Yesterday, I decided it would be a good time to get new “frame-able” pictures. The pictures of the kids are old, they change, and I like to keep it current. We spent the morning at a state park, walking around, and finding fun, shady places to do our pictures.
I do this for other families many times a year. It *should* be super easy to do my own family, right?
Well, we had a wonderful morning at the park. It was beautiful. Scott had energy, the kids were happy, the bugs stayed away, and the birds sang. A momtographer’s Heaven. Also, just a wonderful family outing, and we don’t always have those.
However, getting those natural smiles out of my own kids, is so much harder than out of another person’s kid.
First, I OWN these kids, so my investment in their behavior is so much higher than my friends or clients. Second, I am a photographer, so my pictures on my wall *should* be picture perfect.
However, we are NOT the perfect catalogue family. Our family has flaws.
For example, my son’s smile looks painful. I mean, to get him to smile, is wicked hard. He hates his new teeth, and finds natural joy in many things, but NOT getting his picture taken. He is 8 and does it well.
My daughter gives me the most genuine smile when she is waving her hands over head, pretending to dance like me. (For the record, I do NOT dance like that…….in public.)
As I am processing the day’s photos, I remember:
I didn’t pick up the camera and become obsessed with photography for those perfect frame-able images. Quite the opposite, actually.
My most recent obsession started a week after my son was born. After one of the most stressful weeks of my life, we brought our “newborn” home. I noticed, in that week of tests, monitors, and medicine my son already looked different than he did the day he was born.
I panicked. I realized that people were right, This baby was going to grow up fast. Man, I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a moment. So I started to freeze every moment possible. I froze the good ones, the bad ones, and so many moments of just ordinary life.
I have documented the many ups and downs of our family’s life. We have the good, bad, sad, and awesome recorded for ourselves.
To this day, my FAVORITE photos are the ones taken, when the subject doesn’t even know I am there.
We are not the family in the catalogue, or even the picture perfect family. But we have a record of our perfectly imperfect moments. That is all that matters to me.