The perfect image

When writing Birthday Parties – Is it worth it? I started looking through my hard-drive at all the photos of the kid’s birthdays which I could include in the post. It became evident that a lot of the photos I have from the early days with Bear Cubs 1 and 2 are not great and decided not to post a picture of every party as there wasn’t a ‘best’ shot – the kids are either not looking at the camera, someone in the background is picking their nose or the lighting isn’t right…… and later realised this is a really sad way to go through life, only wanting the perfect image published to show how perfect life is.

When I was younger we had cameras with film reals in them, either 24 photographs or 36. You would really have to think whether you wanted to take the picture or not and make sure everyone was looking and hope for the best. You’d then wait for them to be developed and laugh at the pictures, but it really captured the moment as it was. Now, the image is instant, you take it and look straight at the screen to proof the photograph, quickly running around to clear the mess in the background, you know that part that is real life; the unopened mail, the upside down toy box, the dishes by the sink. They are the real picture, capturing the real memories, but we do it anyway.

The photograph I sent a friend this morning proving I was tired so was working from home in my pyjamas was not one of my unwashed face or my unbrushed hair, but one of my strategically placed laptop, paper work and pyjama clad legs. When a friend knocked the door and I answered, immediately apologising for my appearance – you can be sure that she will be getting a selfie tonight when I have my makeup and glad rags on. It’s much like going back through this blog entry with a grammar and smell check to make sure it is perfect and not letting everyone know quite how bad my writing skills are! We are always seeking that appearance that will impress or least offend.

Is this the way that we are pre-programmed?

Is it the way that the media has moulded us?

To celebrate the good shots and poke fun at the bad ones?

For every beautiful wedding photograph there are 100 not so beautiful photographs that the bride dismissed, for every selfie of you with a loved one, be it friend, family or pet, there are 1000’s more that were taken and deleted. To know that for every ‘candid’ photograph of the children, your phone memory is being used up by the million not so perfect pictures – and that the voice behind the lens is of a mother shouting “stop it, be nice, please smile, just one more, smile, smile, smile…..’ For me I think the reason I keep snapping away to get that one smiling photo is to try and capture the smile that is in my heart when I am watching any one of my bear cubs, and it’s not to prove that my life is perfect, just to capture the happiness that is in that moment – because that’s what mums do!



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