Long before I started dating my now husband, I looked at him one day and said to a friend, “That guy is going to be a GREAT dad.” Little did I know (and it hadn’t even crossed my mind) that he would one day be the dad to MY kids. But here we are, almost 18 years since I made that sentence, and I was more right than I ever could have imagined. I am so thankful for the love he has for our children.
I am very vocal about my belief that you (wife, mama, sister, friend, etc) should get in the picture. It is so important that we leave photographic evidence that we existed. Long after we are gone, our children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren will cherish seeing YOU in the photo!
I don’t want to leave it at that, though. Not only do you need to make sure you are in the picture, you also need to make sure dad is in the picture. There is nothing that melts my heart more than seeing a dad with his kids. I love they way they use him as a jungle gym, I love seeing his tenderness toward them. And I love seeing him truly love being with his kids. These photos make me fall in love all over again.
Here are a few things I have learned about getting dad in the photo:
1. Don’t tell him to smile. My husband cannot smile on command. He looks like he is in PAIN. You should see our wedding photos! On the other hand, his natural smile is wonderful. So, I don’t force the smile. I wait while he does what he loves best (playing with his kids) and then I snap when the moment comes. For more “posed” shots like the one of him with the kids on our porch, I usually have to do things like dance, make jokes, or say something outlandish. He’s just a big kid at heart so it always gets him laughing. When we take pictures together, I usually pinch his rear end. Gets him every time!
2. Just like you shouldn’t tell him to smile, don’t tell him what to do. Snapping a photo of your husband doing something he was told to do is usually obvious and fake. Men don’t like to be bossed around. Instead, watch and wait and then capture him being real. Those moments are so much more precious when you know they weren’t planned.
3. Don’t be afraid to take “real” pictures. If your husband watches a lot of sports, don’t be afraid to take pictures of it. If he tinkers in the garage, snap it. Not every picture has to be of him with you or the kids and not every picture has to be of him being “dad of the year.”
4. If you have the chance, get photos of him at work. His work takes up the majority of his week. If it is appropriate for you to take pictures sometime, do it. It would be a shame to spend 40+ years in a career and have no photos to show for it!
5. Take pictures of all the things he does around the house and for your family. It will help show him how much you appreciate tasks like grilling, taking out the garbage, or being on diaper duty!
6. Give him time to feel comfortable in front of the camera. If you haven’t taken many photos of him in the past, he might not be thrilled with your new obsession. Give him time and do numbers 1&2 above and he’ll get used to it. Make sure he understands that you want to help preserve memories of him for future generations.