Photography, and I mean really incredible photography, captured my life at all those pivotal earth-shaking moments: finding my love, sobbing with him as we said vows in front of friends, getting fat with him as I grew a couple of humans, and becoming a family of four. Very talented people took pictures I will enjoy looking at always; pictures that made me feel beautiful and amazing and have forever captured the emotions I had in those moments... happiness, pride, nerves, and hope.
My journey to embrace the title of photographer has been long and includes a lot of other titles along the way.
I got my first camera when I was nine years old... right before my first trip to Disney. It was a magical time as I finally had my own camera (and more importantly to my parents, could stop stealing their polaroid). Poor Mickey wasn't prepared for the paparazzi that I quickly became. Fast forward to art school where I was introduced to the dark room. No more small town Wal-Mart developing for me... this was the game changer. I finished school with a degree in Interior Design, worked in the field for several years, and then specialized in environmentalism. This path gave me a deep love for both the process of creating, and the finished beauty of incredible places and spaces.
When my first son was born my husband got us a fancy pants camera and we spent hours and several hard drives photographing each fingernail and eyelash. Becoming a parent is like getting permanent unpaid (and generally unappreciative) models. It's winning the trial photographer jackpot. Anytime I got a wild hair and thought of a new photo to attempt, well, whadayaknow there just happens to be a baby around for me to borrow.
This last year photography took on a different meaning for me as I finally ventured beyond my little family and started taking pictures of my brother and his beautiful wife as they prepared to become their own family of three. Then, my darling niece Cecelia entered the world, and taking pictures of her was the gateway drug... something shifted in my soul when I took her pictures and now I just. can't. stop.
Where it finally all came into place for me was when I spent time with my Mom those last few months before she became an angel. She asked me every day to take a picture of 'her boys' and said that those pictures captured the joy of being a parent. I needed to hear that for so many reasons, not the least of which being that sometimes being a parent can be awfully distracting from remembering that we GET to be a parent. My Dad told me later that she waited every day to receive those pictures and would spend hours staring at them, reading what I wrote, and looking at her grandbabies. She needed those pictures to remind her to hope for the future, and I needed to know that I could give her hope, even during those moments when I had all but lost it.
Also, I needed to hear from my Mother that the stirring I felt every time I picked up a camera was real. That it was ok to change my mind yet again on what I wanted in life... to embrace all the titles and opportunities I've been given so far and see them as one long path that led me here:
to being a wife. to being a mother. to wanting to spend all my time with other people who get that love, family, and the connections we make with those who enter our lives are WHAT MATTERS.
I want to capture what matters to you.
And, I want ALL your moments... the ones you'll shrug off as imperfect because the children aren't all matching (and certainly aren't clean!)... the tears, the eye rolls, the belly laughter - I love all those moments, those REAL LIFE moments, that make up our stories. I want to give you a picture of a defining moment in time, with a feeling you can tangibly see, long past your memory of it.
I cannot put into words my gratitude at the support for this new thing. In so many ways it feels like an 'old thing'... something that's been with me for so long, but now we just have a fancy website to put it on.
This fits me in a way that nothing else ever has, yet makes all my other experiences seem like the puzzle pieces that fit together just right to get me here.
This is right. This is me. Let's do it.
This was, and will always be, the greatest photo I have ever taken. My parents.