I saw this quote on Pinterest the other day and thought "Exactly!" I've wished for a very long time that I could freeze all of the moments I see in life and upload them into one of my photo folders on the computer so that I could look at them anytime I wanted to remember the moment perfectly. Photography to me is a way of remembering all of the little details, it's about telling the story.
This "concept" has been continually coming back to me for the last few months. It started when I began building my son's birthday video for his third birthday. I was adding pictures into the slideshow and I noticed that my pictures were different. They were very nice pictures, but something had changed. Somewhere in the time that I've been building my photography career, I stopped telling the story. I started focusing more on getting the "perfect" picture - you know - the one we all want hanging on our wall. However, until recently, those "perfect" pictures weren't typically hanging on my walls. My walls were covered in moments - my daughter spontaneously kissing my husband on the cheek, me kissing my newborn baby, my niece cuddling a kitten. Before I became a professional photographer, you did not see me without my camera. Now that I actually AM a photographer I carry my camera less and less. Hmmmmmm......that doesn't sound right!? Nope - it doesn't! One big reason is that my camera is a beast! When I pull all 6.5 pounds of camera out of my bag you notice it!
Since my son's birthday, I've been working on some of my other story telling projects. The three OpLove sessions that I photographed this year were phenomenal memory creating experiences. I also photographed 8 weddings this past year (most of which I just started editing in preparation to share on the blog). I was the main photographer for 1 of the weddings and the assistant photographer in the other 7. I loved every minute of the 8 weddings. You photograph for 8, 9, sometimes even 10 hours straight. You are there to capture every smile, every tear, every kiss, basically, everything. Stories do not get better than weddings!
This is also one of the bigger reasons that I ask so many questions during our session! I want to know the children and the families and the couples that I'm photographing. I want to know what your child's favorite toy is, how much your baby weighed when he or she was born. I want to know how you and your husband met and where you got married. Haha - and some of you just thought I was being nosy! Getting to know my clients is important to me. I want to tell your story. I want you to look back at the pictures we create together and remember that it was the year that your daughter could not sit still and her best smiles happened while she was running away from the camera. I want you to look back at your pictures and remember that we took those on the morning you found out you were pregnant. It's about creating memories.
The final revelation happened while I was dismantling our Christmas tree and putting all of our ornaments back into their respective boxes. Just about every ornament on my tree tells a story. My daughter is continually amazed at how many boxes of ornaments I've collected over the years. I keep trying to tell her that even though I'm (only...hahah) 35, I've had 36 Christmases. I was only a week old my first Christmas. My very first ornament is a silk Baby's First Christmas ball. A few years later (1980 I believe) my Mom started a collection that she has faithfully continued and a tradition that I carried over to my own kids when they were born. She has bought me the Frosty Friends collection by Hallmark every year since the series started. Yep - I have 33 little Eskimo cuties and their adorable little animal friends to put on my tree every year. (The collection that came out the year my daughter was born in 2005 was the Fairy series and the collection that came out the year my son was born in 2009 was the Visit with Santa series.) All in all, with just about every ornament you pull off my tree, it comes with a story. My particular favorites belong to my dogs. (Yes, even the dogs have ornaments here!) Both Jade and Bull have Baby's First Christmas ornaments. Bull's is my favorite though. His is a little bunny in a tiny blue stocking. Then there was the year that my dogs ate my sewing basket. (They are labs - they'll pretty much eat anything!) Imagine coming home to your entire sewing basket (which had been on your counter when you left for work) to find the entire contents of your sewing basket strewn throughout your kitchen!!!! I had absolutely no idea how many straight pins I had in there. I had no idea how many sewing needles were in there. I put them in the car and got them to the vet where we found (thankfully) that there were no pins anywhere to be found in either dog! The bill for that visit was not so pretty! That was the year that my Mom bought me my angel dogs to remind me that my dogs are no angels!
I could go on for hours about the ornaments on my tree. Next year I hope to have the time and patience to photograph all of them and put them into a photo book.
Since my business turned 2 in September I've thought long and hard about what I want my goals to be going into my third year in business. Last year I set my goals pretty high, almost unattainable, or so I thought at the time. I was able to accomplish all of them and even go beyond what I thought possible. This year though, I think will be all about defining who I am and coming back to my roots in photography. The stories. The memories. I have a few ways that I think will help me accomplish these goals. One is to bring the beast with me wherever I go so that my kids don't have anymore stories untold. The second (and much more difficult) is to start a Project 365. I'll post my favorites on the blog and Facebook. The third goal that I have is to blog more. I'm not certain which one of these will prove to be my most difficult as they are all challenges for me! Regardless, photographs will be taken, memories will be made and I will learn more. I hope that you will continue to follow my adventures in 2013!
Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is good to you!