The truth is, I don’t want to take pictures of you and your trendy family in a field somewhere. Not that there’s anything wrong with fashion and fields but it doesn’t say anything about who you are. If anything, your hip, hair blowing in the wind, gracefully gliding through tall grasses family does nothing but separate us. It’s our messiness, our mismatched shoes, our boogers, our temper tantrums and homemade haircuts that unite us. I want to see you, not as you wish you could be, but as you really are. I want to step into your life, your days, your home. I want dribbles and scribbles and messy mouths, unmade beds and unkempt children.
I know tons of photographers who spend hours and money staging photoshoots with supermodel families wearing hipster clothes in breathtaking places. The goal is to attract their ideal client- rich, beautiful, exotic people (or people who wish they were rich, beautiful and exotic and will go into debt to appear that way). It’s actually a very smart business plan and it works because all it needs is a little lust and the desire to be beautiful to grow. I’m not saying that wanting to be beautiful is wrong, but it’s not the whole story. It’s actually not even the interesting part.
In twenty years, when my kids are all grown up, what will I remember? Will it be the heartfelt times I wore flowing maxi dresses next to my accessorized manequins in grassy fields at sunset, bribing them with lollipops (yes, Josh too), to hold still and look at the camera? I seriously doubt it.
Most likely I’ll remember bare feet on ceramic tile, cotton blue drawstring shorts covered in paint stains in the kitchen making dinner. I’ll remember trampolines, water gun wars, shirtless boys running and screaming over the buzzing sound of Josh mowing the lawn. Ironically, I will probably remember the irritating moments I thought I couldn’t wait to forget the most- whiny babes lifting up tired arms, sticky hands needing “hanitizer” and wipes, baby dolls and nerf guns littering the halls, tripping me as I stumble into bed.
The simple, shabby little moments of my life will actually be the ones I hang up in my heart forever.
I don’t want to waste my memories on pretty pictures, on the glamorous family I wish we could be. I want to tell the whole story- the good, the bad and the boring. I want today- this morning, wrinkled sheets, messy hair, and night lights strung overhead.
Don’t let me forget…
This post was inspired by my friend Marie at Fearless and Framed and her double dog dare...