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The Body Beautiful: Xanthe Berkeley

Background: British photographer, currently living in London.

Has your perspective and point of view changed since becoming a mom? And if so, how? I’ve always been a photographer of "moments," regularly carrying a camera with me on all occasions, recording my life. Since becoming a mom, I realize the moments with my children are so precious, as I know how time is fleeting and they change so quickly. It’s a gift to be able to freeze time to look back on.

What do you find most rewarding about motherhood? It’s an honor and privilege to raise boys. It’s rewarding to watch them grow and become who they are.

What do you find the most challenging or surprising? Every day is full of challenges — good and bad. The challenges change as they grow; just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, a new challenge comes along. This is parenthood.

How do you store/organize/display/showcase your photographs? I store my digital photographs on external hard drives and I use my blog and Instagram as a visual diary, but I’m huge believer in the printed image. Every month, I gather my favorite pictures and send them off for printing. These prints make it into frames to displayed, or onto a pin board, but most go into cardboard boxes — which I call Time Capsules, to be looked through in the future. (I even created a photography class to encourage people to photograph their moments and print their photos.)

Any recommendations for moms trying to capture those beautiful moments? Have your camera with you, take it everywhere … this is easier with the mobile device. Look for moments that may seem ordinary, but will change over time. Look for things you know you’ll want to remember … and look for good light.

Any situation (good or bad) where you wish you had your camera? I wish I had more photos at the birth of my boys. This was a time in my life I will never repeat, so I wish I had photos of the whole experience.

What makes you feel beautiful as a mother? I was able to grow and nurture our two boys. Yes, my body has changed over time, but it’s pretty amazing how it grew and fed both our boys. I think that’s beautiful.

If you had to do it all over again would you change anything and why? I would look after myself a lot more. The art of self-care is only something I've discovered in the past few years. I was a classic "put everyone else first" person — especially being a mum with young children. I've learnt that actually taking time for yourself is important and not selfish; little gestures of kindness to yourself can benefit the whole family. When you're happy and content, it shines out. Whether I take a 10-minute walk, lunch with a friend, a massage, a long hot bath or an extra 15 minutes on the yoga mat — it's important. Yes, it’s easier now that our boys are older, but I wish I'd done this when they were young. I'm sure it would have helped!

Where you can find Xanthe:

Blog: Xanthe Berkeley

Work Website: Xanthe Berkeley Film & Photography

E-Classes & Courses: Xanthe Berkeley Courses

Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram

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