Don’t Live Behind the Lens: Taking Photos and Making Memories with Your Family

As a mom of four kids, sometimes I struggle with the battle between wanting to capture the moments of our lives and living the moments of our lives. I love photography and I love having photos of our celebrations, day to day life, and big milestones. However, sometimes I feel like I am so busy capturing these moments that I am missing being a part of them. Making memories is just as important as capturing these moments. How do we do both?


Recently, my family moved to the midwest from California. Shortly after our arrival, we experienced our first snowstorm. My kids have never seen falling snow before. Honestly, I hadn’t really either. I grabbed my camera and headed out. I spent about 15 minutes outside focused on taking photos.

First, I snapped a photo of the street. Next, I just started shooting. Watching my kids and looking for moments.


When I loaded my pictures I was happy to find:



and more falling.




Snow Angels


and snowball fights.


Finally, some shots that capture connection between besties.


and daddy and little one.


In addition, I made sure to get a nice “posed” shot. I don’t know about you, but I do not like being forced to stand for long periods of time in the middle of some awesome moment to take a photo. My favorite photos are candids anyway. One trick that I have learned with my kids is that I will say, “Hey look here and smile real quick.” I snap and check the image and that’s it. {Providing they actually stop, look, and smile.} I do not make them stop for long periods of time to get “the perfect shot.” Honestly, the perfect shot many times is found while they are not looking at me because it captures the essence of what is actually going on. They cooperate when they hear me ask, for the most part, because they know I will be quick.


After a short time of shooting, I felt like I had enough, and you know what I did? I went inside and set the camera down and then came back out and joined the fun. One hundred percent of me present. Let me just tell you, after 42 years of sunny California, I thoroughly enjoyed this first snow. I loved watching my kids, feeling the snowflakes on my face, laughing, and running. I got to experience it all and still capture those memories in photos too.

“What if I put the camera away and miss something?” Well, truth is you might. However, I have never once said I missed that one shot of blah, blah, blah… I honestly haven’t. Memories need to be a healthy balance of capturing them and being a part of them. What’s meant to be will be and I promise you, you will get amazing shots in those few moments when you focus on taking them.

Then put the camera down and be with your family.

Don’t live behind the lens.

How about you? Are you snap happy? Or do you just forgo the photos all together? 

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  1. Those are amazing pictures! I tend to get my moments where I have my camera wherever I go, but it balances out because other times life gets in the way, and I completely forget about pictures.

  2. Guilty. Of too many moments spent behind my camera. It’s easier now my kids are hitting the teens and they don’t want me to snap their photo. But I find that’s when I WANT to snap! I’m realizing the years spent with them are quickly fading away…I need to remember to be with them…not just record them.

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