is there a perfect time? an article written by an amazing woman in the photography community stuck with me from the moment i read it. deb’s words and the images she posted were like a gut-wrenching reminder of how short life is.
at the time i read deb’s article, a dear friend was losing her own battle with cancer and even though inside she was hurting you’d never know it. so thankful that lisa was able to fly out to photograph diana during that time.
then there’s brayton and his incredible three years on this earth. the lives he touched and the mark he made.
maybe the time my friend amy – who wasn’t able to make the intended session, went back for a special time with the family after their loss.
even more recently i read of a photographer who lost her sweet mama, and found regret in the lack of documentation she’d done with her.
yes these stories ended in death and heartbreak – and i don’t mean to expect the worst in life but my mind has been spinning lately. i document. all the time. of course. i’m snapping the details and the big and little things. i occasionally turn the camera/phone around, but it’s very guarded and careful. you see, something i’ve never ‘come out with’ publicly are my body image issues. i wish it were as cliche and cheesy as it sounds but it’s true.
it is all consuming most of the time and i absolutely loathe that i am perhaps impressing these things upon my children. i’m short (5’2) and yes post-baby but let’s be honest – i’m curvy and things just aren’t where they used to be. you know, pre baby #1, #2, or #3.
i’d like to perhaps share more on this sometime in the near future, even if to simply say if you’re struggling like i am, you’re not alone…
i digress. in my former portrait photographer life i would have written something on my photog blog about booking your session with me because you never know… because life is short… because photographing you with your children, husband, mom, pet is one of the very most important things you’ll ever do. while these things are all very, very true – i come to you today quite the opposite.
it’s been easy for me in the past to encourage friends and family and clients to get that photo session, even if once a year or every few years. it’s been easy for me to tell you it doesn’t matter where you’re at in life, in weight, in finances. what hasn’t been easy? is deciding once and for all to do that myself. to be in front of the camera with my people. i’m not proud of the weight i’m at right now, i’m not proud of the lack of work i’ve put into changing it. i don’t recognize the person that looks at me in the mirror. but ultimately i have no excuses, but with every fiber in me i’ve simply not wanted to be on the other side of that lens in a very. long. time.
however this weekend an opportunity arose. an opportunity to take a quick 45 minutes to be photographed and to photograph another mama/daughter. there was no elaborate plan. no makeup (literally and it was 104 out at 8pm), there was no wardrobe change, or even location. we got dinner and walked around the corner. neither of us felt much like beautiful at the time but i felt such an urging, a heaviness inside that said to do this. just quinn and i. and as my best friend photographed us the world stopped. i was suddenly unaware of how insecure i felt and how i would most likely never share the images to a single person. they were for us. to document. to remember. to begin to finally… love ourselves again.
and as i went through them today, i’ll admit that beautiful euphoric feeling faded quickly, but i had to remind myself why i chose to do it and who it really mattered to. thoughts ran through my head of ‘well that was nice, glad we did that, not‘ and ‘wow that dress looked much better in target’s dressing room than the unforgiving lens of the nikon‘. but ultimately i came back to them and after smacking myself around mentally a few times i softened my gaze. i looked at that sweet girl who changed my world. her slobbery kisses and softer than silk hair. the gift that she is and the fact that i took 20 minutes out of a busy, hectic, heat-wave of a day to just be. to be together. to be in love. to be her mama.
and i decided to share. to be real and to be honest. but also to encourage. from both sides – the former-portrait-photographer who still knows the importance of documentation… to the mama who desperately wanted to ‘wait until i lose this weight‘. please, please, please don’t wait. not because i think something tragic may happen to you but because life literally just does, fly by. yes our phones now take great photos and dslr cameras are readily available all over the place – and i do hope you’re using those. i also hope that you’ll consider asking a professional too. do your research, ask around, don’t settle for the cheapest there is. invest a bit. offer to barter (as i did). just. do. something. (happy to point you in the direction of someone amazing in your location if you’re interested.)
please. please. please.
so. without further chit chat, my precious quinny girl and i. thanks shalina. love you.