Take the Picture
I love newborns. They're literally my favorite humans to work with. They are soft and squishy, so delicate and so strong all at the same time. A newborn is this amazing piece of the universe that has potential to change everything around us. We have no idea who children will grow to be, and it's so incredible to work with them as they're just starting out.
I did a reveal session a few weekends ago. The reveal was for a newborn session, and they brought their sweet baby girl back with them. In only a few weeks, their little girl had gotten longer, weighed more, and her cheeks were the perfect kind of squish that you just want to squeeze. She was starting to settle into patterns for her day, and she didn't look quite as tiny in her carseat anymore. All it took was a blink in time. Which, without pictures, we sometimes forget. We spend our days with our families or the people that we need to for work or survival, and we forget to stop and take a breath and actually SEE the changes that creep in as we age. Day to day, we don't see our children growing, but then we blink, and it's their birthday, or their shoes don't fit, or their pants are two inches too short.
I work as a therapist during the week. I met with a patient of mine yesterday. She's older, and so sweet. We're currently working on self image and anxiety, and I couldn't help but ask her... "When was the last time you had your picture taken?"
Now, let me say first and foremost, I love both of my jobs, and it's essential for me to stay within my boundary lanes for my state licensure. I cannot photograph the families that I work with during the week at my regular job. It's a conflict of interest. However, I can encourage them to still love themselves as much as possible and I believe that getting your pictures taken every once in awhile can really freeze that love in time if you let it. So while I can't take their family portraits, I still strongly encourage them to consider getting one done with their families or loved ones every once in awhile.
I blinked. "Ten years? You haven't been in a picture in ten years?"
She acknowledged the things she'd done over the last ten years to avoid being in any image; not for social media, not for family, not for herself. She talked about loving herself "later", when she became a healthier, smaller version of herself. And my heart ached for her.
I think we all avoid pictures sometimes. We don't look quite like we want to. We could lose 5 pounds, or ten....ish. We didn't put on makeup or do our hair. Our skin complexion is having a rough week. We feel less than for no other reason than we live in a society that teaches us that we are less than something or someone.
I asked her what would happen if something happened to her. If she went missing. If she passed away. What picture would her family use? She wasn't sure. She didn't look the same anymore...
You don't have to hire a professional to take the pictures. You have your phone, your tablet, someone else's phone. And no, the quality of the image is not the same in every round. No, this isn't a debate about which print lab you use. It's just about making sure the life you're living is documented. You don't have to look perfect in every moment, but you should learn to live in the moments and know that IF something happens, or WHEN something happens, pictures are what we reflect on. Images help us keep memories alive. My children deserve to see me in the images with them. Your family deserves to see you in the images with them. Time goes by SO FAST, even on the days that feel like it drags.
If you blink, you could miss it. And you shouldn't. You only get one round. And it can go fast. Take the pictures. Book your session, with me or anyone else. Have another tourist take a picture so that you can be in it instead of just your family on vacation. Hell, give your 9 year old your camera and have them take pictures of you in the sunset.
Just take the picture. <3