photographs have the power to transport us.
the heirlooms we get handed down in albums imprint the past onto our Now; being able to see our loved ones in their daily life and big moments lets us know them deeper, more nuanced and with richness we’d never see if not for the ability to have time’s grip released for a snippet frozen, never to pass by.
that’s a miracle that’s a bit lost on us with photos everywhere now.
so the part i really want to talk about is the ability of photographs to transform us.
because photos inhabit our world differently than they did for our grandparents; we can have one any time, anywhere, and we DO.
so why, really, have your family photographed by a professional photographer? you’ve probably got a decent camera or could borrow one, tripod it up and have a Christmas card pic in five minutes, right?
it’s a valid question.
i’ll warn you that my answer borders on hippie, but hear me out.
having my family’s photo taken is my chance every year to be seen.
it’s my chance to have the best parts of me and us blown up, with light that is someone else’s artistic vision shown on them. because having my family’s photo taken is always scoops of everything–one part unwilling kids going crazy, one sliver of self-consciousness, one husband slightly reluctant, one part true inexplicable magic. y’heard me, i said MAGIC. because being seen in all that humanity that includes both the glory and the grime, through art in collaboration with another human being–that’s the only thing to call it.
and then, when i print these photos and walk by them seventeen thousand times, i am reminded of those best parts right alongside our humanity. the pure joy, gorgeous light, and the stain from where my two year old threw up right before the shoot started (TRUE STORY.)
i am lifted up, encouraged, and able to tap deeper into the woman and the family on those walls–the woman i ultimately want to be, the bonds i want to weave even tighter and more beautiful. on tantrum fifteen before 11 am, I am carried by the reminder of my highest self, the one who chooses love and patience whether or not anyone is watching. in my soaring moments, i feel aligned with that most beautiful woman I see in the way my photographer painted me.
the work of family is so silent. it happens inside these four walls minute after minute and day after week with no one to see ALL of it except me and the little hearts in my charge. So to have someone witness it, through art we made together that is not just a representation of our faces but a symbol of everything that runs so, so much deeper–well, that’s an endless gift that’s better than Christmas morning in my book. And I only want to be in a business that gives gifts that keep on giving. Deeper than bows, more sacred than Santa, and the best heirloom we create together about who you really, truly are.
p.s. this photo is of us last year by my dear friend Alex Smith. I’ve lost 40 pounds since this photo was taken and I have just as much love for it, just as much gratitude to me and to her for making this photo happen. get in the frame, no matter what.