There is a certain challenge in capturing the personality and soul of a living breathing being in a 2 x 3 flat rectangular picture.
There is a challenge in capturing the emotion of an irreplaceable bond with a threadbare stuffed bunny; the perfection of the first curl of hair and the cinnamon-bun-swirly knees of a chubby baby; the stubbornness and insistence in the toddler who won’t take off her yellow rubber boots; the wonderment and awe in a one-year old discovering the world around him; and the crazy-glue love and connection between a brother and sister, mother and baby, father and child. This is the challenge of creating natural family photography.
And I am addicted to this challenge.
I am addicted to rising to this challenge and succeeding at this challenge - even more than I am addicted to my morning latte (and given that my morning lattes often come 2 or 3 in quick succession, that’s saying something).
What often only moms can see about their children’s true selves – those genuine smiles, grins full of pride, mischievous giggles, curious twinkles in the eye – I can see through the glass of my camera lens in a way I just can’t see with the naked eye. And when I see it through the lens, I can capture it forever. I can succeed at the challenge.
nd after the challenge has been met, there is even more satisfaction in presenting the captured memories to mom in a way that she never even thought existed outside of her own mind. I get to put in her hands a tangible keepsake of memories that would have otherwise been relegated to words in the future telling of anecdotes. I show her the perfection of her very own little family in images, and she gets to share those images with everyone she wants to, and she gets to keep them forever. I take an insane amount of pride in creating family heirlooms. Nothing makes me happier (unless they are photos of my own little perfect/imperfect family).
It’s selfish too. While I fancy myself a kinder person than one who aspires to make people cry, it’s a guilty pleasure to know that seeing her family photos for the first time makes mom cry – cry with overwhelming pride, fulfillment and a bit of perfect nostalgia.
And you know what? It’s not even just the photos, it’s the experience too. I have so much fun providing an experience that pampers mom and removes her from the everyday mundane and not-so-mundane challenges, and gives her a glimpse of the true beauty of her family. I love giving families a special chance to be together and focus on one another at their photo session. And I love being the part of that experience myself – being a little bit part of a family even if just for a few hours. Being a family photographer. It recharges my batteries.
While the realities of being a mom and a business owner can be overwhelming at (most) times, I get through by remembering that I get to be a girl boss, set my own goals, and be in charge of reaching them. I get to do it all surrounded by my husband and little ones (and all those piles of laundry they come along with them). And I get to turn people’s lives into art that they can keep forever. I get to create the art of your life.
Is the art of your life on your walls yet?
Please share this with anyone you know that you think should have family photos on their walls, anyone who wants to cry at the beauty of their little family, any photographer who is wondering why she is doing what she is doing, and anyone else you can think of.