Memory Keeping, Self Timers, and Why Your Grainy Photos Matter

This might not be what you would expect to hear from your photographer, but I’m going to say it anyway! Because you and your story matter SO much.

Today marks 9 months since my twins were born. This was my third pregnancy, and my third and fourth babies. Guess what.

I didn’t have a maternity session. The only bump photos I have were taken by my husband or yours truly. OK, maybe a couple by my then four year old.

This was the FIRST time I invested in professional newborn photos - my other kids I chose to take the pictures myself.

As I look back through the photos I took of myself pregnant, in the hospital with my new babies, and those early days with newborns, I find two things to be true:

  1. I am, of COURSE, so glad for every penny I did invest in having our memories captured by a photographer. Never once have I regretted it, and every one of those images is only more valuable to me today.

  2. I am SO glad for the pictures I took on my phone to remember those sacred days by - grainy, mirror selfies, messy hair and all.

  3. I do wish I had taken just one more photo of that big, bad, pregnant belly in all its majestic glory. I kept waiting for the right time to ask someone else to get a “nice” one of me on my “big girl” camera. I wish I had just made it happen, or just taken a few more myself.

So listen up, my wonderful friends. If you have not been able to invest in the photo session you have wanted to yet, let me tell you something: YOU ARE MY PEOPLE! You are valued by me because I understand what it is like to weigh all the expenses and consider what is a wise decision for your family. Far be it from me to pressure you into something that might make you feel discontented with where you are at in life right now.

While you are anticipating and excited for when you will be able to have that photo session capturing what really matters to you, let me encourage you not to WAIT around for it. Get that cell phone out and when, in your heart, you think you might be experiencing those moments you have waited your whole life for, just take that photo! A selfie of everyone squished in front of the tree, a self timer with your camera phone propped on the counter while you are covered in flour baking cookies - get the memories that matter! Ask someone to snap the photo for you. Don’t delete it if the lighting is funky or there’s a blurry toddler hand in the air (I might know from experience).

Photography, as an art, has evolved and changed so quickly in the last several years, that I think we have forgotten the best way photography can serve us. Photography is an INVESTMENT art and is for memory keeping. It always has been for documenting and remembering what is valuable to us. By documenting what we value most, we are able to pass that down to the next generation who might have otherwise not known much of those who began their legacy. The money and time invested in creating photos of your best moments of life will ALWAYS grow in value to you as you get farther away from the time you lived in those moments. Take a moment to remind yourself what matters most to you - the time you spend with people you love. It’s what you work so hard to enjoy in this life. So when you aren’t sure if it is worth the trouble to get a photo of that special date night your spouse planned for you, or the way your baby fell asleep on your chest, remind yourself of what matters with your memory keeping. Take the grainy photo on that trusty self timer! Chances are, a few month or years down the road, you will catch yourself with a big grin on your face as you scroll through those photos, with so much gratitude that you had the wisdom to capture it.