Motherhood is Beautiful- Loving My Mom Body

When I first saw this family photo it was a small thumbnail in our gallery of birth photography images, and I loved it. It was a lovely real life moment of our family. Something I’ve never had captured before. Even though the moment is so beautiful I almost didn’t share it with anyone.

birth photography | Smithsquad.com | meeting baby number eight | all natural hospital birth
Photograph courtesy of Elsa Shaw Photography

When I made the image large the first thing I thought was “wow, I look fat! No makeup, messy hair, and I’m in my pajamas. I don’t think everyone needs to see me that way.” I even considered for a moment whether I could possibly liquefy myself a bit smaller in Photoshop. Then I stopped. “What on earth is wrong with me?!?! This is less than 24 hours after giving birth to my eighth child. I can’t believe that I am being so hard on myself! I’m Super Womb-an.”

I now believe that this image is even more beautiful because of my appearance. This is a body that has carried and fed eight little humans. This is a body that has given birth naturally eight times. This is a body that has been pregnant, nursing, or both for the last nine years. This is the body that allows me to read, play, and laugh with my children. This is the body that cooks, cleans, teaches, and so much more. This is the body that my husband loves. Most importantly my body is an amazing temple of God and I need to show it more respect.

I am beautiful. My body is amazing. I will share this image with pride knowing that it is a truly beautiful moment that my children and their children can treasure for generations.

motherhood is beautiful| smithsquad.com | love your mom body | Exist in photographs
Photograph courtesy of Elsa Shaw Photography

Mom’s please love yourselves. Love your bodies for the amazing things that they do. Don’t hide from the camera or hide away the photos because you are ashamed. There is no shame in motherhood. You are beautiful even with 20 extra pounds, no make-up and messy hair. Motherhood is beautiful in every shape and size. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate it. Show your children the beauty that created them. Give them something to treasure for the rest of their lives. Exist in photographs, it is the best gift you can give after giving them life.

I would love to document these moments for you. Whether it’s a birth, newborn, or family life session I promise you we will walk away with a treasured memory. Contact me for more information.

Have you ever had a photo of yourself that you judged too harshly? What amazing things has your mom body done? I’d love to see your favorite documentary images of yourself! Share links in the comments so I can check them out. 

A Year in My Life |Project 366|February

I have loved the results that have come from being more conscious of documenting my every day life. So many great memories that would have gone forgotten if not captured. Even just a few weeks later while editing I was surprised by a few photos that I had forgotten I had taken!

mother daughter art|emilyjphoto.com|artist|Athens newborn photographer|atlanta birth photographer|documentary in home family photography sessions
I love this photo my husband grabbed of me and my oldest daughter working on our art together.

What has really made this project so possible for me is my camera. I am currently shooting with a Sony A6000. I switched to this mirrorless camera because of its compact size. I have all of the same control and image quality as a full size DSLR in a little package that fits in my purse. When you have 6 kids ages 7 and under and another on the way you don’t carry a bulky camera bag along with the diaper bag and purse. It just isn’t reasonable.

Using a hammer at the Home Depot kids workshop|emilyjphoto.com|artist|Athens newborn photographer|atlanta birth photographer|documentary in home family photography sessions
We love going to the monthly Home Depot Kids Workshop.

In addition to being a great purse camera its small size allows me to easily carry it around the house. Rather than packed up I try to keep it out on a shelf, on my bed, on the desk etc. That way when I see a great moment happening I can easily grab it and take a few pictures. With easy to use control dials for shutter, ISO, and Aperture on the exterior it is easy to quickly alter my settings and always shoot in my favorite full manual mode.

Baby doing yoga with daddy|emilyjphoto.com|artist|Athens newborn photographer|atlanta birth photographer|documentary in home family photography sessions
When I saw Wally join dad for yoga I was able to quickly grab the camera off the desk, change my settings to adjust for the drastic lighting difference, and capture this picture in just a few seconds.

