I had a session this afternoon with the Holland family. Travis ,Amy and their 3 amazing kids, Tyler, Brayden and Regan (the last two are twins) It was HOT, humid and the mosquitos were eating us alive even with “deep woods off” spray on us. But those kids made me laugh so hard I barely noticed any of the challenge we had.
WHERE’S THE OWNERS MANUAL?
Having children always comes with its challenges some more unique than others. This family is dealing with those challenges in a most amazing way.
I remember the concerns everyone had when the twins were born. Concerns that often accompany babies that are born a little early. Then add an another sibling to the mix (3 great kids to love and care for now) Wow, can you imagine how overwhelming it may have been at times? I know with my one and only child (who is now grown) how difficult it was. There were so many times I wished I had been given a manual on how to be a good parent over the years. And I only had ONE.
As I watch the dynamics between each member of the family I couldn’t help but think ” what a blessing it has been to be a part of this sweet family as their photographer and friend. ” Today, I watched these little twins literally run circles around everyone and laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes – after all I remember when we wondered if they’d every run at all. Totally a priceless experience for me.
STOP TOUCHING ME!
In the midst of all the mosquito slapping, sweat wiping, tears, chaos and chasing, the true story of this family was right there in front of my very eyes. There was so much love there. Life is not perfect. Life is not always. It does not always present itself in a neat little package all tied up perfectly with a bow around it. Nope. Sometimes you get life in “living color full of action”.
THE BIG REVEAL
I haven’t had a chance to look at the images yet but I already know that if we can’t find one perfect Image in the batch that’s okay because they are all perfect because they are “real”. The reflection do real life filled with real love!
Take a minute, 30 seconds, okay even 10 seconds to look at the blessings in your life. They are there. Disguised as challenges but filled with love!
I read an interesting blog post by a fellow photographer (unfortunately, I can’t remember who it was) and I could not have agreed more. It expressed my sentiment so well that I wanted to share it with you.
Choose the Right Investment
A lot of times, you hear the word investment used loosely. You have time investments, emotional investments, and of course – financial investments. Now everyone agrees that stocks and bonds are an investment, but is photography really an investment? I might be a little biased, but I think it is a wonderful investment.
Let’s say you had an extra $1000 sitting around the house and couldn’t decide how to spend it…I know, a good problem to have! Obviously, there are tons of options for you to choose from, but I’d like to just narrow it down to three.
Fun with $1000
The first option would be something Dad would love – a 50” plasma TV for the den. Weekend football just got a whole lot better! Depending on how much television you watch, you could get a lot of enjoyment out of this over the next several years.
Another option would be something Mom might vote for – a new sofa for the den. You could pick out something very traditional or maybe a really cool, trendy piece that will change the look of your den.
The third option would be a portrait of your family or your kids. Lets say they are 16 and 18. You decide on a nice canvas portrait to hang over your fireplace – something that goes beyond what they look like and shows their personalities.
Ok- you’ve made your choice and all three are working out splendidly. Every day you walk through the den and admire your darling children on the wall. In the evening you relax on your new comfy sofa and watch some television on the big screen. Life is good!
Fast forward 15 years – a reasonable time for any investment. The sofa isn’t doing so well. It is showing the signs of age with a few stains and small tears. You will likely drag it out to the next garage sale and pray someone gives you $25 for it. By the end of the day you’ll be hoping someone just takes it for free – just to get it out of the garage.
Unfortunately, the TV isn’t faring much better. In fact, it is highly unlikely you still have it. You have probably already replaced the television you bought to replace the original 50” unit. If you DO still have it, you would probably be hard presses to get $25 for it at a garage sale.
The portrait however, is a whole different story. Your kids are now 30 and 33 – they have moved away and started their own families. Instead of seeing them every night at the dinner table, you now see them everyday hanging over the fireplace. If someone showed up at your home and offered you $25 for that portrait, you would laugh. Heck, someone could offer you that original $1000 back for the portrait and you would never take it. Why? Because you can always buy new sofas and televisions. Once your kids are grown, however, you can’t buy portraits of their childhood.
There just aren’t too many things you can buy today that will be guaranteed to be worth more to you in 15 years than they are today. A beautiful portrait of your family will never go out of style. In my mind, that makes it a wonderful investment.
