9 February 2011

The Camera Never Lies

What do you see when you look at these photographs?

Do you get the impression that I'm a capable and entertaining mother? Do you see happy and stimulated children?

It's interesting that we only tend to take photographs of the fun times, the good times and the times we want to remember. The photograph then becomes the memory. Perhaps that's for the best.

These photographs represent 24 hours in my life and were taken for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.

I am not surprised that I only photographed my boys and their activities, most of the photographs I take are of my children. My focus during the day is on them. I look after them from 7am until 7pm and beyond. Perhaps I've lost track of who I am. What happens to me most days isn't worth photographing or remembering.

I'm hoping I will forget what happened in between these photographs being taken as it was difficult.  Without this context you would think, from the photographs, that my life was one jolly parenting dream. It is sometimes, but certainly not all of the time.

The boys have been ill with coughs, colds and a sickness bug. We've hardly left the house for over a week. The sick bowl was just out of shot in all photographs (apart from when we were outside as we have a hose)!

Presley and Cash have been demanding and whiney and miserable and fighting and hard work and crying a lot. I was in tears at one point with a throbbing tension headache - who photographs ibuprofen though? It's also difficult to photograph unbroken sleep.

We got through it though.

The camera never lies, but we choose which photographs to take. We choose what we show the world and we choose what we want to see again.



  1. You are right how we tend to take photos of the good and happy stuff., and omit the sad or unhappy moments.
    Your chosen photos are lovely though and show what great things they get up to on a typical day in yoir family life xx

  2. That's so true - every photograph we take is selected to show a side of ourselves. I'm interested in both sides - the side we show and what goes on inbetween times - the reality of parenting underneath. But like you say maybe it's for the best - no one wants to look at sick bowls.

    Hope you're all on the mend. Sounds rough x

  3. I take your point- the bits between the pictures are always tough, and I am often tempted to seel my girls on ebay. But I always think of what if? What if something happens to me and the girls have to use these pictures to remember our lives together and me as a mum. Would I rather they remember the bad bits, or the fun, stimulating, messy, crafty days?

  4. Wow, Sandy that's so true. Great photos though. x

  5. what a lot of crafts. great photos.

  6. It's like Desperate Housewives - what goes on behind those doors is far removed from the glossy front of our public face. Being a Mum is very rewarding but there is a lot of crap (literally and metaphorically) too, but luckily our children don't realise that until they become parents themselves!

  7. That is very true. You have picked some really beautiful pictures/memories

  8. They looks happy and very much a team in those photos. I think it's normal to have difficult times Sandy and when they are that age it is a very long day for you. When they are ill isn't even worse. And I only have one child and she's out at school all day. And I get exhausted! So don't be too hard on yourself. xx

  9. sorry you've been struck by illness again sending ((hugs)) to you all xxxxx

  10. great pictures, and a really good point. we do only remember what we want to remember. as long as it's mostly happy though surely it doesn't matter?

  11. Sandy you are so right, thank you for this post. It's true that a reportage style shot taken whilst the subject was unawares can be a shot "that doesn't lie" but mostly, we choose what we photograph and define our memories of that moment as we see fit sometimes rather than the reality. My photos of last summer reflect that as they appear happy when in reality, it was bloody awful. Still, I'm glad I'm left with happy photos not sad ones.

    So sorry to hear the boys are unwell and hope they get better soon. Take a breather my love, put your feet up and congratulate yourself for a life will lived, even if you feel blluuugghhh today.

    MD xxx

  12. I take photos to 'prove' what a good mum I am. 'See, I took you here', 'see, we did this'.
    I've taken a fair few ones of tantrums too, maybe to remind them that they were capable of being beasts themselves!
    I hope your boys are feeling better soon.

  13. Tough week you've had there and you're right we choose what we want to show people and what to hide. I hope the boys pick up really soon and you get a smile back in your voice x

  14. Miserable week, but your photos show that you've been up to far more than I would have managed! Hope you are feelign better. xx

  15. You're so right, Sandy. I have often said that we have hundreds of photos of happiness but hardly any of sadness (and these are more often than not comical ones). We want to remember the good times but have to remember that the bad times have shaped us too.

  16. If you managed to have such a playful day in the middle of sick buckets and lack of sleep then I'd say you certainly are a 'capable and entertaining mother'. I'd like to see another reportage in the not to distant future showing coffee and cake and some other you-time treats though. :)

  17. So very true, I wrote a post with a similar theme a few weeks back http://www.movienewz.com/contagion/
    I think with digital photography we can be so selective, only saving those perfect pictures. OUr parents have albums full of shots where one kid is scowling, or has just dropped their ice cream, they didn't have the luxury of deleting these and retaking, and I think the memories are richer for it!

  18. OK I posted the wrong link (that link is the movie being filmed on my street today!)http://geekymummy.blogspot.com/2011/01/snow-sand-and-bounce-houses-reflections.html

  19. I take photos of everything. EVERYTHING. I've done posts with the boys covered in snot, ill on the sofa and even had one post where every photo was Little Small crying like crazy. Even photos of myself when I can barely bring a smile to my face.

    Both sides of the coin are important to me, and I point blank refuse to hide anything. I don't want to forget what happened because it helps build my character and know who I am.

    I'm so sorry you've been hit by illness again, I REALLY DO sympathise! Great post, big hugs. xxx

  20. Jenny, thank you x

    Jfb57, yes, they don't know the phrase 'I'm bored'! x

    Alison, absolutely and that's why I added the words x

    Domestic Goddesque, yes, I know what I would prefer to remember x

    If I could escape, thank you x

  21. Gemma, thank you :-)

    Diney, wise words, wise words x

    Herding Cats, aw, thank you x

    Rosie, bless you. I'm working on not being so hard on myself x

    Amy, thank you lovely x

  22. Tiddlyompompom, I'm with you on that x

    Modern Dilemma, I'm glad you haven't got sad photographs, although you will never forget the sad times. Life has been pretty relentless for me lately. I'll get through it x

    Jacq, aw, it breaks my heart to look at red teary faces! x

    Mari, thank you. You know, I hadn't realised I'd lost my smile until you pointed it out, but you're right. Will have to work on that x

    Pants, I took advantage of any little burst of energy from them! x

  23. Nickie, it's all part of us, but I guess some things we just don't want to see again! x

    Cathy, we were lucky that they were fairly well in between bouts of vomiting! I will follow your advice on the coffee and cake! x

    Geekymummy, you know I must have read that and the idea stuck in my mind. I love your post and I think you're right (and you put it so much better than I did)! x

    Jay, I guess that's why I added the words, because I wanted to point out that all was not well - despite appearances. That is the beauty of digital photography, you can photograph everything and get the full picture x


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