About five years ago, I took a set of boudoir photos, courtesy of a really good deal on Groupon. It was the “in” thing to do at the time, and my reasoning for it was that I would never be this young again or have this pre-kid body, so why not capture it for posterity? Truthfully, Victoria Secret ads are more risqué than my photos turned out to be, and I probably could (but won’t) post them here without getting censored, but it was fun to do a photo shoot and feel extra pretty, so I’m glad I did it.
Since then, I’ve lost track of the one print that I have from the session. I’m sure my son or daughter will discover it at the precise moment they’re entering their peek phase of parental-induced embarrassment, and it’ll scar them for life, but that’s a problem for another day.
What concerns me more is that I also lost track of myself a little bit over the last few years. I took the time and paid the money to make those pictures happen, and I would never think to do something like that now, after becoming a mom. This dawned on me as I was writing a different article about a photography service. I was so delighted with the pictures I received because I was actually in some of them.
My camera roll is filled with pictures of my kids and pictures of my husband with my kids,and I’m no where to be found. I don’t shy away from the camera. This isn’t about being insecure with my looks, although I fully admit to not looking camera ready on most days. It’s just that I don’t manage to get in a lot of pictures.
When I’m going through my daily life, it doesn’t occur to me to take a picture of myself pushing a stroller or buying a gallon of milk. At home, my husband often entertains the kids, while I do a lot of the work that makes the household run, and no one feels inspired by my laundry folding to snap a picture of it.
So, unless I become famous overnight and have paparazzi stalk my every move, the only way to get some stills of myself is to start taking selfies— even if I feel really silly about it. My logic for taking the boudoir shots still holds up for the selfies. I’ll never be this young again, and my post-kid, thirty-three year old self still looks pretty good, so why not capture my mug on camera once in a while?
Maybe I’m being vain or maybe it’s a morbid thought, but the idea of having lasting images of myself to share with my family seems nice. One of my very good friends lost her mom at a young age, before the era of digital cameras, and she cherishes the pictures she has of her. Likewise, I love looking at the few photos I have of my grandmother as a young woman. I only remember her as the gray haired lady who made me homemade chicken soup for lunch, so I’m thankful she agreed to pose in front of a rose bush one day for the picture I now have.
It’s easy to go overboard with social media, cultivating the perfect persona, and that’s not what I’m endorsing. I still may not post many more pictures of myself on Facebook, but at least I’ll have them, and I’ll upload them to the cloud somewhere, so that they’re accessible in the future. Maybe, if I get my act together, I’ll actually print out a few, too. If I’m really lucky, I’ll find that old boudoir photo that’s floating around and replace it with a new selfie, which, I’m sure my kids will consider just as embarrassing as a boudoir pic, but at least they won’t see my bra.