As a professional family photographer, I’m in the unique position to get up close and personal with hundreds of families every year. I may only spend a few hours with my clients, but I love the window into their lives that I get. Sometimes I think I see them, the moms especially, better than they see themselves. 

So this post today is for the moms. It’s a note of encouragement to say, I see you. It doesn’t take a thousand dollar lens to see all that you do for your family. I see the hours you spent agonizing over clothing choices for our professional family photography session. I see the 5 am alarm you set so that you could actually get yourself ready before the littles awoke. I see the time you spent negotiating with your toddler to get him to wear that shirt. I see the explaining you did to your husband when he asked you how much this was going to cost. I see the effort you put into scheduling, coordinating, and planning with me to make this family photo session happen.

And why? Because you want professional family photos that show your loved ones in the best possible light. A picturesque moment in time when everyone is shining and reflecting all that is good and right in your world. 

But of course, nothing is ever completely good and right. The baby refuses to sleep. The toddler has a biting problem (and/or also refuses to sleep). Or the kindergartner is addicted to your iPhone. Or the 8 year old is 8 going on 16. Or the 16 year old is not speaking to you. Or the siblings aren’t speaking to each other. 

For just a moment though, those things don’t matter. We’ll capture that perfect family moment, I promise, and it will be beautiful. And you’ll send it out on the holiday card and make it your profile picture, and you’ll relish in the comments saying how beautiful your smiling family is, all the while wondering if the fact that you had to bribe your children with screen time and M&Ms to get those smiles means the photo is a fraud and that you are, in fact, a fake. 

I’m here to tell you – it doesn’t and you aren’t.

We’re all doing the best we can in the moments we’re given. So stop doubting yourself. Stop beating yourself up for losing your patience or being too strict or not strict enough or whatever it is you’re worrying about that’s trying to steal your joy. Because your joy is in there. I see it. I see it in the way you comfort your newborn when she cries. In the tickle you give your toddler when he pouts. In the conversation you have with your fifth grader about posing with her siblings. In the hand you extend to your husband when you sense him at your side.

I see you. And you are loving and selfless and strong and awesome. And that is what will shine through in your “perfect” family picture. That’s what makes the image beautiful. Not because your family is smiling perfectly at the camera, but because the love you feel for them is perfectly on display. And the way in which they return your love is what, quite frankly, takes my breath away! The chaos we live in is beautiful, don’t forget to embrace it. Take time at the end of each day remember that one beautiful moment that you all shared together and let the rest fade away.

I see you. And you are enough.

About the Professional Family Photographer

Jennifer McCarren of Freckled Flower Photography specializes in newborn, child photography and family photography in North Atlanta, Georgia locations such as AlpharettaMiltonRoswell, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Marietta and Canton.

Freckled Flower Photography is a proud member of  Professional Photographers of America.

Freckled Flower Photography has been featured more than once on Beyond the WanderlustMozi MagazineInspire- Digital or Not Fine Art Photography MagazinePhoto ArtistryPretty Forum and many others. I’ve also been published in CHIC Critique Magazine: The Vintage Issue, Young Kids Fashion Magazine and Petite Magnifique Magazine.

Contact me here to request more information about an Atlanta photography session, or you can follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest, where I announce special offers and share my favorite images from recent photo sessions. I’d love to send you my newsletter as well – scroll up to enter your email address on the left.

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