Before we ever met, you warned me that you weren’t “photogenic.” That you never like how you look in photos. But I’m here to show you what beauty is.
It’s not about the last time you touched up your roots, or how tired you look. It’s about taking a moment to play with your kids and create memories for them to enjoy many years into the future.
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” -Roald Dahl
All the makeup and hair and diets in the world cannot create beauty. Beauty comes from your heart. Beauty arrives in the way your eyes crinkle up when you smile. It cannot be hidden by cellulite. It’s not seen; it’s felt in the happiness that surrounds you like sunshine. When you stop thinking about how you’re “not enough,” your true inner beauty sneaks out from its little hiding place and offers the world its grace and love.
Sometimes the most “photogenic” moms I’ve photographed were never even planning to be in the photos with their kids, but I convinced them to jump in a couple of shots. And even without makeup or perfectly coordinated clothing, I adored those mama photos. Because I saw a future in which their children would be able to see the authentic, joyful person who brought them into this world and loved them with her whole heart.
Your kids do not care about the few extra pounds around your midsection. Who doesn’t have a few extra pounds there, really?! What they’ll remember is the soft, strong arms that wrapped them up and held them tight.
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” – Chinese Proverb
What do you remember about the photos of your own mom? I’m willing to bet that even if her hair was frizzy or she had a double chin, you didn’t notice any of that. What you noticed was how much you cherish that memory of her.
So when it’s time for family photos, give yourself permission to set aside the weight of your personal expectations of beauty. Your photo session is simply a time to play with your kids and snuggle them tight, so that your kids will be able to see your love for them 20 years down the road.
And if you need a little pep talk to gather up the courage to get in front of the camera, I’m your girl. 😉