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  • Writer's pictureMarion Elissalde

Visual storyteller: it's a mom's job

When you think of a family photographer, do you think of a gadget loving Dad with the point and shoot (or Kodak brownie), taking the posed family shots or whipping out the camera for every family event? I feel like this is the image many of us have.

These days, thanks to smartphones giving us the ability to take a digital camera everywhere, it seems that it’s mostly mothers who have family photography tacked on to their already toppling mountains of mental labour!

Of course, part of this comes from moms often being primary caregivers and thus spending a larger portion of time with their kids, so perhaps it’s only natural. But, as a result, many of us mothers get left out of the picture (literally) a lot of the time.

Instagrammer Sophie Cachia (@sophiecachia) captured it well with her viral post on the topic. “Dear Men, take the photo.” Cachia wrote “Take the god damn photo. We spend days capturing beautiful moments of you and the kids. So whenever you see one of us with our babies, a beautiful candid moment, take the bloody god damn photo. Cheers, Mums.”

So, in honour of World Photography Day we thought we’d take a moment to highlight a few moms on the go and see what they think of their role as the one who captures daily life in snapshots for posterity.

Mother and actor, Amanda Macdonald says, “I feel gratitude - extremely lucky- to be able to catch them easily digitally. If it weren’t for that my husband would win as the archivist, because he uses a better digital camera and saves them on actual discs.”

A mom of 4, two of them twins, Macdonald says that “because of the new phones I get to capture way more pics of the many things we love to do. Our family loves to see them on social media too. So it’s about connecting- sharing good vibes instantly.”

Jill Reznick (mom to Ryan, 11) says, “The best part of being the one that takes all the pictures of my son is capturing all the awesome moments of his life, but it’s also a little sad, as there’s hardly any pictures that I am in with him.” Ryan is now a young actor and Jill runs his Instagram account, sharing little tidbits of his life and career. She says, “it’s also hard for me to truly be present when I’m taking pictures.” But we think she does a great job!

Single mom and Ortho Therapist Anushka Panesar says, “If pictures of me exist, they are selfies, and they all look the same because you can only get faces in the picture.” She still manages to get lots of adventure shots with her two boys but professes that even when she manages to ask for help, “the pictures others take never seem to be as satisfying!”

Of course there are always exceptions to the trend. Mom Kate McGregor has a husband who’s “always documenting everything we do.” She’s grateful to be relieved of that task and professes, “I rarely touch a camera, unless I’m taking a pic of food!”

For this blogger, I confess that it’s only natural I would be the one taking all the photos as I’m also a professional photographer. It’s maybe due to the high standards I have in this realm. I am thrilled when someone manages to capture me nicely because it seems to be such a feat! I also rely on photography to document my kids’ homeschooling projects - handy for end of year evaluations.

As someone who cut her photography teeth in the darkroom, it still feels incredible that so many of us have such powerful little cameras at our fingertips most moments of the day. Not only does it facilitate the capturing of spontaneous or quiet moments, but the sharing of such images captures a universality which illustrates how, despite our differences, in the every day moments of life we share commonality.


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