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Selfie love is not a sin

It never fails. Whenever I turn my camera over to a member of my family, somehow they manage to capture and exaggerate the most  unbecoming sides of me. My husband will take a photo pointing down, adding about 20 pounds to my hips, my little guy will look up at me- adding 2 chins to my face and my big guy will horse around so long that by the time he snaps a photo, my brows are furrowed and my mouth is open in a manner becoming a sea bass as I yell, “will you just take it already”.
And so, once I became an owner of a decent camera phone, I became to take matters in my own hands and take photos of myself. Well, not really of myself- mostly of myself and the the people I am with. Us-ies. I have been advised however, time and again by my children that is not a word. So, we will leave it at selfie. At first, I was hesitant because the boys would gasp in horror- “Not a selfie Mom! Please! That’s sooo embarrassing!” as I would grab them close and stick out my arm. And I wondered, is it? Is it vain? Is it too self absorbed? But then, I figured a moment of embarrassing them was worth the life time of memories the resulting photo would give me. (The moment of embarrassing them was pretty cool too!) And I kind of liked being in the shot- I am an important part of the story- and I always feel like something is missing when I am not in the photos.
The boys declared this was the lamest thing ever- but I’m glad I ignored their advice. I love this series of shots of us together! #mamaknowsbest
I also like the fact that these photos are never really perfect. They are a little askew, always full of emotion and always involve getting real close. I have also found that the more I take them, the more I wear the boys down. The frequency has made them  become the new norm. The frequency of taking them coupled with my purchase of a selfie stick, which I threaten to whip out if they don’t just get over here and show mama some love already.
Doing a few photo journal projects has led me to take some timed self portraits- and I have to say, taking those coupled with the journaling has become one of my favorite new tricks I added to my scrapbook last year. Here’s a layout I made when doing a project for an Ali Edwards class I took- where we told stories of our daily AM and PM. I set the camera up by the coffee pot and snapped a few photos on timer. It’s not pretty- but it’s real.  And it’s a real portrayal of how my boys see me on the average school morning. I hope that this will bring back some great memories and a few laughs when they look back on this layout years from now. I wish I had photos of my school mornings when I was little. I remember them well, but sometimes its hard to remember what my mom looked like-
That’s why selfies can be a good thing. They get us in the story. They help keep things real. That’s a great foundation for good story telling! Here are a few selfies I took with the boys last year- even without telling you the stories beyond each photo- the expressions in each one are spontaneous and I think give you a great idea of what was going on.  You can also see how the big guy still wont look directly into the selfie- the little guy is still yo young to not give a full on smile. It’s all good because that’s part of the story too.

My one word of caution is that I think its really important to always get a few photos of the whole story as well when you are documenting a day. The full outfits of at least a few people even if you cant get in the shot, and the location.  How cool is it to look back on photos from years gone by and see that ugly couch, that cool car, those leg warmers and the skyline that has since changed? I wouldn’t want an album full of only selfies, but I think they add a great and well needed dimension to our albums.  I recently designed a page kit to celebrate my love of selfies, called, what else- but Your Selfie. The creative team is playing with it this weekend- and I will share their layouts with you a little later.

For now, consider this permission to take a few photos of yourself. (A while back, I wrote a post that had a great video explaining why we never really like photos of ourselves- you can check it out here.) Have fun and don’t take it all too seriously- life’s to short to wait for someone else to take a photo of you!

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