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The Importance of Photos With Your Children

When I was growing up, my Mother loved taking photos. She would take her camera with her; it seemed everywhere, pictures of my brother’s baseball games, field trips, or church play. She wanted to document our lives in a real way. I don’t remember her telling up to pose very often. Once in a while, she would yell,

“Smile!!”

As you go through our scrapbooks, you get to watch us grow up before your eyes in a real and well-documented way. I love those photos so much, and checking out her scrapbooks when I visit is always a pleasure. She gets behind on her books and then will make a big push to finish one and want to show it off to everyone. I think she is currently working on 2015. I’m not sure what was going on that year. I had already moved out and been married a few years by then. But I had younger siblings still at home, and they were doing trips and normal life. So I cant wait to see it finished!


Now that I am a photographer, I am even more grateful that my Mother made documenting our childhood such a priority. But there is, unfortunately, something missing in quite a few of those pages. And it’s her! When you are the one who documents your life, you are not in the photos. She would occasionally hand off her camera to my dad or a friend. But there are not very many images with my Mother in them, and that makes me truly sad. So ladies….. I am here today to encourage you to hand off the camera, set it on a timer, or hire someone occasionally to get some photos of you with your children! It is not something that you will regret.

I understand, I really do!

You are typically the one taking the photos of your children and family. Directing the kids to sit on the cute rock by the lake, smile for the camera at the adorable icecream shop you stopped at or capturing them on the first day of school. You know the photo that needs to be taken or are in a hurry to get on your way. But you can take a picture of your kids on their first day of school. And then hand off that camera or cell phone and get a photo with them! Looking back, you will see things like Wow, Andrew was only to my shoulders last year, and now he is taller than me! Or can you believe I thought that those matching family teeshirts were so cool on vacation!?!

Once in a while, you need to be on the other side of the camera and let someone else be the photographer! Even if you weren’t planning on being in photos that day, just do it. When you look back on your children’s photos, you won’t see the fact that your hair wasn’t done or that you are wearing an ugly shirt. You will see how they used to fit on your lap. How they would let you hold their hands, or they would squishy kiss your face.

When your children look back at photos, you are going to want them to remember the amazing memories you had together, or be embarrassed by their goofy clothes or bad home hair cuts. Not thinking, was mom ever in any photos? You should be able to look back and see the tired eyes of you as a young mom; The bug bite covered family on a camping trip, the sunburns from days spent at the pool. Don’t regret not being in those timeless memories!

So today, I challenge you!

Take one photo with your kids! It could simply be you, and them all piled onto the couch together. And then the next challenge is, Find a photographer and book a shoot! It doesn’t have to be conventional or stiff. Go to a lovely park and play, a library and read to them, have the photographer come to your home and capture you jumping on the trampoline or swimming in the pool. You will cherish those photos more and more as the years go by. Trust me…. You won’t regret it!

-Lauren Petersen of Laurel Tree Photography

You can find Laurel Tree Photography Here!

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