I’ve never been one to keep a long story short, but here goes…
Shortly after the birth of my first child, I bought my first camera (unbeknownst to my husband…yeah, spending large amounts of money without telling your significant other is not something I recommend, but that’s another story for another time). Once I figured out how to turn the camera on, I expected to take amazingly awesome shots right out of the gate…only that didn’t happen. In reality, I found photography very frustrating since I couldn’t seem to get my pictures to match my vision for how I wanted them to look (that’s a nice way of re-emphasizing how really, really, REALLY bad I was). Regardless, there was just something there that I was drawn to, and it kept me going and pushed me to keep learning.
As my family grew to include two girls, I found myself photographing more of our regular day-to-day routine vs. asking my family to look into the camera and say “CHEESE.” It is through a camera lens that I began to slow down and watch our everyday moments unfold into a story. I can honestly say that my viewfinder has helped me truly see my family in a way that I’m not sure I would have if I hadn’t had a camera. So, my husband should be happy I spent a big chunk of money without telling him. Happy wife, happy life…right? No?
Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a value to traditional family portraits. We’ve had family portraits done a few times, and I do LOVE those pictures with all my heart. But outside of those portraits, when are we all ever color-coordinated?? To me, there is a greater value in capturing the snuggles with Gramma after the pool, the trips to the park, the smiles (that weren’t prompted with “CHEESE”), and even the tears. Those are the things that will be remembered.
When my youngest really likes something, she often says with a big smile, “This is the stuff.” So, this is where my photography journey has led me – capturing “the stuff.”