The Mommy Photographer -- Capture Life's Special Moments Yourself

03/10/2015 06:01 pm ET | Updated May 10, 2015

I have made a promise to myself to trust my mommy skills. Every January, I come up with my New Year's resolutions that range from losing the baby weight (even though my baby is 4) to finding more time for myself. This year, I have left those resolutions with 2014 and I'm making a promise to trust my skills. My kids always say, "Mommy, you're the best!" I need to trust them and believe that mother knows best!

I will never forget the lesson I learned with my firstborn. He was 3 months old and I couldn't wait for the day he could hold his head up long enough to go to a department store photography studio and get his first professional pictures taken. I, the proud parent, arrived thinking my child would make the perfect model, and now it was time for him to shine. After the pictures were taken I realized, a mommy is truly the only one who cares about the pictures and it wasn't worth the money, sweat and tears. The price was ridiculous for the sitting fee, touch-up fee and the limited time in the studio. I found myself sweating uncontrollably. And, yes, if you're a mommy you know of the sweat mustache that comes when you're stressing beyond control. Next comes the tears. I found myself crying in the car because the photos came out horribly and I spent way more money than expected on something I could have done better at home. That's when I decided to become the mommy photographer.

The next year, our Christmas card was of my son in the bathtub with bubbles galore and a Santa beard made from the bubbles. The picture was taken on my camera and made for a great holiday card. Sometimes a professional photographer and studio isn't needed. When a mom is calm and comfortable the child tends to be the same.I always say, "A stressed and anxious child comes from a stressed and anxious parent." I have vowed to find the right moments to take out my camera. If a moment comes about unexpected, the cameras on your phones are just as good. Your child will smile for you more than they will smile at a stranger. Documenting the years is easy.

I thought I had learned a lesson from my son but then I had a daughter and all I could imagine was years of dress-up and photo shoots. It turned out that my daughter was more camera shy at the age of 2 than my son was at 3 months. I had planned a mermaid-themed photo shoot with a costume and elaborate background. The shoot was over planned and I didn't get one photo with her looking at the camera or smiling. I realized school pictures and athletic activities might be the only time my kids see a paid photo session. We take pictures during fun times. If I've taken 100 shots and get only five good ones then it was a great day! Candid photos seem to be the best -- a mommy knows when and where it's time to pull out the camera. Document their lives, but don't ruin the moment trying to do so. Let's face it, real smiles are the best of all.


Amber Sabathia is a mommy mogul, co-founder of PitCCh In Foundation, and creator/designer of CCandy Clothing. Visit, and Follow @AmberSabathia on twitter and Instagram.