The Best Gift for Moms is the Gift of Pictures

Becoming a mother often means becoming an expert at documenting the life of your child. We begin with the baby book and never look back. No matter what capacity you document your kids and family life (there are a million right ways to do it and no wrong ones) the gist of the story often consists of pointing the camera outward while shooting and speaking as the narrator, not as one of the main characters. But beyond the star, or stars of the show—your children of course—you are one of the main characters. In fact, all the mothers I know should be getting their acceptance speeches ready for their best supporting actress roles, because they are all award worthy.

Including yourself as a main part of the production of your family isn’t something that comes natural. It’s much easier to focus on everyone else, never ourselves. It’s almost always how moms do it. And besides, if we don’t document the life of our children, who will? It’s a great argument but the reality is, you can document it AND be included in the documentation. Being a photographer, I will be the last one to tell you to put your camera down. But, I will be the first one to urge you to learn how to turn it around sometimes. The best gift for moms, and their children, is the gift of pictures! Right? Right. I’m pretty passionate about the subject as you can tell from my interview on KSL’s Studio 5.

When it comes to making an effort to include ourselves in the pictures we take of our family, we have a responsibility. I promise that it’s not about guilt. It’s about recognizing yourself as an important, worthy and valuable part of your family; which, you most definitely are. It’s about looking at the big picture and the smaller ones. It’s about revealing the real moments. It’s about love, commitment and proof that you’re in it with your kids, all day every day. It’s about giving yourself and your children the gift of memories captured in a tangible way. It’s about creating and eventually leaving behind the legacy of your family for your children and their children and theirs too. It’s all of these reasons and more that will hopefully get you to start including yourself in your life’s documentary; with your children most certainly and even without sometimes.

Need some creative ways to include yourself? I’ve got a handful to help you get started on your new project! Project Tell YOUR Story!

  • Be Expressive 1 of 15
    Be Expressive
    Express yourself and your family's personality with the pictures you take. You don't even have to capture a facial expression to do it. Shadows are one of the easiest ways to include yourself in the frame and they allow you strike all kinds of expressive poses.
  • Be Silly 2 of 15
    Be Silly
    Don't take yourself too seriously. The more fun you have getting into your pictures, the more fun your family will have.
  • Be Grateful 3 of 15
    Be Grateful
    Some moments in motherhood are those kind of moments; the ones that make you feel extremely grateful for your life. This was one of those moments. While napping with my youngest daughter, I asked my oldest daughter to take a picture of us. I cherish this one so much.
  • Be Spontaneous 4 of 15
    Be Spontaneous
    It's not that easy to turn the camera towards yourself. But, if you just start doing it, it gets easier. This photo was taken one evening when I literally took an extra hour just to run around the beach and take pictures. Thanks to my self-timer, I could just set my camera down on my bag and get shots like this of our spontaneous evening together.
  • Be Quick 5 of 15
    Be Quick
    When a special moment is happening, you know it (even in the most mundane places). At this moment my daughter, in her clogs, realized she was taller than me! I took out my phone in the line at the grocery store and captured this picture of that milestone as it happened.
  • Be Clever 6 of 15
    Be Clever
    Sometimes us moms find ourselves in the strangest of places. Wherever it is you spend a lot of your time, your challenge is to capture yourself there. It's part of your story after all. This shot is totally me, even without me, in my car, waiting for my teenager. It sums up this stage in my motherhood perfectly.
  • Be Close 7 of 15
    Be Close
    Don't be afraid of turning your camera around, even if that means you're getting yourself up close and personal. These kinds of shots are intimate, real and fun.
  • Be Creative 8 of 15
    Be Creative
    There are all kinds of creative ways to capture yourself and/or your family. Look for symbols and signs, color and texture to help you tell a story of you.
  • Be Present 9 of 15
    Be Present
    For many moms each day is filled with routine. The everyday rituals are when we can be the most present, if we are mindful. Take some time to document that routine; it is what you're doing most days which makes it worthy of a picture.
  • Be an Opportunist 10 of 15
    Be an Opportunist
    Begin to look at opportunities around you to use for your pictures. I am always on the hunt for good reflections. Mirrors, windows, etc. There are great family pictures to be had in all kinds of unexpected places.
  • Be Committed 11 of 15
    Be Committed
    Getting into your pictures isn't always easy and doesn't always feel convenient but if you commit, you can create a collection of photographs that will be invaluable. It took 5 extra minutes on Thanksgiving Day one year to grab a tripod turn my self-timer on and got this family picture.
  • Be Real 12 of 15
    Be Real
    We all have good days and bad days. We've got clutter and dirty dishes. Our lives are real. Don't be afraid to show the real you in your pictures. The truth is photo worthy.
  • Be Original 13 of 15
    Be Original
    All kinds of stories are waiting to be told. Your family is unique! Have fun with the kinds of shots you that take of yourself and your children.
  • Be True 14 of 15
    Be True
    You're taking pictures of your family, of you, to tell your story. Have fun, enjoy the process and be true…to you and your family.
  • Be You 15 of 15
    Be You
    There's only one awesome, amazing YOU. Every picture you take of you, your children will love and cherish (if not now, when they're older). Be YOU.

Now, get out there and tell your story…it’ll be the best Mother’s Day gift you’ll ever get.


For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at

For the story about how she and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.

Follow Tracey on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Want to have a better day? Check out 10 ways to do just that! 


Article Posted 3 years Ago
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