The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

The Purpose of Pictures

Perfect hair. Perfect Clothes. Perfect location.

It can become an obsession.

But stop. Step back. Ask yourself:

Why are we taking family pictures?

Are we taking them to post on facebook?


Are we taking them to impress others?

Hope not.

Are we taking them to preserve the memories of fleeting childhoods?

I hope so.

So why does perfect matter?

My SIL recently posted her mission statement on her photography blog & I think it is BRILLIANT:

“To serve mothers in the quest to bottle up time.”

What better goal could there possibly be as a photographer?

What better gift to receive from your photographer?

Photographs are a gift, after all. A special glimpse into that moment in time, that we get to cherish forever.

Perfect hair? Perfect weight? Who cares.

Real is beautiful.

I’ll take no-shoes-rolling around-in-bed over forced smiles any day of the week.

I want to remember how I FELT during each phase of life. I want my family pictures to capture that.

Crazy. Chaotic. Untamed.

I love it all. & I want to remember it.

So think about it. Think about what you want to remember.

I bet it’s more than a bunch of pearly whites forcing smiles at the camera.

It’s time.

Time to book your session.

Or hand your camera to your husband.

Or set your self timer.

What are you waiting for?


Image credit: Kate L Photography

About Shawna

Despite days full of washing diapers & messy fun, Shawna is determined to make mommyhood a stylish adventure. Married to the military & mother to one feisty girl and a snuggly little dude, she is a passionate DIYer & loves sharing how to make the complicated simple. Shawna talks creativity, style, food, decorating, green-chic living & mommyhood at styleberryBLOG, a daily-ish dose of something fab.

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  • Lyndee R.

    *I* needed this right now! I am planning my own family pictures for early fall and I have already started the quest for the perfect outfit — the outfit that will magically make me appear 35 pounds lighter, the quest to LOSE 35 pounds and the quest to find the perfect color-coordinating outfits that compliment each other but don’t appear that we’re trying so hard to match…all so everyone on facebook will swoon and admire what a ‘perfect’ family I have…..the HECK WITH THAT! My family is perfectly IMPERFECT and that’s what I love about them!
    Thank you for reminding me what’s important – – to capture who we are RIGHT now!

  • Heather :) :) :)

    LOVE this…thanks for giving some much needed perspective on this. I’m so concentrated on taking perfect photos sometimes, that I forget it’s really the memories that I want to capture and preserve :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • Shawna Percival

      ahh. my home state. :) perfect is overrated!

  • Kim

    Great post!

    • Shawna Percival

      great mission statement. :)

  • Ceranicg

    Well said! Love this post. I don’t want to miss out on life all because I’m trying to get the perfect shot of my kids. I want to live in the here and now and if I happen to get a sweet image, great. If not, oh well. I don’t want my kids to remember me by the one who wouldn’t put the camera down.

    • Shawna Percival

      It’s hard, but worth it!

  • Lilliana Gonzalez

    Love it!!! Thanks for the reminder, Shawna. BTW… need to update your bio on here… you’re now mother to TWO!!! Isn’t that awesome despite all the sleepless nights?

    • Shawna Percival


  • Hannah Mayo

    So, so very well said Shawna. I love this.

    • Shawna Percival

      Thanks, Hannah!