Jen Lucas Photography » newborn & family lifestyle documentary photographer in madison, wisconsin

Mothers | madison family photographer

Top knot hair day. Tired eyes. Makeup-less. Yoga pants.  Again.

But my kids don’t see that. They see me kneeling down to zip coats, tie shoes, examine the sparkly rock they unearthed from their secret mud spot. My cheek brushes theirs, and we may pause for an eyelash kiss. It’s not that they don’t see me; on the contrary, I believe they are wholly acquainted with each age spot freckle on my face, every speckle in my green-golden irises.

I take thousands of images a year of my family, and unless Charlie gets ahold of my iPhone to candidly catch me, I’m not in any of them. This gives me pause.

Most of my own childhood memories are based on feelings first, subsequently accompanied by an image in my brain that looks like it’s being viewed from inside a carwash. Some have more clarity than others.  So, it is such a gift when I come across a picture of my mother from that time–so crisp & real & lovely & warm & fuzzy. There aren’t nearly enough of those gifts, and sadly, very few of just the two of us.  I have some wonderful ones from my wedding, a couple from these last few years, but almost nil from my childhood of just the two of us.   That needs to change going forward.  I need more pictures with my own mother, and my children need pictures with me.

What about you? Are you in your family pictures?  I know you’re there with them—you’re making Star Wars pancakes, dotting toes with glitter polish, kissing wounded knees, packing lunches with little notes on folded napkins with XOXO, proofreading homework, filling the bubbly tub, reading extra bedtime stories, listening, listening, listening, and countless additional connections, tasks, activities, engagements. You’re the cornerstone of the family; get yourself documented in those memories.  If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your kids.

I’ll be doing the same. Top knot, makeup-less, yoga pants and all.

Look at all these gorgeous mamas getting in the frame.  It’s your wife’s turn. Your sister’s turn. Your mother’s turn.

Your turn.

We see you, we absolutely see you.




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xo, Jen

  • April 30, 2013 - 7:46 pm

    Barb - Jen, these are beautiful! Love this post!ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2013 - 10:56 am

    Jana Perenchio - What sweet tender moments captured!!ReplyCancel

  • May 2, 2013 - 8:53 pm

    Julie - Wonderful post! The ones of you with your mom are precious!ReplyCancel

  • May 2, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    Heather Lee - So beautiful. I love this.ReplyCancel

  • May 3, 2013 - 6:15 am

    Nancy - Beautiful! You really nailed it, Jen. And from my memory comes a clear image of Mother always saying she didn’t want in the frame,,, what a loss.ReplyCancel

  • May 12, 2013 - 1:56 pm

    Lindsey Ballo - Love this Jen! Read it aloud to my sister Nicole to remind her that even on the hard days, your kids will love you through and through (and vice versa 🙂 )

    Lots of love and happy mother’s day to you!!


  • May 1, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Bridget - This made me cry. A parent’s love is a powerful thing. Thank you for taking such lovely pics of our family!

    Now I’m going to go call my folks. 😉ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Melissa Miller Everett - Precious and perfect!ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2014 - 5:28 pm

    Crystal Nipp - I was expecting a picture of you with the boys! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Sally Sosler - So beautifully written Jen!! Thank you for sharing this important reminder!! xoReplyCancel

  • May 2, 2014 - 12:16 am

    Sara Tegman - Where is the pic with you and your sweet boys? This post is lovely! ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2015 - 9:08 am

    gretchen cleveland - LOVE. THIS. SO. MUCH. the pic of me and the beans made me tear up. thank you for this post!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • May 7, 2015 - 3:55 pm

    Haley - love your post Jen! Happy Mother’sdsy to you! XoReplyCancel

  • April 25, 2016 - 3:22 pm

    emily b - So so wonderful! I’m totally teary eyed right now. xoReplyCancel

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