What do you think? Have you had similar experiences? Leave a comment and let me know!
You can’t be a little bit pregnant!
Things are so different now than they were when I was when my mother was pregnant with me or even when I was pregnant with my son (25 years ago).
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Even though it was so many years ago for me, I still remember never being happier than when I was carrying my son. I felt beautiful, healthy and happy. There is something very magical about being pregnant. Even people who have difficult pregnancies somehow can’t get over the overwhelming feeling of grace and bliss they feel (between all the morning sickness and swollen feet). I remember my mother sharing her fond memories about finally getting pregnant with me (she tried for 17 years to get pregnant) and how excited she was. I even remember my grandmother talking about her greatest joy in life was being pregnant – knowing she was going to bring new little life people into this world. Three generations – all remembering the same feelings. And even though pregnancy and childbirth is very different today than it was during my grandmothers time (who literally gave birth in a potato field to two of her children) the more the feeling about it stays the same.
Tears of Joy
I was watching one of those shows on Lifetime TV the other day where the woman are delivering their babies and every single time a baby was born I’d cry. There is a common bond between women and childbirth that is unexplainable. I’d cry with joy for that new baby and the new mommy. I remember being one of my dear friend’s Lamaze coaches (many years ago). Her husband just didn’t think he could do it. Oh my how I cried when that beautiful baby was born – it was truly a miracle to me.
Do we really glow?
This picture set is of Nicole. She is 7 months pregnant and beautiful. We were talking about how pregnant women simply glow, they say it’s the hormones but we (mommies everywhere) know better – it’s the pure JOY inside radiating out to the world around us saying: “look out world, my child is on the way and he/she is going to make a difference in this world. You just wait and see!”
Tieing cans on the back of the bride & grooms getaway car…
Ever wonder where some of the wedding traditions came from that you are familiar with like the cans on the back of the get a way car? I do and after a little research I found an article that explains this particular tradition.
It’s originally called “Shivaree”. And its kind of funny. This tradition apparently originated in the Southern mountain area.
Years ago in the south on the wedding night the wedding guest surrounded the couples house and made all kinds of raucous commotion – they’d ring cow bells, shoot guns off, and sing obnoxious songs for hours.
Shivaree fell out of favor – imagine that. nonethelessless historians see vestiges of the shivered innocently enough in the noisemaking cans that adorn a newleywed couples getaway car.
There is one more thing the the original Shivaree included- care to guess what that was? You simply won’t believe it but you’ll be glad they don’t do it anymore.
I recently was able to spend some time with a photographer friend of mine for several days and we had many philosophical discussions. During one of those discussions I said “that would be a great blog post” so here we go…
We were talking about how easy it is to research the internet today and find all those beautiful creative newborn baby poses where the baby is propped on their little hands. Don’t we all just love those? I know I do.
The internet is an awesome tool and many of us use it to learn many things or simply to get ideas from. The problem for us (creative, talented photographers) is that it can be very frustrating for a client to bring in several pictures that were “borrowed” from another photographer’s website of images like this and say to us “can you do this for me?”
Of course we can. But we also would love for you to come to us for our own perspective and vision of what your child’s images should be. It is our job as professionals to discover the uniqueness in every subject that we photograph and to be “original” rather than copying what someone else has done.
Too many times people want only what they have seen and they miss out on a wonderful opportunity to see something original of their special little one.
This challenge isn’t all that new. Over the years I have run into brides that did the same thing. They would bring us a list of poses they wanted – usually very ordinary, expected poses from a wedding and they would completely forget that it is our job as “professional visionaries” to see what is unique about their dream day. When a client would hire me to cover their wedding and say “Cathy, I just want you to do what it is that you do – be creative and find my one of a kind story” – that client always received some of my most creative and beautiful images – something truly original, not a copy of what someone else thought was right.
To me, photography is not a one size fits all. It is a reflection of you – no one else.
Here is a perfect example of what 2 different photographers visions are when approaching a newborn baby. One is by my photographer friend, Lisa Carter and the other is mine. They are both beautiful. They are both originals – NOT copies. What do you think?
I'm the original baby Rose