When I began my journey down the wonderful path of becoming a photographer, I never realized how this camera of mine would totally transform my world.
I picked up a camera before becoming a mom, not because of burning passion, but because I knew how important it was to document our life. I felt like taking pictures was an essential part of remembering all of the details of growing our family.
What I’ve realized over the years though, is that photography isn’t simply about the technical details of achieving the perfect white balance, using the best gear and accessories, or researching perfect posing and staging techniques. It’s about the surprising and hidden benefits you’ll receive from the camera in rediscovering yourself and igniting a new passion; helping you become a better person in the process.
Below are 10 ways I’ve found photography has made me a better mom. The points I make are quite ‘mom focused’, but I’m sure these would apply to dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone else who has a love of capturing their family as well.
10 Ways Photography Makes You a Better Parent
1) Keeps your adult brain working
Photography is way to keep the ‘adult’ side of your brain actively learning and growing, as you conquer the technical side of what makes the camera work.
When I became a mom, I quickly became overwhelmed with all the ‘kid stuff’ in my life. Cartoons, arts and crafts, Play Doh ©, Legos ©, dolls, action figures, books. As a lifetime lover of school and learning, I needed something that would allow my brain to continue stretching and growing alongside my child’s.
2) Allows you to practice self-care
Photography is a creative outlet that that allows you to be an active participant in self-care while raising kids.
Getting out for even a quick 10 minute walk and capturing your surroundings is sometimes all you need as a mental reset on particularly long or hectic days.
3) Connect with other like-minded parents
It’s is a hobby that allows moms to connect with other moms who are passionate about memory making. It can be so hard meeting other moms who have similar interests once you become one yourself. Photography provides a place to start finding common ground as you search for new friends.
4) More family activities to new places
You’ll be excited to plan more activities as a family because you’ll want to document fun adventures together.
Never one to enjoy taking photos in the same place twice, I’m always on the hunt for new places to go see, and explore with our family to make the experience of documenting new and exciting every time. We’ve been to the zoo, the park, apple picking, the local alpaca farm, the pool, the playground, etc.
5) You document important childhood details
Photography allows you to become more mindful about documenting childhood details that are too easily forgotten.
You may think you’ll always remember how tiny they are, the first time they smile, or how cute they looked in that amazing outfit from grandma. But, unfortunately if there isn’t photographic evidence those memories can quickly fade away. A photography project can help you sharpen your skills and preserve these memories.
6) Provides you a way to relax after bedtimes
Looking through photos is a way to rest and unwind at the end of a long tiring day. After the kids are in bed it’s such a confidence booster to look over your work, pick the best shots, edit a few to really make them pop, or order a few prints to frame and hang in your home.
7) Helps you ‘play’ with the kids more
Taking pictures can be accomplished in small chunks of time without a whole lot of resources or equipment required.
Settling into creative play with my kiddo doesn’t always flow naturally for me. In order to make play time activities more fun for us all, I’ll often participate for a little while, and then have the camera nearby so I can switch away from participating and snap a few photos when I start getting antsy.
8) You are creating a family legacy that will be treasured
You are giving your children a precious gift of memories that they’ll cherish for a lifetime. Every time I snap a ‘keeper’ I always think about how much our daughter will appreciate that shot when we’re all older.
9) Looking over family photos creates great bonding time
Sitting down and looking at old photos is the perfect way to earn some extra snuggle time with the kids. Looking through photo albums is a favorite activity for our family and is also one of the only times we get some snuggly bonding time with our preschooler which is always a treat.
10) It helps you be a better role model
Kids will see an empowered and confident role model as their mom (or dad) embraces a hobby she loves. Children are sponges and will mimic parents’ actions. By showing your children that you are willing to make time for your own fulfillment by embracing hobbies and passions you love, you’re granting them permission to do the same in their own life.
How many of these can you relate to? Has photography always been a passion for you? Or has parenthood taken your love of photography to an entirely new and more passionate realm as it has done for me? I’d love to hear about your photography story in the comments.