A dear friend recently reminded me of a very important truth: we are the custodians of our children and grandchildren’s memories. That got me to thinking.  How many times do we say to ourselves, “oh I don’t need another picture of me” or in some other way pass off capturing our own life as insignificant?  I know I think this way all the time and yet I would kill for photographs of those insignificant moments in the lives of my grandparents.  After their weddings, couples say that they won’t need photos of the two of them for many years now.  Every year when someone older wins a portrait session through the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, they pass it on to their kids or a friend saying that they just don’t need photos of themselves. Maybe you don’t need more photos of yourself but those photos are not for you. That is the important thing that we all need to remember.

Taking it one step further, here is my biggest conviction from that conversation (can you relate?): we are so careful to back up and re-back up our clients images, but not our own. They’re on our computers here at our house and if someone were to break in and steal those computers, or if a fire claimed our office, all of our personal photos would be gone.  I’m working on changing that right now as we move a copy of all our personal images off-site to be stored with our client images.  This is so important!  If you don’t have a company for off-site storage, at least burn a dvd of your images and take them to a family member’s house.  You just never know and we are the custodians of our children and grandchildren’s memories.  It’s time that we take that to heart.

As our files from the last several years begin their move to off-site locations, here are the most recent images we’ve taken for our children and grandchildren.  I hadn’t really planned to do much with this stage in our life.  After all, I was just pregnant and we know what that looks like.  I don’t really feel like I need another picture of me in this state, but this is for our son and his children, so that they can glimpse back into this insignificant moment in our life and hopefully know us a little better for it.

They’ll know a little better just how much we loved him before he was even born and how much we anticipated his arrival into our lives…

They’ll remember how much new gadgets, like a new remote shutter trigger, fascinate Sean and how funny he can be. :0)

They’ll see how I humored him and those gadgets…

…until I didn’t ;0)

They’ll glimpse the younger selves of their elders, who we are as a couple, and hopefully still see some of this in us all those years later.

Most importantly, we hope that they’ll see love and remember us for it.

We are the custodians of our children and grandchildren’s memories – of their heritage.  No matter how insignificant our life’s moments may seem to us, I plan to move forward both documenting it and preserving it well.  We hope you’ll do the same.


  1. Em Humphries on February 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    These images are PRICELESS and so are yall! You guys + baby mclellan deserve every happiness!

  2. adrian hitt on February 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL photos and words! Well said and Mel you look absolutely fabulous!

  3. K. Crafton on February 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Way to make me cry Mel…
    Much love to you guys and you’re so, so right about preserving memories!

  4. Savannah Kenney on February 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Mel, could you get any cuter?! So glad you guys wrote this, we need to protect our personal images just like we do our clients… Lesson learned for us when we realized a hard drive crash caused us to lose our honeymoon pictures.

  5. Cathy Crawley on February 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Mel you are gorgeous! And I couldn’t agree more about the sentiment! I wish my family had portraits done when I was younger, they never did.

  6. uberVU - social comments on February 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by melmclellan: For those wanting to see how I look pregnant or those just wanting to see what it looks like when Sean dances… ;) http://bit.ly/a5A1cv

  7. Lisa Love on February 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    What a wonderful time for both of you *and* I just love all your expressions! :p

  8. Kristyn Hogan on February 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Love you guys :) Can’t wait to meet the lil guy and I’m so glad you took the time to capture this. Truly precious. I know I would love to have photos like this of my parents.

  9. Karen Lisa on February 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I teared up reading this! Your words are so true. I’m really happy for the two of you, and these photos are beautiful. :)

  10. amy on February 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    awwwWWW!!! love you two mucho. :)

  11. Tesa on February 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I love the pictures! I also love what you wrote. Tons of pictures of the kids and very few of us. You are in our prayers and on our minds as the big day nears.

  12. esm on February 16, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Beautiful, precious, priceless. We cried!! :)

  13. dellicious on February 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Really Mel, could you be any more beautiful? And Sean, you aren’t to bad yourself!! Can’t wait to meet him! Love you guys!

  14. mandy whitley on February 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Wow! Beautiful shots and an excellent reminder for all of us to take care of our own images….well said!

  15. Amy Lynn Larwig on February 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Seriously?! So adorable!

  16. rachel b on February 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    love, love, love. beautiful pictures, mel and sean!

