The moral of this meandering post has more to do with reflection than client work, personal work, whatever. It’s a reflection on some lessons I have learned (and will continue to learn). This past weekend I celebrated (yet another) birthday and have chosen to embrace this age with wisdom instead of ignorance about the passage of time. Yeah, so what I’m not 21 anymore – frankly while I loved it you couldn’t pay me enough to go back without the wisdom I have gained over the years.
Since I’ve become a ‘professional’ (
you know vs. what I used to be before people paid me to create memories) photographer I’ve had a lot of fill-in-the-blank type moments.
"The PHOTO of the moment"
"The OUTFIT of the moment"
"The EXPRESSION of the moment"
The truth of the matter is this, I’ve missed a lot of fun, beautiful, silly, sad, smart, happy, goofy moments in my own families’ life because I’ve glossed over imperfect expressions, things about my children that seem meaningless or frustrating. Things that, in the big scheme of things, are part of what make parenting so fun/frustrating/bittersweet/happy/sad/fun/the-best-thing-I’ve-ever-done.
I vow to turn a new leaf. Starting now.
So I bring to you now several images that I have fallen in love with. Not because they are perfect – but because they are IMPERFECT. And we are imperfect. And I love every bit of imperfection of who we are.
The first set is from this past summer at my in laws fabulous property:
I glossed over this shot. WHY? I have no idea. Perhaps I didn’t love my photographers’ children
frustrating high jinx that day.
Those dresses are from Matilda Jane (I’ve been asked a dozen times). You may remember how much I HART their little girls clothes from past sessions from several years ago. I love the almost patchwork girliness of their line.
The following images (circa 2005) woke me out of my reverie and allowed me to *really* look at images that back in the day I didn’t see as worthy of my time &/or effort – you know because I was looking for THE expression, THE moment, THE shot. Images of my then 5 year old’s beautiful soulful expressions – images that, as a mom, I long for now that my baby has grown up and is on the edge of completing her first decade of life. My tunnel vision (for a long time) failed to encompass who WE are as a family, who THEY are as children, as sisters, as daughters. In my efforts to find THE SHOT (THE MOMENT, THE EXPRESSION) I failed to see LIFE.
I now realize that in my quest for whatever perfection that perhaps never existed in the moment I neglected the real feelings, the real expression, the real THIS IS WHO THESE KIDS ARE, this is who my family is. Of the moment. Of all the moments.
There’s two that stand out to me & here they are:
She was still such a baby then – it’s funny how we (as parents) think of our oldest children as all grown up and perpetually think our youngest children remain babies. Perspective.
This was October 2005 – I mislabeled it. LOL I’m more confused than my camera’s data.
My personal lesson is this: Life is too short to focus on perfection. None of us is perfect. I’m embracing this motto for my perspective of my family (as I struggle to accept it in myself). As we round the corner to 2010 it’s time to remind ourselves that life isn’t about moments of perfection, it’s about connections.
Lastly I leave you with this: Love often, anger lightly, forgive frequently. Live and rejoice in the imperfect.
well written as always. I found myself in this same predicament not long ago when I realized I wasn’t really taking snapshots around the house like I once did. Moments of the kids coloring at the table, sitting on the couch together, playing with trucks on the floor, etc. Life. I was only focusing on the “professional” moments getting them dressed up and going to some fab location to get those beautiful, perfect pictures to go big on my walls. Thankfully it was only 6-9 months, but a huge amount of time when I think about never getting it back. So, I always tell everyone, take pictures, lots and lots of pictures AND make sure you as the parents are in them too. After my Dad passed away I cherished every picture I could find with us together, which was sadly not that many. When the kids are grown, memories and pictures are all we will have. Memories will fade but being able to look back at all those albums is what will keep them babies in our minds forever. Love ya Mare:)
I wish that first shot was on Flickr, so I could fave the tar out of it.
These images ARE perfect! I wish more parents would see what the real value is in having a custom children’s photographer like you do their children’s sessions; it’s because they capture SO MANY images, each one grabbing a special glimpse into who they are. It’s not about getting a good one – it’s about the whole series fitting together and yeras later showing a real and objective look at just how beautiful and special they are.
Those are some amazing shots. I love that the kids are barefoot, it just makes it feel more natural I guess. Great work.
Amen to everything you have written. You totally hit the nail on the head for how I feel when I photograph my children (that is when I remember to). Thanks for the timely reminder. I love all of these images.