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our autumn family photos | {a personal story} | fairview heights lifestyle photographer

so i’m about to be real honest + transparent here. as a photographer, i obviously have a very specific vision when i take photos. i love pastel colors, dreamy light, overexposed everything–and when i book sessions with clients i am booking sessions at times when i know the light + i can come together and delivery a gallery full of dreamy, whimsical, + airy photos. this is obviously what i had in mind when i swapped sessions with my gem of a photographer friend Paige (hi, paige!) for our autumn family photos. she is expecting her second babe in a few short weeks and wanted a few photos of her family of three before they become a family of four + i wanted some updated photos of my family of four. fast forward to the evening of our session swap. it had been raining on + off all day. paige and i had been on the phone–‘should we pick another date?’ ‘go ahead with it and hope for the best?’– we both mentioned that had it been a session with a client and not a session swap between two friends, we would’ve rescheduled the session. however, we decided to go ahead + take the risk. i couldn’t be more thrilled that we did. for me + my personal photography style, it was about as far from my comfort zone as i could be. not to mention that i became ‘that mom’ during the session with a screaming baby. when my clients have screaming babies, i don’t panic at all. in fact, i almost enjoy the few minutes we stop shooting to feed the baby because it gives me a chance to further interact with the family that i’m photographing. so we stopped shooting. i fed aurora, and paige captured the sweetest moment with me feeding aurora, harper running towards me, and my husband smiling in the background because with a curious two year old + a screaming 3 month old, what else can you do?! not to mention that the light was flat-SO FLAT-no sun whatsoever. and you know what? i am obsessed with the images. i’m obsessed with the images i shot for my friend paige + i am obsessed with the images she took for us.

because of the moody light, my typical editing style was not working. instead of scrapping the session + rescheduling it, i decided to embrace the images because they were everything that i love. they aren’t whispering soft pastel colors, they aren’t overexposed and they’re far from airy. but they ARE honest. heartwarming. and 100% genuine snapshots of what my family looks like right now in this moment. there’s lots of giggling. lots of dancing. and lots of smiles. none smiling into the camera because that is NOT natural for us right now and honestly, it isn’t likely that i’d print one of those anyway. the bottom line is that it brought me back to remembering why i love photographing people. it’s not for the pastel colors or the dreamy edits (even though, i can’t lie, i still love all of that) but rather for the feeling that you feel when you look at a photo. if you look at a photo and don’t feel anything, then, honestly, i don’t think it’s a great photo. so, paige, thank youx1million for capturing exactly what i wanted. photos that make me feel all of the feels.

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