UPDATE: This post was made as Shinn Shots Photography and does not represent the style or goals of Blue Space Photography. Because I believe in knowing where you’ve come from, I’ve left this here as a reminder of the journey that led me to where I am today. I now only shoot storytelling sessions, so be sure to check out my current work in more recent posts! – Lauren
I’ve known Sally (Elisabeth’s mom) for a few years now, and I’m always impressed with her perspectacles. What are perspectacles? You can read Glennon’s most recent definition here, but the short definition is that they are imaginary eye-glasses that let us see our circumstances with the right perspective. Whether by gift or by choice, Sally has a way of being grateful for what she has.
Sally knows her kids are incredible and loves them deeply, but just like any other mom, she also knows that kids can have their own ideas about what they want to do.
Sally sent me an email after our session and said (shared with permission, of course): “I always feel some anxiety with these pictures because I’m afraid they won’t go according to plan, that the outfits won’t work, or that Elisabeth won’t do something on cue or that Genevieve will be wonderfully two at just the wrong moment, and that you’ll be inconvenienced.”
As a mom who has had my own family pictures done, I know that picture day comes with stress. The clothes. the kids. the weather. I think every mom has some level of anxiety on picture day.
As a photographer, I’ve learned that there’s no real way for me to eliminate all the picture day stress…but I can do my best to mitigate it.
As I said in a previous post, I’ve realized that children hold all the power during a photo session. They’ve got nothing to lose.
With that in mind, this was my response to Sally: “Kids are kids, and I come prepared to work with them just the way they are. Please don’t worry about me being inconvenienced. That’s really not how I approach it at all. It’s more of a brain teaser for me. I’m trying to take a great picture and the kids have very little invested in that goal. I love trying to find a way to meet my goal without the kids even realizing what’s happening. Every kid is different, and with each one and in each situation I have to find my “in,” and it is so wonderfully different with each of them. It really is part of what I love about my job. So the next time your kids are “difficult,” you can know that I’m loving the process of getting to know them, learning how they tick, and the challenge of achieving my goal.”
Of course, Elisabeth and Genevieve make my job easy remarkably easy. We had to work to get some smiles out of Elisabeth, but babies smile for their mamas. That right there is a look of pure mama-love.
Genevieve is all smiles and curls! I continue to be astounded by her maturity. She did a great job of being my helper and never got tired of being in front of the camera, despite the heat of the day.
In the same email mentioned above, Sally also said: “Yannick and I often talk about how good these picture days are for us as a family. It’s been a wonderful way for us to spend time together and remember some of these moments in our children’s lives. We’re also grateful that we are able to share this family time with you.”
I teared up as I read her words. She gave me one of the best compliments I can get. It is deeply important to me that ‘picture day’ be as stress free as I can possibly make it. If you end up with amazing pictures, but all you see is the stress and frustration of the day they were taken, I’ve failed.
Sally and Yannick, it may sound trite, but it is my joy and my privilege to photograph your sweet girls. Thanks for letting me be a part of such precious family time.