When I moved to my new apartment last July I bought 4 large picture frames so I could have photos of my four children and their families where I could see them from my big, comfy chair.
Before Trey, the baby of our family, moved to Seattle he let me take photos of him in a park near our home. I just have a point and shoot camera and I am not a good photographer by any means but I love the photos I took. I had one enlarged to an 8" x 10" size for my matted frame.
I told my other three children that I needed photos for my wall. I offered to take the photos, I offered to pay for them to go to an inexpensive portrait place here in town, I said a snapshot taken by someone else would be just fine too. Last July I reminded them that Christmas was coming in only 6 months and what a perfect gift that would be. It has been a year now and I think I shall have to do what another mother I know did ... draw stick figures and put in the frames.
Daughter #2 wants to lose weight before she has her photo made. Since I see her every day I keep telling her just let me take a photo, like I did of Trey. No, her hair is not perfect, she doesn't have make-up on, and she hasn't lost that weight yet.
Daughter # 1 and her two sons had their photo taken at that portrait place but didn't like the results. Her photos are stuck in a drawer somewhere. I never got one, perfect photo or not.
Brent, child # 3 of mine, and his precious family even won a photo shoot with a real photographer. Why no, they haven't had a family portrait made as of yet. First they wanted to wait until the second child was born, then they wanted to wait until he wasn't a newborn baby. The new baby will be 2 in October. It was my daughter-in-law's mother who drew the stick figures for her frames.
All this thinking about photos came about because a family I know had world war 3 over some photos that were taken by another family member and then shared with relatives (me and a niece) that could not attend the party. The photos were of a child's birthday party that took place at a lake. The mother of the birthday girl had on a swimsuit because swimming in the lake was part of the activities. The war was over photos that included the mom in her swimsuit and she felt they were unattractive, or something. You know what? They were photos of a beautiful momma hosting a really fun party for her little girl. Photos that little girl will treasure when she is older. Since I live in another state and seldom get to see this family I love it when I have a chance to see pictures. The relative who meant no harm sharing the photos, as well as me, are sorry it caused a big fuss. (but honey, everyone at the party saw you in the swimsuit... why be upset that there is a photo? You know I think you are beautiful) Permission to choose the ones being shared should have been obtained, and those she didn't like deleted but that is another story.
I told that swimsuit wearing momma that when my children were growing up I was the one who always took the photos so there are almost none of me. Looking at those photos now you would think they didn't have a mother. I wish that I had a million photos of us doing ordinary things, having fun, being silly, but with Mom included. Looking just like I looked, in whatever I had on at the time.
I have decided I am going to write a little book for my grandkids. Letters from Grandma, or Grandma's Little Instruction Book (do you remember H. Jackson Brown's Life's Little Instruction Book? I bought each of my children one when they were teenagers). No, I can't use his title ... help me come up with a title please, folks.
The first entry is going to be TAKE PHOTOS. Don't worry about make-up or weight or the clothes you have on. Save those memories. Write about who is in the photo and what they are doing. And realize the candid shots of you without make-up, or in a swimsuit having fun with your family will be the most precious ones.