Time after time, I hear people say -
"I don't want pictures of myself around the house."
"Photoshoots are just so awkward"
"I’d be self-conscious, I’m not a model, I'm not good enough at posing..."
"I just want one good shot for the Christmas card"
They look at my photos and they don't understand why everyone's not looking at the camera, or why there's hair in front of the kids face, or someone's head is cropped out of the frame.
And that's okay. It's not for everyone.
But over the years, I've begun honing my style from trying to do what's popular to striving to capture what's purposeful.
I've stopped agonizing over letting an image go because there's a hot light spot, I publish things that are technically "incorrect," and sometimes deliver images that aren't quite tack sharp, simply because they cause an emotional reaction.
That's what I strive for and those are the images I love most. And ya know what?
I've noticed that the clients who truly connect with my work, who cry at their reveal sessions, the ones who turn into friends as I get to watch and capture their children growing up, the clients who have a seamless experience that's enjoyable from start to finish ... those images are their favorites, too.
And that's because they all have a few key characteristics in common.
1. they embrace imperfection.
They like a flattering photo as much as the next person and I'm sure that comparison traps pull at their hearts, too. It's human nature for all of us. But my clients are the ones who actively push past expectations and proudly love the nuance of cowlicks, grass stains, rosy cheeks, and scars.
They won't wait to loose weight or for their kids' teeth grow in. They'll never ask their kids to sit still or stop talking during a shoot, show up in matching boutique clothing, or ask me to recreate a pose they saw on Pinterest -- because they want images that remind them of who they love, the life they're in together, and how it how it FEELS, not matter what that looks like.
2. They cherish their season in it's temporary glory.
They may not live in their forever home yet, or maybe they just haven't yet finished the kitchen renovation and there's a layer of sawdust everywhere. Maybe the youngest recently got excited about cutting her own hair or a lot of meals involve frozen waffles... but my clients use those "right now's" as a purpose instead of an excuse.
They will invite me into their homes and not apologize for the pile of shoes at the door or baby gear on every end table. They'll throw a load of laundry in or grab a cup of coffee while I'm rocking their baby. These are the exact reasons they want photographs of the life they're current living, whatever that looks like right now; because they know it won't look like that forever and they're grateful for all the in-betweens.
3. They care about their message and legacy.
The families who hire me don’t need me to convince them of the simple beauties within their season, but to capture the way it feels so they can keep telling that story after the season has passed.
My clients may not be expert designers and definitely don't have time to be planning out beautiful stairway galleries, but they do value quality albums and frames on their walls because
they recognize that quality isn't about vanity, but longevity.
They understand how powerful images can be for communicating values, stories, and relationships both now, and for future generations.
So yes, my style goes against the grain. Yes, it's unexpected. Yes it's imperfect. Yes it's an investment.
And no, it's not easy to say 'yes' to it.
But if it does resonate with you, you're in for a treat.
Because there's something so incredible and unexplainable about revisiting the feelings of life's most precious moments. From your baby's first day on Earth to sprinkler chasing, family tickle fights, and hectic morning routines.
And I hope you'll trust me to give you that feeling both for now, and for your children someday, too.