Permanence in this world is ever shifting.
A lot of my friends have commented, 'How do you keep up?', or 'You should really slow down.' Well, last year really changed me. It made me think twice of my purpose in life. I'm a natural nurturer. People pleaser. And I felt immense guilt for not giving my OWN family that nurture and love that I intended. Instead, I was waking up at the crack of dawn to get my kid off to 'school', dash off to work, race out of work to make it to pick up on time, scramble and fix dinner, bathe the kid, and just crash into bed only to do it over and over again. I was slowly becoming insane with the rind and grind. They say the definition of insanity is to do the SAME thing over and over again, only to expect a different result. And I was getting the same result (duh! But optimistic me was hoping for some sort of miracle). A slap in the face with a high risk pregnancy with my second little one, and I was forced to CHANGE. To break this life mold, to get outside of my comfort zone. To get CREATIVE. And it's been scary as hell, but so, sooo LIBERATING. I feel like I'm breathing in fresh air, and I look at this world around me with a completely different vantage point.
It's definitely not easy, but I really try to take a moment or two to step back, breathe and soak it all in. I am DEEPLY appreciative of everything we have, the health of our kids, roof over our heads, and the consistent ability to provide a warm, healthy(ish) meal on the table every night. There's news stories every day to help give me that kind of perspective.
I displaced my stress and need for perfectionism (Type AA) into crafting moments and telling stories in the most beautiful way I can. I don't want to fit into a mold. I want to create a different kind of photograph, one that helps make you FEEL. Not just a pretty picture. I work my butt off behind the scenes, making sure my clients are taken care of, and that they know I'm making sure I'm highlighting their favorite moments they want to remember. Because I want their families to know what that felt like. Fight or flight? I'm a total fighter all the way. Tragedies, sorrow in this life frankly piss me off. It's now my JOB to make sure I grab all of those moments in between. Call me a moment collector. Because I'd much rather hoard those than 'things'.
One of my favorite print companies, Artifact Uprising, recently said it best:
"...I hope they recognize, through photographs, the same smiles that connect past to present. I hope they find a license to adventure by glimpsing into the frontiers once paved by those they love most. I wish for them to see the imperfect and unscripted moments of our time, only to realize that missteps are a part of the journey. And I hope this visual collection, spanning from tiny feet to wrinkled hands, fosters gratitude for all that has come before and all that is yet to be."
So a long winded answer to why I do what I do, and the source of my passion. Sure, I could use a zillion more hours of sleep at night. But everything I'm doing at the moment is a formula that keeps my soul happy. You have no idea how big the grin is on my face when I get a text message, email message, hand-written notes, FLOWERS!, thanking me for the experience of a session with me. And seeing their favorites proudly displayed in their home? IT'S THE BEST. And a constant reminder of what all this 'work' is all about...
P.S. A big shout out to my biggest fan and harshest critic: my patient husband has given my stubborn and determined self so much support. I love you more than you'll ever know. XOXO babe.
Here in the middle of busy season, I went out around Chicago in search of some new location spots for future sessions. Priorities- green space, urban grit, good even shaded spots, and EASY PARKING. With my kids' help, we found one! And I had to try out the setting on my handy test models... meet the two little kiddos that give me a new lease on life. They're already growing up WAY too fast. :(
"Collect moments, not things."