• Helen Ferguson

Get Into the Photo

Updated: May 23, 2021

Take Up Some Space

We were crawling to the finish line!

We had been Entertainment Director, Transportation Coordinator, Food and Beverage Manager and Supply Chain Executive! All on top of whatever it is we usually do during a normal working week.

The Summer, 6 week School Holidays in Australia were winding down, and we were ever so slightly thrilled that we might be about to get some sort of routine back into our days.

Two weeks ago, shiny faced Kindergarten kids and pimple encrusted Teens alike, were heading off to their seats of learning to embark on a new academic year.

They were coerced into standing still for the obligatory 'First Day of School' photos that flooded our social media feeds.

But photo after photo, there was a missing person.

After being so integral to the coordination and delivery of an 'awesome summer', where were the key personnel?

Mum, get into the photo.

Gran, get into the photo

Aunty…...get into the photo!

If these memories are worth making for them,

there is a version of that memory that should, and must, include you!

Where Is She?

All Summer break long, my Socials have paraded colourful happy snaps and videos of holiday activities.

Kids and puppies romping in gardens,

teens jumping around on Mountain Bikes ,

Grandads teaching kids to fish,

Dads helping to pitch tents.

Where is Mum?

Where is Gran?

Where is Aunty?

Behind the bloomin' camera, that's where!

She’s generally the one wanting to create memories and capture the moment, but she’s always missing from the end result.

Get into the picture.

Take up some space.

Be visible.

Don't the people that you love deserve to be able look back on their lives and see how much you were there for them, just how much fun you are and

how many things you made happen for them?

Present is Better than Perfect

We all know how uneasy we feel about photos that were taken when we don't look our best.

That's normal.

"Oh, I look tired / fat / a mess."

"I haven't done my hair/makeup"

"I would have worn something else if I knew you were taking photos!"

I have a friend who routinely ignores the 'tall ones at the back and short ones at the front' rule of group photos.

She always shuffles her short little body behind two taller bodies and just wedges her head through between their arms.

She thinks she's too fat to be in the photo without hiding her body.

She's adored by everyone who knows her, she's invited to everything.

Nobody puts her at the back, she puts herself there.

She makes herself less visible.

She wants to avoid judgement.... real or imagined.

It's OK to be Normal

If we don’t get in front of the camera when we look ‘normal’,

then normal women will never become normalised.

We are not always at a wedding, or at the races, or going to the company awards night.

Sometimes we are on a park bench covered in dog hair, or in the garden having a water pistol fight.

Sometimes we’ve got sunburn, or a wedgie.

It’s all absolutely ok.

We aren’t always picture perfect, but we do still need to be part of the collective memory for our loved ones.

In a highly edited and photoshopped world, we must show up in our own lives.

We must remember to make our real selves visible.

Our girls need to grow up knowing that looking normal is allowed.

Our boys need to grow up knowing that a woman doesn't have to be on display to have worth.

The kids that don't quite know where they fit in have to see that there is a space in the photo for them too.

We don’t need to be perfect.

We do need to be visible.

Take up some space.

Get into the picture.

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