A photography promise

by Kate Djupe

I believe that I have taken photos of everything in my kids' lives:
toys, art, activities, smiles,
food, ideas, favorites, developments,
playing with their dad, friends, and cousins,
temper tantrums, discoveries, holidays and every days.
Do you know what I don't have? Photos of me. Photos of us. 

Have you seen the family portraits by Diego Goldberg?  Every year, on his wedding anniversary, he takes a close up, black and white portrait of every member of his family. I don't know this family and I have studied their progression through the years. Personally, I've managed to take a close up portrait of my kids almost every month of their entire lives. It is amazing to scroll through those months and see their faces change. I wonder what it would be like to see Paul that way. Or *gulp* myself.

I don't have very many photos from my own childhood that are of my parents. I can flip through the mental catalog of each one that was taken, that is how few there are and how frequently and completely I have studied them.
I wonder if my kids will go looking for evidence of me in photos. Will they know me and not just the fuzzy edges of who I was?
If I only keep the ones where I have managed to look put together, my face angled so that my nose is not too prominent, and my body positioned so that I do not look too out of shape, will they recognize me in their memories? 
Will they understand that normal can be beautiful and familiar? 

I want to be present in my kids' history but I also want to be present in my own. I want to be able to look back at photos from this time, when I was still young (or at least not very old) and capable. I want to see my own before and after and before and after photo. I want to see my ponytail at all ages.
So, I am going to do this. I'm going to get on the other side of the camera, and even harder, I am not going to delete every photo of me. Game on.
 (While this post was inspired by my kids, my memories and my photo archives and Diego Goldberg, the topic is fresh in my mind because of this link shared by this mom.)