I don’t have many pictures of myself with my kids. Which seems ironic, given that I’m married to a professional photographer… The geekdaddy takes lovely pictures of the kids, and I take loads of snapshots of them with my iPhone, but we don’t have many pictures of us with them. In fact we do not possess a single photo of all four of us as a family. Something I really want to rectify as soon as possible.
One of my Facebook friends recently shared a link to a Flickr photo group called Aleida’s Challenge, and reading the description of the group really made me think about my attitude to photography. The owner of the group recounts a conversation she had had with a scrapbooker named Aleida, who explained that she made it her goal to post a picture of herself with her children once a month. She pointed out that as women we often come up with a number of excuses not to be in the photographs (I haven’t got my make up on, I haven’t done my hair, I haven’t got dressed yet etc.), but then asks if we ever look back at pictures of ourselves with our mothers and see anyone other than a beautiful, amazing woman? Of course we don’t. Our kids don’t care what we looked like, but they will look back very fondly of the photos of us together as they were growing up.
The story is all the more poignant when you learn that Aleida died suddenly and unexpectedly a few years ago. Now those pictures of her with her children will be even more precious to her family.
And so the creator of the Aleida’s Challenge group issues all mothers a very simple challenge. Take a picture of yourself with your kids once a month. If you want to you can share them with the Flickr group, or just keep them safe somewhere to look back on in the years to come.
I am guilty of hiding from the camera. I have a million excuses not to be photographed. But Aleida’s challenge struck a chord with me and so from now on I will be trying to be in more photos with my family. Starting right now.
This is a photo I would not normally publish. I’m wearing my glasses, my hair is all over the place, and the geekdaughter hasn’t got dressed yet! But today I made myself look past all that, and you know what I see? Three happy smiling faces. That’s the kind of picture I want to leave for my kids.
What about you? Do you take pictures of yourself with your kids regularly? Has this blog post made you think about doing it a bit more? Will you rise to Aleida’s challenge?