linked 52 | shadows (and being in photos)

i use my iphone everyday. yes, every single day. i use it to document my life and my family. these photos don't just live on my iphone because i print them for my project life journal. and many of them are going into some photo books that i'm putting together. but printed or not, i love to look back through all of these photos because they tell the everyday story of my life. and seeing these photos reminds me of the little things that would otherwise be forgotten. at the beginning of this year, i started project life. and i promised myself that i would be in more photos because i had not been in very many. so i've been working on it this year. and now there is photographic proof that i am a part of our everyday life. but being the one who always takes the photos means that sometimes i need to be creative about the way that i end up in the photos.

so here are a few of the ways that i am getting in more photos:

i have caught my shadow in photos. i've found my shadow running next to my boys, with my feet peeking out, in the sand, on sidewalks and driveways and i even caught the shadow of me holding an umbrella in a rain puddle. the surface your shadow falls on can change the entire photo. this is such a fun + creative way to be in photos.

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i hold my iphone at arms length and click. but since i only have an iphone 3g and can't see what i'm shooting (oh, i want a new iphone soooo bad - just for the camera capabilities!), i often have to take quite a few photos before i actually end up in the photo. so the selfies and photos with me + the boys now exist.

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i hand over my iphone to someone else and have them take a photo of me. sometimes i know i am being photographed like when i gave quinn my iphone and asked him to take picture of me feeding tate or when my sister and i took photos of each other and our kids in a st. patrick's day parade. sometimes i ask mark to take photos of me with his iphone and i end up with a picture of me and the boys shopping in target or one of my favorite photos of me shooting quinn with my big camera on the beach. and i did not even know mark was taking my picture that day. i take photos from where i stand. so many stories can be told just from taking pictures of my feet and my surroundings. from everyday happenings, some of my favorite things our family vacation in disney. i take photos of my reflection. i have found myself in the car window holding my little storm trooper and holding hands with quinn in the window outside of target. in the car mirror and in the bathroom mirror. and i often see myself in the reflection of my computer monitor. i take photos of little pieces of myself doing whatever it is that i'm doing at the moment. things like holding beach treasures the boys gave me, reading, taking pictures with my big camera, sipping hot tea while chatting with an old friend or pushing tate in the stroller - which i know is something that i won't be doing for too much longer. some of these things i will continue to do and others are fleeting pieces of time. but they are all part of me and now documented. documenting yourself is so important. do it for you. do it for your children. do it to tell the story of you. will your kids look back one day and wonder why mom was not in any of the family photos? do we fear that they will critique how we looked in the photos? or will they be happy to just have photos of us? and these photos can do more than just show our faces. they can tell our stories. the stories of who we are, what we do, what we love, how we spent our time and who we spend that time with.

so instead of just documenting the kids, i want to include the whole family. that means mark too. going through all of my iphone photos made me realize that there are not many photos of just mark or mark and i together. (amazing how that happens when kids enter the family, huh?) of course there are lots of photos of mark with the boys. i make sure of that. but now i have more photos to take. photos of another important piece of our family. because we are all in this together.

each and every one of these photos was taken with an iphone and edited with instagram (i'm tracylarsen). because sometimes the best way to capture the moment is to be in the moment. just another way that my iphone makes my life so much fun.

tell me, how do you make sure that you make it into your photos?

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and don't forget to see what shadows look like for these girls also participating in linked 52: Stacey, Michelle, Tracey, Heather, Jenn, Jessica, Amanda, Amanda, Sara, Lesli, Janet, Naomi, Rhonda, Carla, Heidi, Kristin, Heather, Liza, Veronica, Jean, Kristi, Georgia and Hanne.