Tuesday, October 25, 2011

showing up

I'm trying to create my website, and I have run into a problem. The experts tell you to make it personal—get people to feel they know you. The best way to do that, oh all-knowing experts, is to use photos. Which is where the problem comes in. I have realized, in looking through old digital files, that there are precious few photos of me.

We have, you understand, innumerable photos. That is not the problem. Our family contains two avid amateur photographers. We have files and files and files of every possible cross-section of the Eiffel tower in all lights. But few of me at said Tower. Because, while my husband takes all the artistic shots, I take all the family shots. And I am not in them. Which makes it a challenge to find fun “personal” photos for a website.

There are a few of me, taken by the kids. But all mothers everywhere instinctively know what those look like, don't you? They are the, “Let's take a picture of mom with her mouth full of something she can't identify,” or “Let's get mom falling asleep on the couch after catching the midnight bus back from the Colosseum” variety. Or worse, “Let's get mom in her bathing suit.” Not going public anytime soon.

After inheriting two bins of photos from my deceased mother and having no idea who anyone in the photos is, I made a promise to myself that I would never leave my kids with that memory vacuum. Thus the twelve or so scrapbooks in my room. My kids will have pictures complete with ID. But, it appears, they won't have any of me. And that defeats the purpose of leaving them with memories, doesn't it?

So today when I took child #3 to the arboretum for what may be the last glorious day of fall, I started. I made sure she took a picture of me with the scarecrows and trees along with all I took of her. Thirty years from now, they'll still know what they look like. But they may need a refresher course on me. I'd better start showing up in the pages.

Has anyone come up with good ideas for getting more of you in family photos?

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