Childhood: A Story Worth Telling by Rebecca McGregor

In the early months of 2013, words began to spill from my mind, telling tales of my mothering journey and in turn, the story of the childhood of my two little loves. Moments happen and memories pass, all too quickly. There is so much magic in the everyday, fodder which brings light and appreciation to the extraordinary in the ordinary. Documenting our days, and these short years serves as a gift for us both.  

Adding images was a logical next step. What is a childhood story without pictures? Capturing an expression, an emotion, a gesture. Despite its stillness, there is much to be seen, reflected upon and treasured. A new dimension to add to the collection that will tell the story of what was, is and what will be.

While a love of words runs deep within my veins, a photographer I am not. Far from it, actually. Embracing the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing, but knowing why I was doing it was enough to see me set myself a photography challenge. Or two. A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, as a part of ‘The 52 Project’, inspired by Jodi from Practising Simplicity, in conjunction with a single image documenting the growing bond of siblinghoodwould be my commitment. Three images. Fifty two weeks. And at the end of it all? One hundred and fifty six images to depict 2014.

At the half way point, I can see that if photography has a ‘style’, mine has changed. Through practise and patience I have slowly ventured away from automatic and thrown myself into the deep end with manual mode. There have been times where I have felt frustrated at my inability. Pressured that the moment has passed and I was too busy fumbling with settings and positioning and perfection. But little people move quickly, and when you’re learning it’s hard to be technical and spontaneous. Especially when poring through galleries of professional artists, full of creative genius and awe inspiring talent. It’s tempting to want to recreate their shots and unleash the magic that is hidden in manual.

But that’s just the thing. Childhood is messy. And motherhood is a muddle. Capturing that. The reality of it all. That imperfect perfection. It just can’t be staged. Balancing motherhood in one hand, and a camera in the other, I’m taking each day and each photo as they come.

 

Rebecca lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is a story teller, recovering perfectionist and kid wrangler to one terrifically illogical toddler and one delightfully edible newbie.  What once was a life filled with marking essays and debating current events is now one of scrubbing coloured markings off walls and debating the existence of fairies in rose gardens. And she’s journaling her adventures along the way. Mumma Tells is a collection of her truthful and {hopefully} relatable tales from the Mumma Front Line.

You can follow Rebecca on her blog,  on Facebook, and Twitter.

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Digital Parents Blog Carnival — June 2014 | Melbourne MumMelbourne Mum - […] Childhood: A Story Worth Telling by Janet from Mum the […]

Kaz @ Melting Moments - Perfect imperfection… I love that. Gorgeous moments you’ve captured.

Golden light

Of course you will have heard us (and everyone else!) say that the late afternoon light is beautiful for taking photos in and I used to do it all the time. But I can’t remember the last time I took my own advice and just got out with the camera for no reason whatsoever and just took some photos capitalising on this magical light. But this weekend as I was walking out the door to head to the park I decided to take my camera along with me … and I feel a bit hooked again. Seeing these photos makes me want to take more …

Why don’t you set some time aside in the next week or so to just let your kids do whatever they do outside and snap some photos in the late afternoon. Don’t pose them, or even dress them up for the occasion. Just let them be themselves. I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it!

Janet

PS. If you’d like to read more about using light in your photos, click on the Free Module square up the top of the blog.

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Our family has expanded!

The Mum the Photographer family expanded about 6 weeks ago.  I feel slightly guilty that it has taken me that full 6 weeks to share my newest beautiful boy with you all, but to be honest I have also enjoyed being firmly tucked away in my baby bubble.

This gorgeous guy (I am, of course, very biased!) is Thomas.   I love this photo of him because it reflects him perfectly.  He is serious, dark and handsome.  He looks great dressed in black and white.  And black and white photos suit him too (not least because of his reddish baby complexion! But more on that in a future post).  I also love this photo because he’s wearing a little suit that my lovely mum gave to him.  He’s grown out of it already (!!) but he wore it all the time in those first few weeks.

I have many other photos I could share, but for now I’ll simply include this shot of all my lovely kids which I took on Mother’s Day this year.  Thomas was just 5 days old and they were as proud as punch to have their photo taken with him.  I must remember to snap another photo of them all together – the weeks are speeding by so quickly.

A big thank you to everyone who has sent me their well wishes!  I am planning on exiting my baby bubble at some stage shortly and cannot wait to reconnect properly with you all.  I also want to say a massive thank you to Janet who has been keeping on top of things at Mum the Photographer.  What a delight it has been to pour myself fully into my family during this special time.  It’s only been possible through Janet taking the load and for that I am so grateful.  Thank you!

Liana xx

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Posing more than two?

We love getting your questions … can I be honest and say it allows me not to have to think of something to pop up on the blog! Last week we were asked for some ideas on posing four siblings together. And to be honest, I’m going to say as a Mum the Photographer that can be quite difficult. Often our own children can be so much more uncooperative for us. I guess its kid-logic to punish the person that makes their breakfast, drives them to friends houses and makes sure their favourite outfit is washed and ready. I wonder at what age this logic flips?!

The best advice I can give you for older children is to get them onboard with the idea. Don’t just spring it on them and let them in on the plan. I also don’t rope them into posed photos very often so that when I do want one they aren’t too over-it. With younger children … think about what is going to suit your children the best. If there is a way to “anchor” them to one place then it can make it a bit easier. And as always, get yourself ready before calling the kids in so that you can take the photos as quickly as possible. Keeping it fun with silly conversations can relax them up a little.

I’ve put together a siblings board on Pinterest with some nice ideas that might suit your family. It will hopefully give you a few ideas to try. I think that when you want to take a posed photo of more than two children, it is best to put some thought into it before you launch in.

And of course, if it doesn’t work, consider storyboarding individual photos of the kids together. Keeping the same background will have them tied together nicely; check out Liana’s great example of this.

Good luck!

Janet x

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