Creativity at Home · Self Care · Simplified Living

Mama’s Creative Outlet: Photography

When I’m not on maternity leave, I am a full-time working mother. Though I am so grateful to have a job that pays me well and allows me whatever time off I need to be with my family, it’s severely lacking in the creativity department. While I was pregnant with SweetPea, my husband and I decided that it would be great to have a camera on-hand that would leave us with professional-looking photos. He did a lot of research and bought me a second-hand Nikon D80 – which I still have and love to this day.

Having this camera sparked an interest in photography though I, unfortunately, had no training in using a DSLR camera. Being introverted as I am…and stubborn…I was unwilling to sign up for any classes or ask my photographer father-in-law for help. Much of what I know how to do is self-taught – from graphic design work at my job, to pretty calligraphy to photography – so I’m no stranger to Google and it’s copious offerings of information. It’s been about 4 years now and I think maybe I’m starting to get the hang of taking photos in the style that I so admire in the professionals.

A creative outlet is so important for us mothers – even though, yes it’s true, we love and enjoy every single second of motherhood and yes, we working mothers may also have “time to ourselves” while away working – doesn’t everyone need something that is their own? No one else in my home can do what I do with a camera and that is special to me (though it sounds kind of snobby writing it out).

Photography allows me a creative outlet that I sincerely enjoy – sometimes people even pay me to take their photos (you can check out my photography website here, which needs to be updated, whoops)! For some reason, I have more photos of other people than my kids…and not because I don’t WANT to take photos of my kids, they just don’t give me an opportunity.

Now, I know that you know that taking photos of your own kids can be downright difficult, if not completely exhausting, right? Please tell me that it’s not just me. Let me tell you, in order to get my daughter to sit, stand, run, dance, or even do nothing for a photo I have to beg and plead…usually with no success whatsoever. I’m like, I THOUGHT KIDS LOVED HAVING THEIR PICTURES TAKEN?! No? No. No is the answer to that question.

So in order to successfully get your kids to sit for pictures, here is what you need:

  • 15 minutes
    • This is the maximum amount of time a kid will last before they start crying or jumping all over the place and potentially squash their newborn sibling.
  • Bribery
    • Candy, markers, hours of YouTube surprise egg videos…you name it, it’s game.
  • That’s it. 15 minutes and really good bribery. That’s all I’ve got.
    • This is also probably the reason that I can never get my kid to let me take her picture.

The photos from this newborn/sibling series were taken using my trusty Nikon D80 with an 85 mm f1.8 lens…which takes beautiful photos with all of that artistic background blur that we all know and love. In case you were wondering. I shot these in my front room, on a gloomy late January day around 2 pm. Natural light is the only light that I deal with and not only because it is beautiful, but because I also don’t know how to use those fancy photography lights and don’t care for a flash. I totally know what I’m doing.


What is your creative outlet? Share in the comments!


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