follower of my Instagram, you'll know how much I love a pretty photo. But, scroll down my feed, and you'll notice two little faces appearing ninety nine percent of the time. The other one percent being instaquotes. I'm a sucker for 'em, what can I say? But it's SUPER rare for me to actually appear in any photo's with my kids, and ever rarer for those pictures to have all three of us in them. And - I think - all but one are arm stretch selfies anyway. At some point in the future my children will rightfully wonder where their mother was their entire childhoods. Clue: who took all the photo's?
And I'm FAR from alone, as instamum Sophie Cachia reminded us all last year "Dear men, take the photo. Take the god damn photo." Because it's not the posed moments that we, as mothers, will want to remember years down the line. It's the everyday. The bedtime story snuggles when the kids are still small enough to snuggle two a piece on our lap. Or the hours spent playing dress up's on a rainy day. Or when the kitchen resembles a bomb site but a tray of misshapen cookies is proof of time together well spent. It's those everyday moments, completely insignificant if not for their significance in the memories of our children, that prove the power of photo's.
Meet The Photographer
So, with that in mind, you can imagine how delighted I was when Stacy Christian - an expat wife and family photographer based here in Singapore - got in touch. And being a Mum of four little ones, she totally gets it....
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little more about your expat life!
I grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. After marrying my husband, he joined the Navy, which took us to Hawaii for almost 6 years. It was there that I became the total beach snob that I am now. It is also there that I became a mother to four kids - a singleton and triplets. Hawaii felt like we were living in a different country - it was such a beautiful experience, and the perfect prep for expat life. We had plans of moving to Singapore well before we found out we were having triplets, and we decided we weren't going to let a few babies change those plans. We moved to Singapore when the triplets were 18 months old, and have loved our time here! Such a great place for kids - and bonus - you never have to waste half your days dressing them for cold weather!
What exactly is lifestyle photography?
Lifestyle photography is personal, honest, meaningful photography. There is no posing. There are no set props. It is simply documenting what your life looks like in your current season. It focuses more on the emotions / personalities / quirks of your family rather than trying to mask those exact things like more traditional photography. My goal with lifestyle photography is to document a family in their everyday, natural element(most often in their home), and show them that what they have already is beautiful and perfect. It is an opportunity to capture raw emotions that will keep you smiling for years to come.
I've never had mine or my kid's photo's taken professionally before, what should expect and how can I prepare?
If you've never had your family's photos taken, NOW IS THE TIME! Your kids are growing up fast, and before you know it, you will have a hard time remembering what on earth happened during these long, exhausting days. Lifestyle is most definitely the least intimidating style of photography (in my opinion), because most of the time, you are reading books or playing with your kids, and hugging on your spouse. So easy. The only preparations I would suggest is to make sure the kids are fed and rested, and you are wearing comfortable clothes that you can be moving around in easily. Husbands / Dads are usually the least excited about getting their pictures taken, but I PROMISE I make it easy for everyone.
What are your top tip's for making the most from a lifestyle photography session?
There are a few tips that can make a lifestyle session go smoothly. If it's in your home, I would suggest taking note of when and where the best light is. I love using natural light, so knowing those things helps when scheduling the shoot. Also, I won't say you need to deep clean your house(I told you it's HONEST photography), but I do recommend picking up any clutter that might be distracting. Maybe the most important tip of all would be to relax. I know it's intimidating to be in front of a camera, but the images will be so much better if it shows that everyone is relaxed and having a good time.
No one asked, I know. But I'm going to give it anyway.
- If you usually wear your hair up, don't decide to wear it down. You won't feel like you, you won't feel relaxed, and you'll have an album full of photo's of you pushing you hair off your face. NOT the plan.
- Similarly, if you don't tend to wear much make up day to day, don't suddenly crack out a Kardashian-esque contour. Just pep yourself up as you would any other morning, whatever that does or doesn't involve.
- Don't stay up drinking til 2am the night before. Just....take my word for it.
- Make sure the kids have a ready supply of drinks and snacks, although dealing with a grumpy kid is the reality of motherhood, it's not all that you want to remember.
- And, just as you want to feel relaxed, so do your kids. Don't stress about what they're wearing but make sure they're cool and comfortable. Same goes for you.
- If you're having a play shoot like we did, perhaps plan out which toys you can all sit down to play with for long enough to get some sweet photo's. We went with the fairly timeless reading books, wooden train set and Lego. Although techno wizkids also managed to sneak some tablet time in too.
- Accept the need for light, even if it means having the day curtains open and the neighbours in the opposite tower gawping in. The final images will thank you for it.
- If you (or the kids) are having an energy slump then whack on some music and have a dance (or dance fight, as we ended up having). Not only will you all end up smiling and laughing again, but the photo's capture the moment perfectly
- When you do get the final images through DO NOT stare at all your flaws. You're the only one who see's them.
- And above all else LOOK at the way your kids look at you and make physical contact with you at every opportunity, and their happiness to be near you and to see you smiling back at them. THIS is what your kids will remember of you. Look at you for a moment through their eyes.
Please note that we enjoyed a Full Portrait Session at home as a collaboration with Stacy Christian Photographer. The content of this blog post is not influenced by that, other than the use of the final images gifted to us by Stacy as part of the package.