Hidden me – January 2014 (why I want more pictures of me)

I’m the main memory recorder in our family, but although everything is captured from my perspective I tend to be missing from view, plus I think there is something different between reading someone’s thoughts and seeing images.. I take the majority of photographs and videos and that means I’m usually hidden behind the camera. I first noticed this in 2009 when I put together a photo book of B’s first year. There are 20 pictures of me (less than two a month) and some of them aren’t great but are the only ones we had. I thought we’d made more effort during my M’s first year, but still I only appear in 23 in his first year photo book and eight of those are ‘out-takes’ as we tried to get our annual family picture.  Thanks to the timer, I took a few pictures of myself to include in last year’s Project 52 layouts.

Project 52 pages including me

 In November last year I saw a title on the BBC website about Hidden Mothers and thought it meant mother’s like me, but no this was about mothers who are hidden in the picture to hold their child during early photography. Looking through the photographs it made me appreciate the wonders of digital photography and the ease of taking photographs, including selfies. However, the pictures stayed with me and I started to think maybe times haven’t changed that much. We take many many pictures these days, but who is taking them, is it always the same person, the hidden mother, father, child or friend?

Therefore, this year I’m planning on making sure there is at least one photograph of me each month and if no one else takes one of me I will have to take my own as I did for the Project 52 layouts. Fortunately, this month I’ve found two pictures of me and both taken by other people. The first by a waitress at a restaurant where I went to a reunion of an old project and the second taken by B after I’d been taking pictures of her; it may not be the most flattering of pictures, but hey its a photograph and I’m celebrating.

Hidden me January 2014

How do you capture memories? Who takes the photographs in your house? Do you feel hidden behind the camera?


  1. says

    Not just mothers! I know exactly what you mean. my wife almost never takes photos or videos, that’s always me: hence I never appear in any of them. I maybe need to invest in a tripod & use a self-timer more (when / if I get my proper camera fixed). Great post

    • says

      I’m sure it is not just mothers, I suspect there are many households where one person controls the camera :) I’ve used walls, chairs and boxes to set the camera up to take timer pictures (I never have a tripod when I want one). Have a count up during February and let me know how many pictures you find of yourself.

  2. The English Dad says

    Hi Kate. I know this is an older post but I have exactly this problem. I’ve got over 10,000 photos on my computer at home from over 6.5 years, all the way from pregnancy with my first daughter, right up to yesterday and I bet I’m not even in 50 of them.. in ALL that time!!

    • says

      Hello, I’m slightly happy that it is not just me, but I’m also sad that there are other people who are not being captured. My husband takes a fair few pictures a year, but he usually takes landscapes, wildlife and flowers, and other family members usually focus on the kids. But I’m on a mission and already got this month sorted because there are several pictures of me taking part in the Team Honk relay.

      My challenge to you for the next week is to take or ask someone else to take a picture of you!

  3. Outnumbered (@ECouttie13) says

    Hi, your post really struck home. I’m always the one behind the camera in our house, hence, I’m missing from photos of family events, even the days all my kids were born. Never been entirely comfortable with having my pic taken but when the kids look back on our family photos when they are older they are going to notice that Mum is missing from them. I am going to make sure this yr that I hand the camera over to their Dad more often.

    • says

      I agree with you. I’m not keen on having my photograph taken, but I’ve decided it is worse not to me in any pictures. I’m trying harder, for instance the picture my husband took of me this morning in my new cycling kit, is not the most flattering but it wasn’t worth spending more time to get it better.

      Good luck with getting in more pictures, and do let me know how it goes and if you have any tips for getting in them

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