After my yearly career day adventure chatting with kiddos about the many aspects of my job, and how very important it is to realize what is real and what isn't real in photographs, I hit the ground with some fresh perspective of my own work, which was made all the more bold and beautiful by my session with Fawn and her family. Four generations of tough and beautiful women (and one handsome little dude) made for a fabulous and introspective shoot.
These guys all obviously adore each other, and we had so many "in-between" moments making each other laugh or smile, or dolling out compliments. I do always try to get the standard posed photos, especially when I have such a dynamic age range where expected attention-spans are short, and meltdowns can happen at any moment. But those "in-betweens" are my absolute favorites - they're so much more real.
Don't get me wrong traditional portraits are great, and Photoshop is a fabulous tool that helps me remove zits and scraped knees, or take out my feet when I'm shooting straight down, but I always use it solely with the intentions of making you look your best, not someone else's.
And Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are cool, right? They always give us such a shining vantage in to the lives of others - who is falling in love with Mr. or Mrs. Right, who is halfway across the globe, who is buying their dream home, who is rocketing to the top of their incredible career - but it's important to remember that's usually only the highlight reel of an online persona. They don't show the mess - the financial, emotional, professional, or relationship struggles that we all deal with.
Me? I'm okay with the mess. No, honestly. I'm cool with clients running late to sessions, or forgetting their checkbook. Humidity ruined that hairstyle you spent an hour and a half perfecting? Spit-up on the outfit you were so careful to make sure stayed pristine? No biggie.
I want you to fully embrace yourself - whatever giggly, googly-eyed, size, shape, age, emotional, excited, shy iteration of yourself that may be on that day. You be yourself, because that will always be more beautiful than any retouching can make you.
So here's a reminder to all to stop and smell the roses (or to pick up the seashells)...
...to jump right in (or slowly acclimate to the chilly Chesapeake)...
...and to just enjoy being you.
Even if you have a photographer following you around, act like you don't. Let us worry about the highlights.
Just a little reminder to remember the mess is okay, an invitation to come as you are, and some encouragement let your love (and chaos!) run wild. -MEJ
P.S. this shot of my soggy, sandy new friend and I trekking back to the parking lot makes me beyond joyful - thanks for grabbing it, Fawn!