As moms, we take a million photos of our children. First–day–of–school photos, monthly growth photos of our babies, all the major (and not so major) milestones in their little lives, and basically every moment in between. We post them on Instagram or Facebook with little captions and are amazed to see how much our babies have grown each time we flip back through them. 

Cal’s personality is growing every day and each time he debuts a new trick, he gets a standing ovation. When Aubryn gets a little bit closer to pronouncing a word correctly, we give her a big cheer. We celebrate those little moments of growth and their efforts to be and do better. 

And yet at some point, we stop. When we reach adults and parents, the standing ovations become few and far between, especially for ourselves. Why not take a photo on the day you become the mother of a preschooler, or when you accomplish something that was once hard for you, like going on a tough hike or even just baking a pie. 

Those milestones might be a little less universal, noticeable, and frequent now that we’ve reached adulthood, but we are far from done growing (especially now that we’re parents!) and that growth should be celebrated and documented. 

Heck, I even snap pictures of my kids when they’re especially happy. I want to remember that moment and I want them to know that I thought it was important, that I thought it was special. Those are the moments in our lives that we want to have forever. Why not include yourself in them, too?

As I went through my camera roll, realizing how few photos I’m actually in, especially with my children, I’ve decided to do better. And I’m not talking about duck faced “selfies” or stylized (fake) moments that we see everywhere. Because I think we can all admit that the snippets of life that we see on Instagram and Pinterest doesn’t always reflect real life. 

This, my friends, is so much bigger than that, so much more important. You’re not just posing for a camera, you’re helping your children see you. Helping them remember their mother and the memories they shared with you. 

Here are five tips to help you help you get in those photos more, plus some awesome mommas who are doing it right. 

@sarahjlarsen

1. Hand the camera over to your toddler. Aubryn might be better at using my phone than I am. Trust me, these little kids can handle it. The framing might be a little wonky, but it will be fine. 

@sollybabywrap

2. Shoot from your own perspective. Looking down while you’re holding your baby, or while they play at your feet, for example. You might not totally be in the picture but it’s an easy way to capture the simple scenes you see every day. 

@chrissyjpowers

3. Ask someone else to snap a photo for you. Other moms at playgroup or preschool will jump at the chance to help out, they know exactly what it’s like! You can also ask a (nice looking!) stranger to take one for you. It might be a little weird at first and definitely shouldn’t be your first option, but you’ll be surprised at how nice and willing people are to help you out, especially other parents! 

@mikobowen

4. Invest in a remote! Use it to take a photos as you’re eating breakfast together or during your nightly tickle fight. A remote allows you to document your normal routine, stay in the picture and skip the “posed” feel. 

@sarahjlarsen

5. When all else fails, snap it yourself.  Reach your arm out, flip the camera around on your iPhone, or even just take it in a mirror. Your babies will smile big because they get to stare at themselves and it’s super easy. It might not be a photo you want framed in your house, but it’s an easy way to quickly document you and your littles. 

Bonus Tip: Have you heard of interval timers? Set up the tripod, adjust the settings, then let the camera do it’s thing while you play, read, eat dinner, whatever. (Your camera might not have this option, but you can purchase external intervalometers for most DSLR cameras!)

Are you a pro at getting in the picture or are you always behind the camera? Any tips for recording real moments with your children?

(top image via @sollybabywrap)

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