Get Inside the Frame


To celebrate A’s 18th month I planned a mini photo session with her and I. The last time I set up my camera to capture the two of us somewhat formally was when she was 3 months old which I wrote about here. I am recommitting to getting myself in front of the camera with my kids. Especially when I think about how much we have grown and changed in all ways over a relatively short period of time. Technically speaking its been something I’ve been avoiding, but I’m trying to practice what I preach about how important it is for mamas to get in the frame with their kids so here goes.

Also, that hand on my shoulder? Swoon.

It’s been interesting looking through these photos of us together...sometimes my inner critic fires off ("Oh, that is NOT a good angle. Ugh that double chin. I look tired, etc”). Or she goes after the formal aspects of these images not being technically sound (“I need to get the camera higher, try new angles, find more interesting compositions, etc"), but what I really see once I get past all of that, is that even with the missed focus here and there, what is left is this beautiful connection between my daughter and me. I see us playing and laughing together. I see her easy smile. I see happiness in both of us. Has parenting two children been easy? Heck no, this year has drained me emotionally more than I knew was possible. Does she scream and cry at times? That’s for sure. Is my sleep still compromised 1.5 years in?  Affirmative. A few of these photos do these photos show some glimpses of that struggle. But mostly they show me and her, together, 15 months after we first took photos together and we’ve come a LONG way. I am so thankful to have the one at 3 months even though I was feeling oh so serious, and this one at 18 months when I feel like I am beginning to feel a little more spaciousness for this experience. 

I love this exercise because it reminds me what it feels like to be photographed, and that it is vulnerable. And that even though its vulnerable, it matters and is well worth the effort. It also shows you how in a period of about 5 minutes a toddler can have all of the feelings. 

Ellen Shaw