The Importance of a Third Wheel

July 8, 2009

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More often than not, our new little family unit goes on outings by ourselves. Until this weekend I hadn’t realized what we were missing out on. My friend, Amy, joined us for our trip to Longwood Gardens and in addition to providing entertaining company she also took pictures of us all together. It was really nice to relax on both sides of the camera and not worry about pestering strangers or coaxing a child to pose for a timer.

Because of the sheer volume of photos that I take compared to what my husband takes there is a far greater percentage of pictures of him with our son. Every now and again, I ask him to get his camera out and capture a moment or two with me in it so when our son, Aiden, looks back he can see what I looked like when he was young. This is an important issue for me because with my mother spending her life behind the camera there are precious few photos of her in front of it. I recently had to browse through three different family members albums just to come up with a handful of pictures with my mom in them.

When we go out as a family I always take a photo of all of us with my arm outstretched and the camera reversed. It’s not the best of shots, with us squishing together to make sure we fit, but at least it is all of us in one frame and happy. Occasionally I even ask a passerby to take a picture of us, although the expressions are often forced when you feel like you are bothering a complete stranger who was minding their own business. Having someone with you who is happy to take several photos and catch real moments of your family as they are happening is priceless.

If your photos are always lacking their photographer, perhaps you should invite a friend over and pass off your camera. The pictures needn’t be perfect, just real memories with your kids preserved for a lifetime. When your son or daughter looks back at his first photo albums will you be in there?


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