This is part of the 10 on 10 post I do each month with a group of ladies from The Bloom Forum. Find the link to the next blog at the end of the post!
After a couple weeks of bitter cold, spring came this week. My kids and I had such severe cabin fever we spent most of our time outside as soon as my son was off of school. We didn’t do anything very exciting during our outdoor adventures, we simply enjoyed the warmth and sun. We went from colder temperatures on Saturday, where my son and his friend were wearing winter coats on the empty playground, to temperatures in the mid 60s and then 70s for the rest of the week. Shedding our winter coats felt so amazing that even when the sun set in the evening and it was a little cooler we still kept our coats off and sat in the yard, afraid if we went inside Spring would disappear again.
I expected my son to want to visit a playground on one of the warmer days but instead he wanted to spend time in our backyard. I soon learned it was because he wanted to be a daredevil by running up a board and jumping over our fence and by finding ways to prop the board up to make it even more dangerous to play on. I remember writing not too long ago about how my children are competing to see who can give me gray hair first and the competition still seems to be on.
The board eventually broke and luckily my son wasn’t hurt when he fell. Before the board broke a tall chair my 17-month old had climbed up in fell over with her on it. Most days I seem to be looking from side to side and in front of and behind me to see which child is leaping off which dangerous thing and which one I have to tell to stop before they get hurt and their mother ends up in the ER with stress induced panic attacks. But at least it will be nice out while I have the attack!
This photo was taken by sitting the camera at an odd angle and not even looking into the viewfinder because I couldn’t get into the position I needed to get the shot I wanted. If I start Yoga up again maybe I can get into that position some day.. When I knew bending down was going to rip my back out more and give my chiropractor even more business, I put the camera on my knee and shot up because I desperately wanted that backlight around her cute little head. This shot was also edited in Lightroom to give the image even more of the feel I was looking for.
Their home was cozy, so well decorated and coordinated. Honestly, I was a bit jealous of how organized it all looked, though I’m sure there are crazy days there too with a two year old and a newborn. Even more than jealous, I was impressed with how the family had made the small home into a cozy place for a sweet family.
The walls were not only decorated with beautiful phrases and verses, but also beautiful family photographs, which shows me how important it it is for this family to document their history.
Thank you to the A* family for letting me peak into your life and your new beginnings with baby Maxwell.
When I look at this photo of you I see a little boy who has my heart completely and has since the day I first learned you were growing inside me. I see your brilliance, your wit, your charm, your amazing ability to look at almost any situation in a positive light. How hard it must be for you to have been given parents who sometimes lean too much toward the negative yet God gave you the gift of compassion and encouragement because he knew we would need to be reminded.
You wanted to cross the entire bridge that day but daddy and I were tired and said “no.” I wish I had said yes. I don’t ever want to limit you in your dreams or your goals. I don’t ever want to slow you down.
Your future is so wide open and though I often want to keep you close to my side, tucked under my arm, I know I’ll someday have to let you walk the path there on your own.
Before we know it it will be spring and I hope we go back to that bridge because we are going to walk all the way across it together.
Sometimes I want to give up on photography that speaks to my heart so I can make a quick buck with some quick poses but then I remember why I love lifestyle, or what I also call storytelling, photography.
It tells stories.
It’s memories frozen in time, not poses.
One of my favorite, newly found photographers is Lisa Tichane and she spoke at Click Away, a photographers’ conference, this Fall about why she incorporates movement in her family photography.
She’s right. I have frames full of photos a family member used to give us every year for Christmas. It was the only gift she ever gave and it was her children looking uncomfortable and unnatural in posed portraits. I don’t want this to sound like a complaint, because the images were a kind gesture and we appreciated them each year. However, even though the lighting was lovely the only thing those photos tell me about her children is they know how to follow directions and be forced to smile. I couldn’t tell from those photos that the youngest was full of crazy fun or the second oldest loved all things sparkly and shiny or that the oldest was a sports fanatic. Eventually these portraits made me uncomfortable, partially because the family members no longer spoke to us and partially because the expression of the one girl was so full of discomfort I felt bad she’d been forced to pose. I put those images in a closet and filled my walls with images of my children being children. There is one of my son standing in my parents driveway, wearing my dad’s fishing hat and another of him standing in a pool of light in a local creek. There are others of him smiling at the camera,but none of them were forced and I didn’t ask for the smile.
The photos on my wall tell a story for me of a boy who likes to explore the fields at his grandparents’ house. They tell a story of a family who isn’t always perfect, but is loved, is trying, is striving to be better.
I have images of smiling faces, but almost none of them were obtained by asking for them, they came naturally, they were gifts, given to me in naturally happy moments.
Most importantly, the images I treasure most tell a story and that story is what I want to remember as the years pass.