Remember that time you were headed to church or some family thing that was supposed to be super meaningful, or maybe a date with your significant other and you end up getting in a major fight and you arrive all kinds of irritated and now the time that was meant to be special is ruined? Oh, that was only my family. Oops, sorry.
Oh? I’m not alone? This happens to you too? Your hair is NOT doing what it usually does (can I get an amen from my curly girls!), your kids will not take off their princess or superhero costume or put down their sad, dirty, but much loved stuffy, or your fiance chose now to bring up how annoying they find your mom. Really, now?
Here’s the thing about portrait sessions, engagement, family, seniors, etc. they come with a LOT of expectations. First, you’re really aware that you’re spending some cash here and you don’t want it wasted. Secondly, you don’t feel like you can just say, “oh, sorry, I know you’ve set aside time to take our pictures and we’re in the middle of a big argument and you want us to kiss?! or my child is having a major meltdown! Today isn’t good, can we try tomorrow?” By the way, yes, this is a thing you can absolutely do with me! If it rained and you didn’t want rain, let’s reschedule! Thirdly, you’re really just hoping everyone behaves for just an hour and does what they’re supposed to do (including you, hair!).
I want you to know that I am totally aware of all of this! I know because this has been me! So, let me just calm your anxieties a bit and say, yep, it’s not going to be what you hoped. Wait, was that supposed to be helpful? Yes, I promise it is! I hope you can hear that letting go of your expectations will allow you to let go and allow the moment to be what it is. Princess costumes, irritating fiances and all. This is your family and who you are as a couple now, in this moment, and that’s okay. In my opinion, and I say this a lot, your favorite photos and the ones you cherish for a lifetime, are not the ones where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. Your most precious photos are the ones that captured a specific moment in time that you can never get back and may be in a place that you hold dear with those you hold dear, even when they irritate you.
With that in mind, I often suggest that we take photos in your most cherished places doing what you love. Do you cook as a couple in your tiny apartment kitchen in your pajamas? Do you have family game night every Friday? Is there a park with a tree that you always sit under? Do you have a favorite coffee shop or restaurant or bar that you always go to together where they know your name (yep, I knew what I was saying)? That’s what I want to be a part of because I know that those places will allow you to be the most calm and will become the photos that you hold most dear. The ones that you will look back on and be so thankful that we went ahead and took them anyway, even with the weird smile that your youngest is into right now. You won’t get that moment back and while it’s irritating now, I promise you will cherish it when they’re 18 and don’t do that anymore or when you’re celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary and you look across at the love of your life and remember that they still irritate you at times, but what a wonderful and full life you’ve lived together so far.
So, let’s take some of those pictures, messy as they might be! Let’s meet up at your favorite dog park or in your backyard or in your bedroom where you all pile on your bed for story time. I want to give you back all the life that you’re living right now, irritating and wonderful as it may be.