From the time my youngest was born, her grandmother frequently requested pictures of her.
This was pre-smartphone days. To age myself more, this was before I even owned a cell phone, and bag phones were all the rage. This was most definitely before I owned a decent camera (think disposable), and it was before "Lifestyle Photography" was a thing.
She was pretty persistent in her requests, and I have to admit, the idea of dressing my daughter up in clothes she would not normally wear, sitting her on a roll of carpet with my choice of muslin backdrops did not excite me. Even when this was the "norm", it felt inauthentic.
But I went.
I put her in that dress that she never wore again, sat her on a bench, chose the least offensive backdrop and we began our attempts to make her smile. It didn't happen that day. And that was ok. I didn't feel the need to make her smile, but the overall experience felt disingenuous to her as well. And I understood.
Nearly my entire life I have shied away from the camera. There are many reasons for this--most of them falsely rooted from deep negative self-beliefs, but the truth is, it never felt natural to look into a camera and smile. Not for me.
I wanted to be #captured in the moment--laughing & smiling--or not--authentically; I wanted to be captured doing the things that came naturally to me--when I was doing them naturally. It was somewhere in those lost moments that I realized I could be the solution to what was missing in the photography world for me at that time: Lifestyle Photography.
I realized I could be the one to capture my toddler--outdoors, running, playing, hula-hooping, climbing--barefoot and dirty. I could be the one to capture her unique spirit.
And that's what I did. The problem I didn't solve? Me being in the photos.
I've spent many years documenting my children--mostly with my absence because I was the one behind the camera.
I often think about when I am nothing more than a memory, what tangible things will my children have to accompany them? It won't be many photos from their youth with me in them--and that saddens me.
It's because I want to capture you.
You with your children, your partner, your loved ones. You engaged with them--holding, cuddling, touching, laughing, playing--because THIS is what brings you joy. Because these are the things that you truly value and cherish. Because I want you in it--captured alongside your family doing what you do best. Being you.
I'd love to be the one behind the lens for you.
*photos scanned in "professionally" (aka--cellphone scanning)