Ah…..photographing your own children. Not just in a casual day to day way. Rather, in a, we’re going to curl your hair, pick out outfits, and head to a destination kind of way. I’m not exaggerating when I say it makes my heart race a little bit just thinking about it. At the end of last year, in anticipation of Christmas cards and the desire to have an annual shoot with my own children, I gathered them up and did just that. Mind you….I let them know the plan, prepped them, and promised them that they were only doing this once. And I may have thrown out a “Aren’t you SO glad that we’re doing this while it’s still warm out? Isn’t this better than waiting a few months and hoping that it doesn’t rain or snow on us? Aren’t you LUCKY?!?”
Why am I sharing this part? Because I want you to know that….if you have hired me, we’ve set a location, and I’m meeting you at a specific time….I GET IT. I do. When we meet, I’ll be the calm one, having fun, ready to engage your children and lead the show….but always know that I’ll see the details that you put into those outfits, I’ll understand the effort it took in getting to that point and getting everyone out the door. I get it, and I admire the investment of time and thought – and I promise, it’s worth it!!
So…back to racing around and gathering up my own girls. With enough prep, they were pretty cooperative about heading out with me….and truthfully, after seeing so many children and families on my computer screen during the year, they had a little fun with knowing that it was *their turn* with mom! :)
We started out at one of my favorite spots….they were excited to help decide what they wanted to capture….using one of my little chairs…
Jumping in the air, running and playing…kids love action shots!! :)
Then we headed to another favorite location…….oh, how I love the tall meadow grasses….
I don’t know if any of your kids do this….but everything stops and focuses on a potential injury…..which makes me smile. :)
And when they requested a chance to do silly faces….I told them to go for it! This is by far their favorite image and the one they wanted on our Christmas card…I did consider for a bit! :)
And I knew my youngest was getting tired….but this ended up being one of my favorite shots of the evening. One of those *real* moments.
Even with all the effort, I’m so glad we did this. Shortly after this shoot…..my youngest lost one of her top front teeth….the signature 1st grader look. As any parent knows, that feels like a symbol of growing up and their little faces slowly changing into those elementary age kids. I was just thankful I caught that smile right before. Not that I don’t *LOVE* her toothless grins (like really, really love), but I’m just thankful that I caught this stage….
Our stories….they are changing, evolving, growing…..every time we take or make the time to stop and capture our families or loved ones, it feels like a small victory. Somehow, for me, knowing that it’s captured, makes it easier to deal with the emotions that come with watching them grow up before your very eyes…..so, so quickly.
Girls….if you’re reading this….your mom is so, so grateful. I love you two to the moon!! xoxo