Hi! I'm Jen Lebo. I'm here to help you with all things
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My blog posts seemed to be a bit "daughter heavy" last month. Seems fitting to a degree, as my portrait vision falls in line with pouring true beauty into our daughters and walking with them down this sometimes difficult road of worldly beauty vs. true beaty. Well, never fear, all you moms of boys, because February is definitely the month of "all things boy" for me. Weird right? After all, isn't February the month of hearts and love and Valentines? Sure, but it's also the month of my older boy's birthday! In fact, his birthday is TODAY! So as I spend the day celebrating the boy who made me a mom, I thought I'd share with you my top ten "must-have" photos of your own boys. Let's see how many of them I have of my boys!
1. YOUR SON SMILING
I know, I'm starting off this list with the exact same photo you should have of your daughters (which, by the way, that list can be found HERE IN THIS BLOG POST). But of course, the reasoning works for both our sons and our daughters. As our boys grow from babies into young men, they sometimes go through awkward phases. Teeth get a little crooked, smiles get a little rare, uncertainty looms. Before too long, our boys start believing that smiling in photos is what GIRLS do! So capture those smiles now, while you still can! Oh how I love my boys' smiles.
2. HIM IN HIS FAVORITE GEAR
If I let them, my boys would be in their Pats gear every single day. Until baseball season, when they'd insist on their Sox gear. Until soccer season when the Chelsea jerseys, and the Team USA jerseys, and the Manchester United jerseys come out. And I see the same thing with their friends. If it's not Steelers gear, it's Broncos gear, or it's Liverpool FC gear. All boys, all ages (my husband is the same way!). So these photos won't be hard to get. Grab your boy and get this shot. Chances are, he's already got his gear on!
3. PLAYING SPORTS OR DOING HIS FAVORITE ACTIVITY
My boys are sports buffs. It comes with being part of this family. But not every boys loves sports, and that's ok. Maybe your little man is a someday engineer. Maybe he likes to take every tool in your house apart to see how it works from the inside out. Maybe he loves to cook. Whatever it is, capture him at it. Who knows where these passions will take them? And it's so fun to look back on old photos of your boys just starting out in the activities that they still enjoy today.
4. YOUR SON READING OR DOING SOMETHING QUIET AND THOUGHTFUL
This one is kind of important, because it seems to happen less frequently as our boys get older. I love that my boys come home from school and then fly out the door when they are done with their homework. I love that they can hardly sit through dinner because they have friends waiting for them to play football afterwards. But I also love these quiet moments when they are resting, reading, thinking, creating, and growing their minds. Boys are such wonderful creatures! Full of spirit and chaos, and then filled with creativity and imagination. Let's capture both.
5. SHOWING LOVE, GENTLENESS, OR KINDNESS TO HIS SIBLINGS
I definitely have to laugh over this one, and you'll notice that the photo I chose for this has two YOUNGER siblings. I had a hard time finding a photo to fit this "Must-Have" from my own personal stash of Lebo pictures. Oh I adore my kids, but they are definitely going through some sort of a "bickering" stage. And that's putting it mildly. There are definitely moments (few and far between) where my boys show love for each other and for their sister, but they are kind of rare these days, especially if you consider the chaotic energy that I mentioned in Point 4. So catch them being kind. Catch them being patient. Catch them showing love- particularly for their brothers and sisters. And get it photographed. Let's celebrate love and goodness and kindness and gentleness in our boys. Let's teach them that these qualities are not feminine, but are universal and essential.
6. YOUR BOY WITH HIS GRANDPA
In my post about girl "must haves", I noted that we need to get photos of our girls with our moms. Well, the same goes for our boys with our dads. There is something quite wonderful about catching the pride in a grandfather's eyes as he spends time with the son of his own son. Or to catch the joy in your father's eyes as he looks at the little man that calls his little girl "Mom". These are precious relationships, and ones we need to capture, not just for ourselves, but for our boys. Grandfathers have so much wisdom and truth to pass down to their grandsons. Be sure to put portraits to this.
7. YOUR SON IN A STRONG, MASCULINE POSE
Ah, our little men, turning into big men. How many of you have already been passed in height by your boys? Well, my oldest turns 12 today, and so it's coming for me. I love capturing my boys in masculine poses. Arms crossed, chin held up high, chest puffed out. In some ways, it's so cute! But if I look closely, I can see the man my boy is too quickly becoming. However, I would not suggest that your boy use his younger siblings as props for his masculinity, as my guy did here. You can bet I'll be capturing the moment when these roles are reversed, and little brother is getting his "pay back"!
8. YOUR BOY WITH YOUR MAN
Isn't it uncanny how much our boys sometimes look like their dads? Wow! Our oldest looks so much like my husband looked at that age, and it is so fun to see their similiarities. And I'm not just talking about eye color or the same nose. I'm talking their expressions, their mannerisms, their interests. It's wild. Don't you just love seeing your son resemble your favorite guy? Be sure to get these two (or three or four!) in photos together. Today, your son might be a mini version of your husband. Tomorrow he might be inches taller than him. So get it all captured today.
9. YOUR BOY WITH YOU
Yes, of course, you knew this one was coming, but it's so important. It's so precious. Again, in the blink of an eye, our sons will be towering over us, swallowing us up in their manly hugs. And soon enough, before they're actually "men", there might come a time (gasp!) when they won't be so comfortable with us hugging them. So hug that sweet boy of yours and have somone snap a photo of it. While they still fit snugly into our arms. Surely, this will be one of our greatest tangible treasures in the years to come.
10. YOUR BOY TODAY
Today. Today is precious. Today he might be covered in mud, or frustrated by his math homework. Today he might be heartbroken over a crush at school, or jazzed up about the hockey game on tonight. Today might bring absolutely nothing special. Or maybe by just being today, another day to enjoy our little boys, that makes it special. So capture whatever is happening with your boy today. Be present with him. Capture the awkward, the emotional, the uncertain, the growth. Capture all the ordinary things that make your boy so much more than ordinary.
What other photos do you love to have of your son? What did I forget to include on this list? Share with us, so we can all create mountains of treasures for years to come! And a very very special Happy Birthday to my oldest boy, who will always be my baby. Love you, Bud.