Today's conversation about how to get moms in the picture is sponsored by Animoto. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
I sat down at my computer to compose a recap of my 40 Before 40 bucket list progress. I wanted to make a slideshow of the pictures I have of me finishing certain tasks mixed with fun family photos from the last few years. I pulled up my photo library and I started digging.
And digging. And then digging some more. Digging realllll deep. Needle in a haystack deep.
It suddenly became a very Eye Opening Exercise to see just how
many few photos that *I* appear in within our albums.
Me. The same woman who writes to you time and time again about how important it is to be in the photos.
Me. The same woman who consciously hands over her camera to her husband.
Me. The woman who has learned to rock a selfie with her phone.
If there are this few photos of a woman who is consciously worrying about getting in the picture, how few are in the libraries of the average mom who doesn't consider it often??
I think the reason this is a challenge for many moms, including myself, is that time just flies by so darn quickly. We get so bogged down in the day to day challenges of keeping a family running that we don't realize exactly how long it's been since we've been in a picture. Then when big photo-worthy events happen, we're so busy trying to document everything else it's hard to remember to get in the picture, too.
So after 2 days of wading through the 40,000+ images in my photo library (I'm not kidding on that number!) I found about 40 photos I loved enough to pull into a birthday video for myself. I actually count myself really lucky to have those 40 because they are perfect to me and represent exactly the highlights of my girls' childhoods that I want to remember.
In the midst of turning 40 at the end of August, it never occurred to me to make my own Animoto video. Since discovering how easy it is to create memorable Animoto videos this summer, I've done videos for the kids and for Tim but never for myself. Now that I have my own little birthday video, I realize what a special gift it is and it doesn't matter that I had to do it on my own. I got to pick my favorite of the most flattering pictures and memories that mean the most to me. With just a few minutes of time I pulled the final project together. Check out just how simple it is here.
Despite the fact that my birthday was actually months ago, I had more time to work on the video right now. It was for me anyway, so what does it matter when I do it so long as it got done?? I can't wait to do a new one for Tim for his next birthday. What a fun addition to his party an Animoto video like this would be!
5 ways to use Animoto videos to celebrate a birthday:
- Make a milestone birthday party recap video to share with guests who came to celebrate
- Make a video for your long distance friend showing your times together
- Make a milestone video for baby's first birthday to share with grandparents
- Make a family video for a grandparent's milestone birthday
- Make a massive family birthday video highlighting everyone's celebrations from the year
While I was scrolling through all those images to find my gems, I thought of so many more photos I wish I had been a part of during those years. It's hard to think of those moments as "special" when you are going through it. With my 20/20 hindsight, I wanted to take the time to create a checklist for the rest of you! As you're surviving those young baby and toddler years, learn to recognize the everyday moments you'll want to remember later.
Print this list off and share it with your family. Many of these photos you can take yourself, but they can help keep a look-out for the ones you need a little help capturing. If they know how important it is to you, it will be easier for everyone to get in on the job of making sure you are in the photos.
Does the list need to be finished before you are 40? Is it worthless to you if you're already older than that? NO on both counts. I just know that without a deadline, I'd never accomplish anything. If you set yourself a mental marker of when to get these photos, you won't wake up at 53 and realize you don't have any of them.
And if the list feels daunting, know that even if you walked away with half of the images on the list you're probably doing twice as well as you would have otherwise at capturing your presence within the family.
Time is a flyin', friends. Get those cameras snapping!
100 photos every mom needs before her 40th birthday:
- You and your beloved, dressed up fancy
- You and your beloved, scrubby and real around the house
- You and your best friend
- Sideways shot of your gorgeous baby belly
- Holding your newborn in the hospital
- Asleep with a newborn in your arms
- Feeding your baby
- Bathing your baby
- Reading to your kids
- Outdoor adventure with your kids (zoo, hiking, park)
- On vacation
- At your place of work
- In the kitchen
- Behind the wheel of your car
- With your pet
- In your workout gear of choice (running, bike, etc.)
- With each of your kids individually
- With all your kids together
- Full family
- You and your parents
- You and your siblings
- Relaxing around the house on a weekend
- In your favorite seat
- You and your babies on their first day of school
- Dressed up for a Girls' Night Out
- Cheering for your favorite team
- Opening a special present
- In the hospital being brave, or not so brave
- Consoling your children
- Helping with homework
- Making something you love (crafting, baking, etc.)
- Hugging and kissing your kids
- Drinking your favorite beverage
- Hosting a party
- Riding an amusement park ride
- With the kids in costumes you made (or acquired!)
- At the Thanksgiving table you prepared
- With a mountain of wrapping paper and holiday prep stuff
- In jammies on Christmas morning
- Snuggled on the couch under blankets for a movie
- At a concert
- At your favorite spot in your city
- At lunch with friends
- Dancing at a wedding
- Playing with your kids
- Wearing a costume for Halloween
- Blowing out birthday candles on your ckae
- In your garden
- Dressed for date night
- Surrounded by or buried under mountains of laundry
- At your house of worship
- Getting your hands dirty
- With your fitness buddies (running partners, yoga class, etc.)
- Jumping for joy
- On the sporting sidelines at your kids' games
- Behind the scenes at your kids' dance recital
- With the team of volunteers you work with at school
- Eating a Muffins with Mom treat at preschool
- Close-up of your hand holding your child's
- Selfie of you driving your kids in the car (while parked!)
- Wearing your "mom uniform" on an average day
- Playing an instrument
- Making a silly face
- Trying something new
- Dancing in the living room with your kids
- All your kids kissing or hugging you at the same time
- The moment your kid is tall enough to reach your shoulder (or is taller than you!)
- Eating ice cream cones with the kids
- Getting ready to spray silly string on your kids on the last day of school
- Snuggling a sick kid
- Selfie of you home alone
- Picking apples at the orchard
- Carving pumpkins with the kids
- Drinking your morning coffee
- Baking with the kids
- Reading a book of your own
- Wearing a new dress "just because"
- Eating your favorite food
- Visiting someplace new
- Holding a shopping conquest
- On the front porch of every place you live
- Right after getting a haircut or style
- Tucking your kids into bed
- With the grocery haul before it's all been unpacked
- Having a picnic in the summer
- Wearing your favorite cozy weather gear (hat, coat, scarf, etc.)
- Throwing a snowball or building a snowman
- Completing a challenge
- With your playgroup friends
- A fabulous profile picture
- Holding your famous food dish
- Raising a glass to toast
- At your favorite restaurant
- Decorating for a celebration
- Playing a game with your competitive face on
- A selfie before you do something that scares you
- Another selfie after you did it
- Wearing a tiara (or other ridiculously fun accessory)
- A photo that makes you feel beautiful when you see it