for the love of selfies :: an encouragement for the moms of the world

si and mama bw It's no secret that I'm a lover of pictures.

Taking photos. Editing photos. Staring at, smiling at, swooning over them.

Photos of my hubby, and family, and dear friends are treasures, but my heart swells up three sizes looking through snaps of my sweet boy.

What a true gift to be able to capture fleeting moments and expressions, adventures and feelings in photographs and then have them as a record for keeps. For-ever!

That is so rad.

I award myself an A when it comes to photographing my little guy's childhood. I want it documented. All of it!

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But here comes the catch.

Usually the one behind the camera is me.

Maybe that's you, too?

And that can only mean that we are not always in the photos. Or rarely in the photos. Or never in them.

I have a big problem with this! Because we belong in the frame with our kiddos. (and with our husbands. and friends. and grandkids. and the list goes on and on.)

Our children's childhoods include......you and me! We must not, should not, cannot leave ourselves out of the photo books.

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When I look back at picture albums of when I was a little girl with crimped hair or a teenager with awkward outfits, some of the most special are the ones of my mom with me. Whether it's us hanging out on the couch together or a family shot from Christmas or her standing with me at one of my school events, I look at those photos and feel ALL THE LOVE.

In my eyes, my mom was (and still is) so beautiful. The most beautiful woman in the world.

And I wish there were even more snapshots of my mom and me. There just isn't such a thing as too many pictures.

Because she was there. Every single moment, she was there.

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So. Here's my encouragement to all of the moms of the world.

Get in the picture!! 

I promise you won't regret it! No mother in all the land has ever spoken the words "Oh nuts, I should not have taken that photo with my sweet kids. I wish I could go back and not take that photo."

But there certainly have been thousands of times when moms have thought "I wish I had gotten a picture with them at....."

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Over the past few years, I have gotten much better at hopping in the picture with my little guy. Here are a few thoughts and ideas ::

*For the love of selfies The selfie gets a bad rap (duck face anyone??), but throw that misconception right out the window! Selfies were MADE FOR MOMS. Some of the sweetest photos I have of me and my boy were taken on my phone by sticking out my arm and clicking a button. Quick, easy, perfection.

*Use your camera timer The timers on my "big" camera and my iphone (there's an app for that!) are like gold. If I really want a photo with my boy that's not a selfie and there's no one else around to take it, I definitely take advantage of those timers! I show my kiddo where to stand, get the timer going, and hop into the frame in time for the shutter snap. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get it "right", but it's always worth the time.

*Ask someone Your husband. Your friend. A random person walking by. One of your other children. Don't be shy! It's not one bit weird or awkward to ask someone to quickly take a picture of you with your sweeties. So next time you're at the beach or playing the backyard or cheering on your son's soccer team, please hand over that camera, girl!

*So long insecurity Please, please do not let how you look (or how you feel you look) get in the way of being photographed! In a lot of the photos in this post, I am without a stitch of makeup. My hair is wonky in many of them. I'm not super skinny and my skin isn't zit free. I'm in sweats or pajamas in some. And you know what?? I really don't even see those things. I can see past my imperfection and straight to the heart of it all. I see my darling boy. I remember the moments. I see the joy and the smiles and the fun. I SEE US.

*It's the little things Kodak moments are not reserved for special occasions or holidays. The every day things you do with your babes like brushing teeth, siting in the carpool lane, eating breakfast at the table, shopping at Target, laying in the grass, and reading before bedtime ALL deserve to be captured, too! Pull out the camera and click away.

*Help a girlfriend out Let's make a pact. We'll call it Moms Don't Let Moms Stay Out of the Picture. Or something. ;) When you are out and see a mama taking photos of her kids, offer to snap a few pics of her with her crew. She'll thank you! And she might even hug you. Once again, don't be shy!

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These days and years with your children at home with you go by so quickly. Like a blink of an eye. God chose you to be a mama. Their mama. So capture your motherhood, Loves. For your family. And for you.

 

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Giveaway // Fresh Frame Newborn Session

One of my most treasured baby shower gifts is a newborn session that my Aunt and cousin gave us. They knew first hand how quickly newborns grow and wanted me to capture those moments professionally on film. I'm so grateful for their gift! Having pictures of us as first time parents staring into this soul that God had entrusted to us are priceless. AdvertisementFFGive.jpg

I am so SO excited to share that Sarah Schlicht of Fresh Frame Photography, who also happens to be a Holy Hen House contributor, will be gifting one of you with a Newborn Session! Monetary value is $395 (includes the rights).

