As a documentary photographer, I struggle to find a balance between enjoying family traditions and photographing them. I imagine this is hard for most of us moms out there. We want to document and remember every moment so badly, that we sometimes miss out on just being with our families and enjoying the present. Sometimes, I feel like I can ruin a moment with my camera and that is the absolute last thing I intend to do.
My best advice if you are the family photographer is to pick a few key moments to photograph that you know will represent the day.
Give the day some forethought and decide what is important to you. Then, focus on those one or two moments with your camera. If it's a staged portrait or a selfie, choose a moment and go for it. If it's a candid, make sure that your camera is ready ahead of time.
Our typical Easter Sunday includes running downstairs to see what's in the baskets, finding eggs, going to Mass, and eating out. (Yep, eating out!) On Easter, I typically try to take at least one decent picture of the kids together in their church clothes. I use the word "try" because inevitably there is at least one of my children that is not at all interested in doing this. Today, we wouldn't let them find the hidden eggs until they did this for me. Yes, sometimes I bribe them and I'm not ashamed to say it. ;) I like to have this posed picture to show growth over the years.
Today, I also decided that I wanted a couple pictures of the kids running around trying to find the eggs. With my eldest becoming a teenager (gasp!) in a couple months, I think this may be one of the last times I will get him to participate. This tradition was really important to me this year.
Your holiday traditions make up the content of your family's story. Determine what moments you want to remember, be prepared and snap a few pictures. Then, put the camera (or smartphone) down and enjoy the day while you can.
Here are a few of the images I took this morning that I am loving.