Photographic Evidence That I’m Here Too

Over the weekend, the photography community lost a beautiful soul to ovarian cancer – Jen Burgess Thompson, mother to 2 young boys. I wish I could say I knew of this because I followed her journey, but I only learned of her after seeing many of my photographer friends sad Facebook updates and clicking through to read her blog.

Today, Clickin Moms is paying tribute to her on the CM Pro Daily Project blog by having CM Pros post pictures of themselves with their kids… something so few of us moms and mom-photographers have many of.

The importance of having pictures for our kids to look back on that include mom was addressed in a recent Huffington Post piece by Allison Tate: “The Mom Stays In The Picture”  Our kids deserve to have photographic evidence that we were in their lives, no matter if we have a double chin,or frizzy hair, or any other number of excuses we use to stay behind the lens.

I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. – Allison Tate

As soon as I saw the pictures from the  CM Pro Daily Project blog scrolling through my Facebook feed, I made a promise to myself to get a picture with the kids before the day was through. And I wouldn’t let myself turn it into a big fuss. I didn’t change out of my “lazy” clothes. I didn’t put the kids in matching outfits. I found a spot where I could rest my camera on the counter and use my wireless remote to snap away.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to keep Kendall still long enough, but I wound up with this one of Leyna and me, snuggling on the couch late this afternoon.

This is what we do every day. Ever since she gave up her 2nd nap months ago, she insists on just being still around 4 p.m. and cuddling with me on the couch.

This is real life. With me. Because I’m here too.

And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.


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  1. Tears. I dodge the camera (especially after having baby #2 a few weeks ago) because I’m not “camera ready”. and that’s just BS. I love the few pictures I have of my mom and me as a little girl. And I love that she’s not done up. I think real life is so much more beautiful than something contrived. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. You have me in tears Jill! This is so true. Tomorrow I will make my husband take random pictures of me with the kids! non-posed like

  3. i’ve seen all the pictures on CM these past couple of days. your shot is perfect. it is so important to be in the picture. for them. for later. for memories. great shot. 🙂

  4. Beautiful. You have me tearing up here, too. I truly don’t actively avoid the camera myself (most of the time), I just tend to be the one behind it. While my husband, thankfully, picks up the camera once in awhile, too, and captures me here and there, it doesn’t happen nearly often enough. I may have to play around with a timer (and perhaps a wireless remote, someday) here and there, too. You certainly managed a gorgeous shot that way. 🙂

  5. Beautiful, beautiful shot! And YES, I preach this often (in a non-preachy sorta way). Our kids won’t care if we were having a bad hair day, were wearing “only” yoga pants, etc. They’ll be grateful for those pictures one day.

  6. This is so powerful, and so true. I can count on one hand how many pictures I have of Marley and I over the last few months. This was a beautiful reminder to jump in that shot every once in a while.

  7. beautiful. i am trying to get myself more into pictures. i need to just let go & be there because I AM THERE. ALWAYS. i write because i want my kids to see what our everyday was/is when they’re older. i should be in more pictures so they know i was there. great post!

  8. Every once in awhile I have to provide a picture of myself for something. It is amazing sometimes how many years I have to go back to find something. So many pictures of B with Joe…but only handful of him and I together. I resort to MySpace style BlackBerry shots (usually inside a tight space like a play tent) to try and get at least something of the two of us.

  9. Okay, I admit it. I am really bad at this. Hell, I just feel lucky when I get a photo of them let alone me in it. We were just at the pumpkin patch and I swore I would get a photo with me in it but no go. I guess it’s good we get pro shots every once in awhile!

  10. Beautiful words and a beautiful picture. I just saw a picture that my husband took of Bryce and I asleep in the recliner a few weeks ago. I was a
    annoyed because I was looking dreadful in all my postpartum glory, but this makes me view it in a completely different light. In fact, I think I will head over to Instagram and share it.

  11. Jill! That’s such a beautiful picture! I NEED wireless remote ASAP! Also, I know that you’re such an advocate for including yourself in the picture because you’re the one that inspired me to get included with my boys. I think youv’e posted about this before and I thank you thank you for opening my eyes to this. We as women are so critical of ourselves we often overlook what others see in us–true mom beauty.

  12. This is so so awesome. I’ve been posting the importance of moms in the photos lately as well – and I need to start practicing what I preach! Love this image – she will seriously treasure it someday.

  13. Great post. The photo is beautiful, Jill. And so true. I read that Huffpost article and now clicking onto, I’m in tears. I’m always behind the camera and not in front of it. Such a great reminder that our kids don’t care about our baby weight, body hair, or body image issues. They only want to see pictures of themselves with their mommas. <3

  14. Pingback: 5 Tips For Taking Pictures Of Yourself

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