  17. Garrett & Joy on February 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    These are great! That first one especially, wow!

    A very real and refreshing perspective. We had one of our externals crash about a year ago and we lost some of our personal pictures. All our client’s stuff was backed up elsewhere too, so it was okay. So you’re absolutely right.

    We’re so excited for you guys. Pre-congratulations!

  18. Missy on February 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Um. You’re going to make me cry. I LOVE these!!! I especially like the one where Sean’s eyes are as big as saucers looking at your belly. So wonderfully you and Sean. I love you guys. SO excited to meet this MUCH LOVED baby boy! I love you guys!!!

  19. john michael cooper on February 16, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    awwww, sweeet.. now i need a new gaget too!

  20. Marcia Truitt on February 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I love them all so much!! Thanks for the reminder!

  21. brooke Lagstein on February 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    absolutely true! I am a photographer because of the stack of photos albums that sat in my living room growing up! We document history – that’s what we do. And you look amazing and happy and I am over joyed for you guys. Lots of love and well wishes coming your way from your friends in NJ

  22. Nicole on February 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Are you guys INTENTIONALLY trying to make me cry? Mission accomplished.

    These pictures are beautifully hilarious. They totally capture you guys (with the knowledge of what little time I spent with you guys). I know they will be cherished for generations to come.

  23. mary crow on February 16, 2010 at 10:01 pm


  24. Phil Thornton on February 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Great! Love them. Also, in the future when cameras are mind controlled our kids will look back on these and laugh at that silly old gadget.

  25. Jonathon Campbell on February 17, 2010 at 12:07 am

    What beautiful images…Little Mama you are glowing. We are all so excited to meet your little one. And seriously that series of sean dancing, that image on the bottom center Wants to be a t-shirt. It really does. ;) Love you guys!

  26. Danielle Richardson on February 17, 2010 at 1:07 am

    These are beautiful and fun! I am so very happy for the three of you!

  27. George Natis on February 17, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Well said and absolutely true in every aspect. Thanks for bringing this up in our minds.

  28. Dawn Beirnes on February 17, 2010 at 7:54 am

    these are beautiful! Your son will treasure these! By the way, even pregnant, you are gorgeous!

  29. Amy McNeil on February 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

    LOVE this post! so perfect, so meaningful, so special!! congrats you two!

  30. Lynn Michelle on February 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I just adore these.

  31. Sharon Campbell on February 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

    He is so blessed already! Large color image with Sean’s hand on your belly made me smile from ear to ear. thank you for sharing.

  32. sarah b. gilliam on February 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    sniff, sniff… amen sista! and how fun is remote shooting? that’s the only way we get family photos !! so happy for you and sean.

  33. Emily on February 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    LOVE these… you two are awesome and will make such fun parents! Thanks so much for the reminder to back up our own personal images!!

  34. Rachael Earl on February 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    So great-hoping for the best for you guys!!!!

  35. Mindy on February 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    So cute! We can’t wait to meet the little guy :)

  36. Becka @ Studio222 Photography on February 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    What a great reminder. Nate and I are too flighty with our own memories. That is most definitely something we need to work on. And… nice moves Sean ;)

  37. diana on February 18, 2010 at 8:41 am

    awesome! cant wait to see baby mclellan!

  38. nancy hellsten on February 20, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Mel, you are SO right. I’m amazed at how quickly our little guy is growing, and I already feel guilty for not having more photos with him. Of course I’m taking lots of pictures OF him, but it’s really difficult to get myself in them.
    You’re looking great, and I am so happy for you two.

  39. Jen Creed on February 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    This made me tear up :) You all are awesome, and Mel, you are SO beautiful!

  40. Trevor on February 21, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Great post – very nicely said!

  41. Terry on February 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    such fun pictures!

  42. Ricki Ford on February 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I love these! Funny stuff….

  43. Kristi on February 26, 2010 at 1:50 am

    beautiful. Mel, you look stunning! Such an important message…thank you!

  44. secret admirer on March 4, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Melanie,,You are absolutely gorgeous and radient!!!

  45. secret admirer on March 4, 2010 at 12:34 am

    You will be a WONDERFUL MOTHER!

  46. jena on March 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Hope you don’t mind but I shared a link to this post on my facebook page for all of my friends who are moms or are soon-to-be moms…just love the way you explained it :)

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