Dear Mama, from Your Photographer

I am a photographer and have been for more than 10 years. I have had the honor of capturing precious moments for families all over the metroplex. Since picking up a camera after college, I can tell you location trends, editing styles, wardrobe fads, and more have all have evolved and changed over the years.

camera hanging on shoulder

However, there is one thing that has not changed since the beginning of my career. Every year as the fall family portrait inquires come in, I consistently hear comments from mothers, and it’s heartbreaking. 

“I just want one or two of me, because I need to lose weight.”
“Oh, I just really want the children’s pictures taken; no one wants to see me.”
“I just never think I look good in any pictures.”
“Can you Photoshop me thinner/with less wrinkles/10 years younger?”

Mamas, enough. I wish so much that I can tell you what I see from my side of the camera. I wish I could tell you how absolutely stunning you are when you hold your children close. Here are some things your photographer wishes they could tell you mothers during your photo sessions.

Know You Are Loved

There is no way to imitate the way a child looks at his or her mother. There is no way to describe the sweet sincerity when a child hugs a parent and closes his or her eyes as tightly as he or she is squeezing. There is zero comparison to the happy face of a toddler being raised up in air over head like an airplane. That look, that hug, that joy is all because they love you so much.

Motherhood is hard, and I know it took a lot to meet me here today to be photographed. It took a lot of planning and preparing. There may have even been a few tears, but you are here now and for a little while ignore the world and your worries and let me capture that pure love.

Know You Are Beautiful

I see a lot of mommas stress over what their hair, makeup, and wardrobe. It is  completely understandable to want to look your best. But do not let that worry overtake your day. For years to come, your children will look at the images from today and see their mother.

They do not see old, young, tall, short, thin, or heavy. They simply see mom. They see their protector and their best friend. They will know your hands, that look in your eyes, and maybe recognize a necklace or ring you always wear. They know you truly and beautifully, just as you are. 

Know What a Treasure You’re Giving Your Family

When a photographer says, “Hey, Mom! Get in the picture!” it can seem like pandering, but we are begging you to get into the frame because we know that it will be treasured. No matter what you’re wearing or how your hair looks or if you had zero intention of being photographed, you need to be in the picture.

Photographers who have been around awhile can tell you stories of clients passing, of being asked to photograph dying relative, or print images for a memorial. By getting into the picture, you are allowing a moment of your life be captured and allowing that moment to be treasured for generations. 

As photographers, we hope we are telling your story, and that we can capture your most authentic self surrounded by your loving family. Please don’t get bogged down with the details or what you think you “should” look like. You are your family’s heartbeat and joyful center. You are worthy.

Valerie was raised in a small town in south Texas and met her husband in Aggieland. They moved to Fort Worth in 2007 and are now happily raising three wild-hearted children. She is a part-time homeschooling mama and spends most days in parks, libraries, or a grocery store. She loves coffee, music, road-trips, any new health fad, and well-written children's books. Valerie is also a portrait photographer and has photographed the journey of motherhood from pregnancy and birth to breastfeeding and beyond for DFW families for more than 10 years.


  1. Thank you. Sometimes, maybe more than’s important to be reminded of the way I see myself versus how my kids see me. We have family pictures in a few weeks. Probably won’t lose the weight or the wrinkles by then, but will absolutely be involved and capture this moment in time.


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