When I have the 16-50 lens on this little camera isn’t any bigger than most of your point and shoot cameras! When I am at home or out with the hubs who can be my sherpa I have the option of bringing along the 55-210 lens, which is quite a bit larger, to get a greater variety in my shots. I call it my sniper lens. I love sitting far away and capturing the real true moments that happen when people don’t know that my camera is focusing on them.

a little boy with his dog|emilyjphoto.com|artist|Athens newborn photographer|atlanta birth photographer|documentary in home family photography sessions
Wally was desperately trying to get Boris to get up and play with him. This is when the long lens comes in handy, because anytime Wally notices I am photographing him he runs at me to try and get the camera!

I am looking forward to adding an A7ii to my bag, hopefully soon, as well as a few prime lenses. If you’re looking for a mirrorless camera of your own, and don’t quite need the full pro capabilities, I would highly recommend the Sony A5100 or Sony A3000. I have also heard great things about the Olympus and Fuji mirrorless cameras, though I do not have any personal experience with them.

reading in a hospital waiting room|emilyjphoto.com|artist|Athens newborn photographer|atlanta birth photographer|documentary in home family photography sessions
Ben is working on his reading while waiting with me for my Midwife appointment.

What camera do you shoot with and why do you love (or hate) it? Are you doing any photography projects this year? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

A Year in My Life| Project 366 January

In home documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|motherhood is beautiful|Intimate family photography|Lifestyle family photographer|AtlantaFamiyl Photography|Athens Family Photographer
Helping with chores, such as loading the dishwasher, is a valuable life skill that we teach as part of our homeschooling

Documentary family photography is a beautiful intimate look into our every day lives that will be treasured for generations. With that in mind I decided to do a project 366 this year. Yeah I know, started one last year and didn’t make it past a few months. This year I decided to do things a little differently. I am still picking up my camera every day and making sure to document my every day life. Instead of pressuring myself to edit and post every day or even every week I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites once a month. Every month around the 15th you can expect to see a new update of pictures from the previous month. Each month I will also share at least one tip on how to get better photographs of your every day life.

In home documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|motherhood is beautiful|Intimate family photography|Lifestyle family photographer|AtlantaFamiyl Photography|Athens Family Photographer
Mom told me no! Motherhood is beautiful, even when there are tears.

This project is very important to me as a mother. I am amazed by just how quickly my children grow. I have realized that it is the little every day things that I forget so easily. My children absolutely love it when we go through old pictures together and talk about the story behind the image. It is huge self-esteem boost for them to know that these moments are important to me.

In home documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|motherhood is beautiful|Intimate family photography|Lifestyle family photographer|AtlantaFamiyl Photography|Athens Family Photographer
Hanging out at a homeschooling friends house eating lollipops

Hopefully as I share my every day life moments I can also show you the beauty in your own moments. I encourage every mother to pull out the camera regularly and capture a few images to remind them of the beauty in these days. The fact is that motherhood is crazy hard work and sometimes we just need a reminder of all the love and beauty that is present in each day.

In home documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|motherhood is beautiful|Intimate family photography|Lifestyle family photographer|AtlantaFamiyl Photography|Athens Family Photographer
My 7 year old loves to read, I am so grateful that she shares this talent willingly with her younger siblings.

OK I’ve blabbered enough about why it’s important so now for the good part. Your first tip for getting great photos of your kids! MOVE!! Yep it’s that simple. Sometimes I tend to back up, get a good angle on the scene and then take all of our images from that one location. I end up with ten images that are all basically the same. Recently I have been really focusing on moving around more. Get different angles, get close up, get far away. Capture different aspects of the same thing.

In home documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|motherhood is beautiful|Intimate family photography|Lifestyle family photographer|AtlantaFamiyl Photography|Athens Family Photographer
We all love Boris “BoBo” the dog. He is such a sweet loving playmate.

One great example of this is some recent bath time shots I took of my two youngest boys. I intentionally put in a TON of bubbles just so I could get some great fun pictures. At first I was stationary in the doorway clicking away. Then I reminded myself that there was so much more to the story! I got high, I got low, I moved to the other side of the room, I even stood directly above them for a few shots. I had a blast and got a great variety instead of 50 of the same image. It was a lot of fun.

Documentary family photography|emilyjphoto.com|Bath time photography|Intimate family portraits|Daily life family photographer|In-Home Professional photography session
Lots of bubbles +two little boys= incredible memories!

I would love to give you the gift of memories by documenting these every day moments in your life. Please contact me for more details about my in home documentary family photography sessions.