our Journal

The Invisible Mom | A year to put an end to that

Moms, you know what I am talking about. The invisible mom syndrome. We are often the caregivers, the nurturers, the ones behind the scenes, you know, driving kids to and from activities, school, play dates, day-time doctor appoints, and the like. We are often our family’s legacy keepers as well. The ones taking the pictures. As today is International Women’s Day, I am standing together with other women around the world to be seen, to lift each other up, encourage and be brave together! Check out the link at the bottom to others who blogged our journeys this year, too!

This past year, on Instagram, I was definitely held accountable with this project with the loop of fellow photographers using the #bothsideofthelens hashtag. This year, we are going on with this project using #bothsidesofthelens21 if you want to follow along, too. Plus, two other photographers blogged their year, so read all the way to the bottom to see their beautiful journey. <3

What does that mean for us though? Yep, we are invisible moms, as our kids look back on their family in photos. To stop that, I have definitely more actively made sure my story is part of our family story as well. That means handing over my camera. Setting up a phone with a self timer, it means teaching our kids about photography, too. They are pretty handy with manual settings now at age 12, on the cusp of 13.

Sure, I make sure to set up a yearly family photo, but what about the moments in between? Those long hours of making meals, helping with homework? The walks and bikerides? Those moments matter, too. So just over a year ago, I joined with fellow photographer friends from all over the globe on a mission to be seen. No more invisible mom. Here is a collection of the past year as seen through my lens and with me in the frame, too.

I can’t stress how important these memories will be to our kids. Selfishly, they matter to me just as much. I know the work I have put in raising these kids and I want them to see the beauty in the mundane. Not just the perfectly crafted moments of our family photo sessions. They are also a mix of digital and film photos. I loved how film allowed me to take a shot or two and put my camera away. it took away the need for “perfection” and creative over-doing it. The kids definitely appreciated less time being documented!

It was hard to pick favorites from each month and share these. Self portraits can seem a bit much, am I right? The creatives out there though, I think a lot of us have felt a lot of cooped up creativity this past year. So, here I am in all my self-loving glory sharing these. They are definitely a big part of my mental health process through Covid-19. No shame.

My photography tips for getting in the frame are to first just do it. Give the camera over and don’t ever be afraid to ask your partner to capture a few with their cell phone at the very least!

Below are a bunch of shots where my husband or the boys were the ones pressing the shutter. I had everything set and they just took the shot. I don’t regret a single shot. The top one of my bestie and me will forever be engrained as it was the last “normal” trip to Disney before Covid-19 took over. Currently, she is fighting breast cancer, this photo and the memory and moment is absolutely priceless.

  • forty year old best friends, two moms at disney
  • mom with older son, ner war photo
  • life in tennessee, chattanooga family photos
  • election 2020, extended family fun photos
  • mom with older twin sons, mother and son portrait
  • the invisible mom, getting moms in the pictur
  • film beach pictures, ft desoto beach

Secondly, sneak in subtle ways. A shadow, a mirror reflection are always ways I get in the shot. Especially when we are traveling. Lastly, use any surface as a good old fashioned tripod. Most cameras, dslr, mirrorless, even my old film camera, and certainly these smart cell phones all have a timer built in. Use it. Focus on your kids and set up the shot and just do it. You don’t need hair and make up, just you being there. Those moments are probaly my faves from this past year. I used pillows, couches, bookshelves, enterntainment centers, desks and pretty much any surface I could find to safely prop my camera. I often used my iPhone app as my remote.

  • mom in the shadow, creative self potrait
  • mom and sons, kids playing video games pictures
  • mom and sons on tv watching tv, self portraits
  • underwater photographer tampa, dji action photo in ocean
  • self portrait in home, in home storytelling photographer
This shot was a fave, set up on my ironing board in our guest room. So much fun and so true to what life is really like here.

However, by the end of the year, my intervolometer became my friend to just set the camera down and shoot anywhere from 20-60 frames and be done. This was a good way to get some self-portraits in the mix, too. I also finally invested in a new tripod, so I got a lot more options to set up and shoot, too.

self portrait with sons, the invisible mom
mom and sons decorate christmas cookies, the invisible mom
mother and sons among greenery, lifestyle pictures tampa
mom and sons in home pictures, black and white lifestyle pictures
slow shutter self portrait
double exposure self portrait,
Our family photos from fall 2020, with a tripod, and took all of 20 minutes. However, I am looking forward to giving all control over to another photographer this year!

A few recently favorites on film. Using a tripod and Raleigh, who has taken to shooting film and loves it almost as much as me.

  • woman in sunglasses on uban street, film photographer tampa
  • self portrait with twins, mom with twins in field
  • film self portrait, mom with older sons in field
  • film double exposure, self portrait on film

Lastly, if all else fails, get a selfie at least 🙂 This is one of those moments I wanted to freeze for always. Sitting under a powerful waterfall in Tennessee this past summer. The boys and I were brave enough to get out there and I was glad I had my tiny little DJI Action to freeze this time. They have already matured so much since this shot in July. I can’t wait to do this again soon! So moms, take my advice, take the photo. Get in the frame. Don’t be the invisible mom this year!

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