In the photography world, “Mom Tog” is used by many photographers as a bit of an insult. Sometimes it is used to describe the mom who gets a DSLR for Christmas one year, takes a few hundred photos of her kids during January, and decides to start a photography business in February. She probably still shoots on “Auto” mode, but since she has a nice expensive camera, her pics are pretty decent. She doesn’t actually know much about photography, business, or editing. Other times, “Mom Tog” might be used to describe someone like myself, who took quite a bit of time learning photography before starting a business, but was still generally self-taught on her own kids before learning on others (which is apparently not a good thing). I’m not sure who the “real” photographers are anymore though. Maybe they went to photography school. Maybe they have a Fine Arts Degree. But they apparently love to make themselves feel great by insulting others who didn’t travel the path that they took.
What I do know is that I love being a “mom tog.” I am able to capture some amazing moments and special memories that happen in my home. Like today, when my girls were playing with their new kitchen, I tried to be a fly on the wall and capture them in their element. My kids will never be this little again. They will only make pretend ice cream cones for a few more years. They will eventually grow older, wiser, more mature….they may not look at each other and burst into a fit of giggles for no reason (although I hope they always do that!). They will eventually complain to me that I can’t take pictures of them before their hair is combed, or their make-up is perfect, or they change out of pajamas. And I’m sure they will hate my camera many many times over the coming years. But when they are 20 or 30 or 40, and are looking back on their childhood, they will love their mom tog for saving the memories that many others don’t. I just know it.
And when you are choosing a photographer to capture your family, remember that although I am a self-taught “Mom Tog,” I know how to relate to your children. I know how to hold your newborn just right when they are fussing. Or how to make your 3-year old giggle when they don’t want to take a photo. I know who I am and what I am good at: you won’t see me trying to photograph your wedding or an Arizona Highways cover. But if you’re looking for someone who can make sure your family memories are preserved, someone who believes that it is utterly imperative to capture the fine hair on your baby’s back or the dimpled bracelet that their skin folds create on their wrist, then look no further: you have found your Mom Tog.