I’m not really busy right now – and I’m okay with that actually. In a few weeks I’ll be busy again, and preparing for an insane summer wedding season. So right now, in the moments when I’m not at the cube farm or watching Gossip Girl, I find myself spending every last moment with my two darling girls; Playing, adventuring, laughing, tickling, living. The things I miss when I’m working – which I tend to do all. the. time. Last night, as I was falling asleep I realized I don’t take any photographs of my life. The moments I live. Every single day. And I remembered a conversation that occurred a couple of years ago – when someone asked if I would consider taking photos professionally. “I don’t want it to be work,” I said. “I don’t want to need a break-and work tends to do that to you-it takes the joy out of something. Forces you to quit…working…whenever you don’t have to.” That was my answer then. I was afraid to be a photographer because I didn’t want the business of….well, business….to steal my joy. My passion. I never wanted to be robbed of the reason I picked up a camera in the first place. I laid in bed wondering if exactly what I was afraid would happen…happened. Because I haven’t picked up my camera just because in what feels like ages. Because I don’t consciously take it with me wherever I go (the thing is quite heavy!) I didn’t bring it to the zoo yesterday, or the beach last Saturday, or all the million places in between. The places where I live my life. Where my life….happens.
Tonight, as my girls and I played outside, waiting for a spring storm to blow its way into our front yard, my kids’ faces smeared with chocolate and BBQ sauce, wearing stained shirts and scrubby tennis shoes, I grabbed my camera. Even though they weren’t wearing matching Gap dresses and perfect pigtails. Even though there is a giant red pickup truck in our driveway, and cable boxes, and air conditioners and rocks. Even though – it wasn’t the perfect location. Scoped. Strategized. Planned. Because life, I realized, isn’t a photo session. The beauty of being a photographer – of documenting the existence of life, of people and love and beauty, and telling stories – isn’t in perfection or planning. It’s in the mess of everything unplanned and spontaneous. It’s a cacophony of minutia. Tonight, it took the form of laughter and bickering and dirty, ugly Wal*Mart tennis shoes. Messy hair and stained faces. Dirty fingernails and scraped knees. Hide and seek and summer storms. Diapers and puddles. It’s every little thing I’ve looked at a million times ……. but rarely ever see.
Tonight: All of these things were part of a collective. A perfect, haphazard, unplanned collective semblance of life. With two toddlers. In a rainstorm.
These images are some of my most favorite – ever. I processed them in Lightroom using VSCO film and I am obsessed with every single frame. Maybe it’s because I’m hopelessly in love with the subjects – or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I didn’t get out my camera tonight trying to be anything. Trying to prove anything. Trying to wow anyone. I just took it out to shoot. To free myself in the creation of art. In the telling of their story. This story.
These are my children. Exactly as they were on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012. Exactly as they are supposed to be.