One thing that has grown as I’ve grown as a Mama is my love for photography and capturing my little ones’ every day moments. We’ve always been a family that have captured memories on film. My Mam’s loft is full of dog eared boxes filled with photos of years gone by. I think maybe half of my memories actually stem from sitting pouring over these pictures rather than memories from the actual moment but I’m always so glad we have them to cherish. I also have hard drive upon hard drive filled with thousands of images I’ve captured over the last four and half years, but there’s something distinctly lacking in these photos – me!
Looking back through out old family albums and seeing my Granny, much younger than me, sporting the most amazing jet black hair and brows to rival the 2017 insta-brow, raising my auntie and uncle and then in her early 30’s raising my mam and her twin brother. I examine her features – how did she cope? Was she exhausted? The world was such a different place back then and to have the tiniest insight into her daily life is just so amazing. You reach a point in life when you realise that your parents and grandparent’s were once young people, not just your care-givers. These photographs are a way of connecting with these real life people and realising just exactly who they might have been, even though you may not have been present to witness it first hand.
I read something online recently that really got me thinking. How many photos do I actually have with my babies? I’m always snapping away on the other side of the lens. I quickly imagined Nora and Woody trying to show their babies photographs of their Granny and sifting through hundreds of photos only to find the odd one of me. And although I’m always present for every special occasion, outing and every day ordinary moment there is no real record of me being there. Will they wonder where I was all of those times? I’m forever worrying about looking a whole lot less-than-perfect or about how many extra pounds the camera is going to add, so behind the camera is a perfect hiding spot for me. But I must remember, when my babies are grown up they’re not going to point out my double chin or complain about the fact my make up isn’t totally on point. They’ll see their Mama and look at me in fascination the way I look at old photos of my Mam and her Mam before that.
So Mama’s – forget your unfounded self consciousness. Hand over the camera to your other half and get yourself in the frame. It doesn’t at all matter if you’re not camera ready, just be present. For these pictures are the legacy we leave behind for generations to come.
These beautiful images were captured by the lovely Nikki Paxton Photography. I really was so nervous to be included in this photoshoot. My usual snaps of me are vetted and edited a million times over to make sure that they’re internet-worthy, but I just adore these. Any Mama’s out there looking for relaxed, natural photos with their babies, Nikki is your gal!