I’ve (pretty much almost) accepted that I’m never going to be one of those moms who is content at home.
If I’m being honest, I used to look down my nose at those moms, before I had kids–ohh, they have no ambition, i’d scoff.
now I just envy them.
I admire how present they are with their families; their vision for their life as one of nurturing, sacrifice, and joy of course–but also one of mostly unglamorous details of managing and shaping lives other than their own. The life of thanklessness, the life of very little acknowledgement and hardly any praise and no big awards. I hate to admit that those outside pats-on-the-back still matter to me. I still want proof that my existence is making an imprint, while I make food that we just eat with no proof it was ever there and clean spaces five times over that weren’t dirty when we woke up. the end of the day the evidence would suggest we’re all worse for the wear, that i sat around in pajamas and did the bare minimum.
but i am here. my two girls know i’m here. they see me. and then, they don’t–there’s also that feeling of “otherness” that no one really explained to me before i had kids. people told me i wouldn’t want to do anything but snuggle and dote on my newborn, that i’d be “over” photography and running a business and pursuits outside four cozy walls. it just wasn’t true, for me. there are aches inside that remind me every day that no matter how much of my heart is given to these littles outside me, i am my own.
that’s part of what i’m trying to show when i photograph moms with their children, and families. this sense that family IS everything, we are all so connected and will be forever and it’s arguably the most beautiful thing in the world–but also, that it hurts sometimes. that it’s hard a lot of times. that there still lives an endless soul inside who needs to be seen, heard, cherished and fed.
so all that feels like wayyy too much to assign to one family, hahaha.
I just want to keep trying to show all the ways choosing family, choosing to be a mother and a father–is the boldest, most admirable thing I can think of.
And hey! I’m Brooke Schultz, an OC-based family photographer who has this thing, this ability to truly SEE the people I photograph in an inside-out kind of way. If you’d love someone to Really Get You and empathize with what it means to keep raising your hand to participate in this crazy love that is family, while making some beautiful photos of the ones you love–I just might be your girl. Contact me to chat about your family session. (And also, that’s completely real–you can actually email me with your questions, blocks, uncertainties, and just to say hello. I’d superlove it.)