I grabbed my camera as we were heading out the door for a walk but had no real intention of taking any photos…until my kids found a giant stick and all of a sudden we were all inspired to “actually take photos”. What does “actually take photos” mean? It means my kids were fine with me capturing them and didn’t scoff at me and give me fake smiles as I yell “STOP DICKING AROUND AND JUST LOOK AT THE CAMERA!” from behind the lens. It means they were the ones saying “hey mom, take a photo of me…look at me mom”. It got me thinking that being the kid of a professional photographer must suck sometimes. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, definitely a first world problem (they will have A LOT of lovely photos to look back on one day), but in the moment, when you are a kid, life isn’t about perfectly styled outfits and posed smiles. It’s about playing with the giant stick you just found and climbing trees and getting dirty and running free…well at least that is what life is like for our kids. For a while there, when it came to photographing my kids, I was more concerned with creating artificial moments with clothing and hair and locations that my kids would never actually be in and accordingly my kids got annoyed with me and I got annoyed with them and I’m not proud to admit that on a few occasions we have all actually CRIED in frustration…which NEVER makes for a great photo. So I kinda just stopped photographing them (well I do with my phone but professionally…ya know?!) As I went through the photos I took yesterday, I realized that these are some of my favourite shots of them because capturing them wasn’t a chore and not once did I have to yell at them to “LOOK AT MOMMY & SMILE!” Their outfits were not styled at all and they did not coordinate; they had shopping bags in their boots to keep their socks dry because the inside of their boots were wet from playing in deep puddles earlier, my daughter had Christmas light pants on and my son had dirty pants and a hole in his shirt, but that’s ok because my kids were happy and just being themselves. The walk didn’t start off with me muscling them into some button up shirt or jeans that they hate wearing and I didn’t care if they climbed trees and walked in mud, because we were just off to be ourselves. And at the end of the day, this is what I want to look back and remember, my kids just being themselves. So here’s to photoshoots with outfits that your kids choose and activities that they love to do, because ultimately those are the moments that we will all remember, because they are authentic. This is my kind of family photography, both professionally and in my personal life.
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