After a long time away because of what I had going on with life… I had a lot of time to think…lying in the hospital and now at home on bed rest. To make a long story short, we may not be able to have anymore children. (‘may’ being the operative word as I have been having long discussions with God). For me, thats just crazy to wrap my brain around. We get pregnant by looking at each other, I used to joke. We had a traumatic event and I have now started to see life in, well, not a DIFFERENT way, but in a more APPRECIATIVE way. As I was lying in the hospital bed, I very well knew that after what had happened, I may not have been there if modern medicine didn’t exist. So I have had a lot of time to think about the meaning of life, without sounding cheesy.
So I thought… gosh. I miss my kids while I am lying here in this hospital. What if something happens to me tonight. Will they remember me? What will they remember about me? What photos have I taken that they will look back on and see. Morbid right? But my brain went there, and it made me realize WHY I do this for a living, and it drove me to realize the importance of lifestyle photography.
Parents are rarely in photos, and when they are, they tend to be smiling and looking at the camera in a fake forced way. Moms are even in less than dads. Its never photos of us gazing at our kids from the other room, with love on our faces for them.Those little moments that happen all the time that no one sees, but you. Think back to your parents old photo albums. Typically its photos of people sitting around having a good time. Stuff in the background which is SO fun to see, because it reminds you of that time in your life. He man and She Ra dolls. Fischer price record players. Your parents with bell bottoms on. All fun stuff. I have to say I have gotten better at taken moment shots of my kids and my husband. I recently bought a polaroid so I can make fun albums of real life, non edited life. I want my kids to look back and remember those moments. Portraits are pretty. Of course they are. Its great to have a few portrait shots hanging on your walls. But is that how your child looks ALL the time. Probably not. Years from now, when you look back at the perfect photo, what will you remember. How pretty they were. Yes. But will the photo grab you emotionally. Will you feel a connection to it. I will always shoot portraits, they are beautiful, but for me, moments are more real. I think years down the road, everyone will appreciate moments more. Its why I have been shooting more life inspired sessions. These are not what some would call TRUE lifestyle photo shoots. Im not shooting all raw moments. I love those sessions too, but most of mine are more guided. The day in the life sessions are special. The non guided kinds. Where I would capture all non guided moments. Spending an entire day with a family from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed. I hope to add some of those in the future.
This beautiful mom knows all to well what its like to fear the inability to have a family. After 7 year of infertility and 2 failed IVF treatments, they decided to adopt a baby who needed a home. Oddly enough, she met her sons birth mother on Facebook of all places, and they instantly connected. She told me they would not have it any other way. Clearly, Ashley was meant to be a mother. She and dad LOVE their little guy to pieces. They could not get enough of him in that short hour I was there. I really believe they were meant to be his parents.
When I got to her session, we went over what we were going to do, etc. I started planning around her house and got to the question. Ok. So for this shoot, whats the main thing you want to make sure I capture. She responded to me by saying, “I want you to capture US”. Us. Their family. Them being together. Her and dad of ALL people know to celebrate “us” because it was such a long road to even ‘adopt’ that term. She has this stuff down. The meaning of life stuff I was talking about above. Capturing your family in a way you can look back on, being the person seeing you from the outside in but it feeling like the inside out. Now for a session with a baby who is not a newborn (no sleeping etc) or who is not sitting or walking, there is only so much you can really do. So its awesome she wanted all the interaction shots. We of course had to get the puppies in there. They are family too.
I left there feeling like I had some new friends. When you shoot in someones home, you sort of have to take over, and you are invading their lives a bit, so it just happens. Luckily for me they were cool. haha 🙂
Im not sure what Ashley though we got after I left. I shoot quickly and grab shots she probably does not know Im getting. For a session like this, we of course guided them. We don’t have to. We can let it be just them being them, but we decided to go pretty AND Life guided. I loved every minute.
Everyone who is a client of mine, knows I post sneak peaks over on Facebook. I had to laugh when Ashley sent me this from her hubby. He had sent her this text: (screen shot)
Ok phew. When you dare to be different you always get nervous sneaking. You just do. Everyone does. You want your clients to love their images. Love the vision you saw when you saw them together.
Then I finished up, and mom sent me this email, which made my year. She said in just a few sentences exactly what I aim to give clients. She reaffirmed why I am doing this. (another screen shot)
Here are a few favorites from their session. I really do have the best job ever.
Everyone, if you take anything away from this. Make sure you are taking photos all the time and taking photos of life. Don’t force you kids to stand there and smile. Photograph them being them. Photograph each childs uniqueness. Trust me. Years down the line you be so happy you did. Oh, and GET IN SOME PHOTOS! Don’t wait to loose weight or put on makeup. Your kids don’t care 🙂
Emily Lucarz Photography specializes in newborn, child, baby, maternity, family and senior photography in Saint Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas. Emily also teaches life inspired photography workshops. Check out more info here