Mama talks... perfection

The perfect is the enemy of the good - Voltaire

Perfection. What does it mean to you? Friend or foe? How much energy have you wasted trying to get there (wherever ‘there’ is)? Has it ever really done you any favours..?

We all know how heavily edited social media can be, and we really never know what's going on for other mamas behind all the filters. We all seem to want to project an image of having all our shit together, to try and prove to ourselves and everyone else that we’ve got this. But why? We're all in this same crazy boat, and when we drop the filters we make real connections. When we ask for help, we find that support is all around. When we embrace our imperfections and forgive our mistakes, there's more space to breathe. So let’s stop trying to always be something or someone or somewhere else. Let’s be present, here and now, ditching the comparisons, and aiming for balance and progress instead. Let’s stop focusing on everyone else’s highs and come home to our own brilliant, beautiful, (sometimes boring), exhausting, emotional and exhilarating ride.

I have been talking to the very lovely and talented Carin Thakrar about her work as a family photographer. If anyone has a peek behind the scenes, she does. Here’s her verbal and visual take on the filters of perfection on social media, what’s really going on outside that frame, and why all of it is beautiful in its own way. You can find her at www.carinthakrar.com

Behind the scenes - Carin Thakrar

Since social media came in to our lives, we’re now getting constant information on all sorts of platforms. We also connect with lots of amazing people who we’d never even know existed if it weren’t for the online networks.

But with all the information, we can also get a very unbalanced image of reality, with streams of photos containing seemingly perfect families, amazing holidays, Pinterest parties and children dressed immaculately and playing happily together.

It’s brilliant to show all these things and there’s no reason why they shouldn't be a part of our daily feeds – in fact they can be very inspiring and often make me smile.

But with all these ‘perfect’ pictures, it’s easy to think that everyone else’s life is so much more interesting and fun than your own, or that others have got their lives much more 'together'. The truth is, of course, that these photos only show a really small part of people’s lives, and usually only the edited and airbrushed highlights – digital photography allows us to take hundreds of snaps and only choose the best ones. The reality is often a lot more messy, disorganised and uneventful than the one projected online, but it’s still really beautiful in its own crazy, real, raw way.

As a family photographer who takes pictures in people’s homes, I see so many different types of families. Some people dress up and tidy their homes before a shoot, others are in their PJs without any worry for the laundry on the floor or the dishes in the sink. Sometimes the children are in a bad mood, or the baby might have kept everyone up all night. It’s all fine with me – it’s normal, and it’s life.

In the photos I take I want to show that there is beauty in the real, everyday moments, no matter what your home looks like or what you’re wearing. What’s important is the emotion that a photo evokes, whether that emotion is happiness, sadness, nostalgia, compassion or otherwise.

These pairs of photos are taken from the same shoots just a few seconds or minutes apart, but they show very different stories. They are all beautiful captured moments, evoking a range of emotions in their own unique way.

To me, perfection isn’t just to have a beautiful, tidy home, or always happy children. I believe that the everyday moments can be just as beautiful, if not moreso, than any of the ‘perfect’ family pictures out there on your news feed.

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