Signal happy hormonal pregnancy cry!!! If you are due to have a baby soon - enter the giveaway! If you are not having a baby - share the giveaway and still enter. If you happen to win you can gift it to a dear friend or family member. They will love it!

Here's more about fellow hen Sarah, our talented friend and Milwaukee photographer:

Sarahbio"Hi there! I'm Sarah. My loves in life are first my husband Matt: the kindest man I know, & second art of all kinds! Growing up a pastor's daughter in the Midwest has given me values I cherish: appreciation for beauty in truth & simplicity, tenacity & a big heart. Music, family, good cheese & good coffee are pretty important to my daily survival. :) Before Fresh Frame I was a teacher for some awesome 5th/6th graders. Children keep me fresh and keep me patient. Sometimes they keep me guessing, but Little Ones sessions always have a special place in my heart. I aspire to be many things: writer, cook, artist, mother, teacher, witness, traveler, friend... & am still surprised at the way photography lets me be a little of each. I know it's been said before, but they're only little once. Years from now you'll forget how exhausted you were and tear up reliving their grin, their toes, their first week at home. This feeling, this realizing how blessed we are in life is what I aim to capture for every client-- and what I love most about my job.

 

If you'd like to know more about me or how Fresh Frame might fit your needs, fill out a contact form or call me at 414.810.7174 . In-person consultations are a great way to get to know each other a little, before your shoot. We have a cute studio in Shorewood with a coffee maker (of course). All we need is you!"

 

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The pictures shared above are of my family after our second child was born. Click here to see other adorable newborn sessions taken by Sarah.  Winner will be announced Mother's Day - May 11!

What is the best advice someone gave you when you had your first, second, or third... (and so on) child? 

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Faithful Aaron

Exodus 17:8-13

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  

So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

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Aaron and Hur didn’t have the most glamorous job here. Holding up Moses’ arms? Aaron does some pretty cool stuff in scripture, but propping up his little brother's arms when they got tired was probably not on his list of proudest moments. There’s not a whole lot of glory in something like that.

 

That would be a worldly perception missing the point. We’re sometimes tempted to gauge how much glory we can gain in a certain endeavor when God just wants us to step out of the limelight and support and encourage someone else that He is choosing to work through.

 

It’s not our glory that is the end goal here- it’s Gods! We can’t all be Moses all the time. We are compared to a body on more than one occasion in scripture referencing our varied spiritual gifts. Not only does this metaphor explain our obvious, but still important, differences, but it also teaches us how we need one another in our differences, and should work together rather than independently.

 

I’ve struggled myself wishing I had some great talent that I could use to glorify God. I’ve compared myself to others wishing I had their ability to sing, speak, write, create, present, do... whatever it is. I want to be a story people tell, wowing and motivating them to live more like I do. I’ve seen God working through others and grown discouraged that I wasn’t doing something so significant. I’ve looked at the Moseses in my life and envied their gravity rather than thinking to hold up their arms to support them.

 

There are a lot of amazing Christians using their unique talents and gifts to glorify God, and if we can relish the role of faithful Aaron once in a while rather than resent it, we can get a lot more accomplished as the body that we are.

 

Let me give you a few examples of some Moseses I’ve met. Click images to learn more. 

Here are a couple of extremely talented musicians doing a great job of using their gifts to glorify God:

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There are a great deal of artists and photographers who are excelling at capturing the beauty of God’s creation and using that talent to glorify Him:

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Then there are more unique talents really innovating their way to God’s glory:

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*The Kings of Israel game is a bible based cooperative game currently being funded on Kickstarter. If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, you can essentially pre-pay for the game to help fund its production. It’s a great (and really fun!) way to learn (or teach!) old testament history! Click HERE to participate in the Kickstarter.

"Kings of Israel is a board game taking place in Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during the reign of its kings up until Israel's destruction by Assyria. Players are on a team and each person represents a line of prophets that are trying to remove evil and idols from Israel, while building altars to help guide Israel in the upcoming difficult years. If the players are able to build enough altars before the game ends, they win. If the group runs out of sin cubes or idols, or if the timeline token reaches Assyria destroying Israel, the prophets lose."

Click here to see more of an overview of the game! How creative!

There’s no shame in being faithful Aaron! In fact, there is glory- God’s glory! Don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re not doing big enough things for God. He loves you and put you where you are for a reason. Sometimes being a faithful Aaron is the best way to glorify Him!

Who do you know that is excelling at using their gifts to God’s glory?

Be a faithful Aaron and support and encourage the Moseses in your life!

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