A few days before Jacob left for the MTC, we did a quick photo session in front of the bus. Alex from Tasseled Rags had contacted me about her idea for these shirts and I was instantly in love! She sells those awesome Home T’s. The ones with the shape of the state with the word “home” on it. For our family these bus t’s were perfect!
I had originally planned to do our pics with the shirts at Disneyland. Cause that’s where we were supposed to be the week before taking Jacob to the MTC. But we all know how that worked out.
Instead we took these pictures at the Country Home. It was a quick shoot – just as the sun was setting. It was a bit of a fiasco really. I had just gotten the remote for my new camera in the mail a few hours before go time and we were working off a tripod so there was a bit of a learning curve. Miss B was in a grumpy mood. She didn’t want her hair combed. She didn’t want to be in the pictures at all actually. The sun was setting at a ridiculously quick pace. We were losing light and I was stressed. Honestly, I don’t enjoy taking pictures of my own family. Not like this. Not like – everyone (myself included) stand in a line and smile at the camera. I get snippy and I’m easily annoyed. (As a photographer who photographs families for a living, should I even be sharing that kind of information?! I’m sure I shouldn’t! Will you believe me when I say – I’m really good at taking other people’s pictures? And I’m an expert at the images that tell your story – where I can be behind the camera observing and capturing. I hope that helps allay any doubts you might have.)
In hindsight, the stress I felt was not about the images. It was about the fact that they were the last pictures I would have of our whole family together before Jacob left and this was my last chance to get them. That was too much for me. I had to stop trying to have the perfect moment (do I even listen to what I teach in my own workshops?!) and see differently.
This is my family. We’re not perfect. What family is? But that is what is so brilliant and makes families wonderful! All those amazing imperfections! It’s really about who we are. Not who we think we should be. I look at these images and I see the crooked grins and silly expressions. I see Miss B’s crazy hair. I see Jacob and Josh teasing each other and laughing. I see a husband who has loved me for more than twenty years and who is my best friend. I see Jacob, all grown up suddenly. When did that happen? I see Josh practicing his ‘smolder’. You girls better watch out! I see the look of love (and often mischief) in my children’s eyes as they patiently wait for me to capture them, knowing how much these pictures means to me. I see my son with his arm around me. Telling me that he loves me. And Sam. Oh Sam. I see his heart. A young man who is impatiently waiting for the time he will be able to look his brothers in the eyes. I see me – my heart breaking a little that it’s all going by too quickly.
That’s what pictures are about. It’s about telling your story. The story YOU know. They aren’t for anyone else. It’s not about being perfect – we aren’t perfect. It’s about capturing your connection and your relationships and your moments. They are for YOU and your children and their children. Pictures are your history.
So while we started on a tense note, we made it through and captured some really great moments that I will treasure forever. Maybe I do listen to what I’m teaching at my workshops!
Can I give you some advice? Have your family’s pictures taken. Don’t wait. Don’t wait for the perfect time. That time never comes. Don’t wait until you’ve lost the weight, or when you’re not so busy, or whatever your reason is. If it’s not a priority, make it a priority. Find a photographer to capture your moments for you. Make the time, save the money. Find someone who doesn’t want you to just stand in a line and smile. Find someone who wants to tell your story for you. Because those are the moments you will look back on and be so grateful that you have. I promise.
Who knows? Maybe the Big Blue Bus will even be in your area and I could have the honor of doing them for you! I would really love that. And I promise not to be snippy or annoyed!Check out our schedule here. To get an idea of my style, check out some of my recent family sessions here.
My advice for fellow photographers? Find another photographer to capture your family for you! I know you are good at capturing your moments, but for your whole family? Allow someone else to do it for you. Enjoy being able to turn the control over to someone else and just enjoy your family without worry about settings, smiles, exposure, or lighting! It makes an incredible difference! We had our pictures done in November and (excluding figuring out what to wear) it was a wonderful experience! None of the stress that typically accompanies trying to get a picture with all of us when I’m behind the camera!
*Honestly – how much do I love Mr. Sam-a-lam. I mean seriously? The kid is awesome.