Today I want to share with you three very specific steps that you can take to start using photography to help you achieve many of the things you want as a parent.
Let’s take the core parental desire from the poll as an example.
You want to know that your kids are self-confident and happy
I believe that all children possess within them a quality of innate self-confidence and happiness.
This is not to minimize the very real struggles that kids have, some more than others.
But I believe it is there in all of us.
And unfortunately society seems to be designed to chip away at it, and again, some more than others (this is particularly true of any minority - which if you think about it and take into account race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, religion etc, is actually the majority of us).
How then can we protect our children against that erosion?
We can't protect them against it entirely. But what we can do is can look for and nurture that innate self-confidence and happiness, and one of the ways we can do that is through how we photograph them.
What? you might say. That sounds crazy!
But here's what I really want you to know.
When you take photos that capture your kids as they are, and explore all aspects of their personality, you will be able to use photography to see, accept, trust and know that they are self-confident and happy.
I think you already know that they are.
But it’s a constant work in progress, a constant checking in with yourself that doesn’t end - are they ok? Have we screwed them up yet? How about now?
The beautiful thing is that your photos will SHOW you. And in looking for and focusing on those moments that capture their innate self-confidence and happiness, you will see it more, and the more you see it, the more it will happen.
And the amazing thing is that as you start to show your kids these photos, they will see it too.
And their self-confidence and happiness will increase as a result, as will yours.
This doesn’t mean that this is all that you have to do. Of course there are all the other things that we do as parents such as talk to our kids, spend time with them, connect, listen, be part of their lives, help them make healthy social connections and become more independent etc. etc. etc.
But photographing your kids in this way is another tool that you can use to leverage everything else that you are doing.
How do you do this?
3 steps you can take to start using photography to achieve what you want as a parent
I talked yesterday about how the very first shift in perspective when photographing your kids is to focus on how it feels, not how it looks.
With this in mind, here are three steps that you can take to start using photography to help you know that your kids are self-confident and happy, and to achieve many of the other things you want as a parent.
1. Capture natural emotions and interactions
The very first thing I tell parents is, don’t ask your kids to smile and say cheese! To really see and capture your kids as they are, capture natural emotions and interactions that more accurately reflect the precious moments that you see before you and want to remember… and that are ruined when you take out your camera and ask your kids to pose!
It seems obvious once you hear it, but most parents don’t do this.
When you focus on how it feels, not how it looks and capture natural emotions and interactions, your concept of the moments worth capturing expands.
And when that happens, those moments of innate self-confidence and happiness have the opportunity to reveal themselves.
2. Get your child engrossed in something that they love
Having a hard time getting your kids NOT to pose? Don’t worry, this is very normal and it may take your kids some time to adjust to your new approach to photographing them.
Instead, when your child is engrossed in something that they love, they won’t even notice that you are taking photos.
You’ll have the opportunity to discover those moments of self-confidence and happiness, and when they look at your photos days, months or years later, they will too - they will feel seen for who they are and what they love doing, and not only for “appearances” and smiling for the camera.
3. Capture a full range of emotions
To take this a step further, don’t just capture posed moments, and don’t just capture happy ones. When you capture the full range of your child’s emotions, photographing your child becomes a deeper, richer and more rewarding experience.
You are acknowledging, accepting and embracing all aspects of your child’s personality and life, as well as your own.
In seeing, validating and celebrating all emotions, you are seeing, validating and celebrating your entire child. Being happy doesn’t mean being happy every second of every day, after all. Self-confidence is knowing that you can feel all your emotions and be ok.
Taking it further
What kind of life do you want to create for you and your family?
As a mom of two boys, now 7 and 4, I've been a stay-at-home mom, work-out-of-the-home mom, and a work-at-home mom. I understand the stress and anxiety of modern day parenting, balancing family and career (yours and/or your partner's). I also know that the joy and rewards can be great.
I am committed to helping parents use photography to leverage the time that they have with their kids to create the life that they want.
Whether you want to connect with your kids, be more present, find more joy day-to-day or know that your kids are self-confident and happy, I can help you create a vision for what you want as a parent and show you how to use photography as a tool for creating it.
The Photosanity Intensive: Using your DSLR to Create the Life You Want
To learn more about my private 1:1 coaching program designed to give you maximum results with the minimum investment of your time, sign up for a complimentary discovery session where I will help you with your biggest photo frustration as well as chat with you to see if the program is a good fit for you.