This afternoon we celebrated my son, Matthew's 3rd birthday at a local bowling alley. My children's birthday parties tend to get me anxious and flustered, trying to make sure I have everything all put together and arrive on time. This party was no exception and somehow, once again, I was feeling scrambled to get myself and the kids ready, load the car up and get on our way. Even after going over my mental list multiple times we still had to turn around half way to the party to grab the forgotten gallon of ice cream in our freezer.
It was not until we arrived at the bowling alley (with five minutes to spare, mind you) that I realized I had forgotten my camera as well. My heart sunk. I could feel all the anxiety of the morning building up into frustration until, thankfully, my little guy tugged on my hand and excitedly asked if he could go bowling now. I took a breath and made the decision that this will not affect my day. I have my phone. I will snap some quick photos of the moments I want to and it will just be "good enough."
What I didn't realize was the weight that would be lifted off my shoulders (more figuratively, but literally too... that thing is heavy) by not having the pressure I put on myself to capture every moment perfectly. I am so grateful that I am able to photograph these moments for my children, but sometimes I know am can be guilty of not REALLY being there with my kids because I am so fixated on photographing them instead. Today, I snapped around 30 cellphone images that took me around 1 minute total to do and I lived in the moment. It was the reminder I needed to keep going through this year and my 365 project as well.
Take those beautiful, breathtaking, priceless photos... but then be satisfied, set the camera/phone down and just be present.
I write this post not only as a reminder to myself, but to other moms and dads as well, because I know I am not the only one.
When I look back on my photographer career thus far, there are certain sessions and moments that have shaped who I am as a photographer today. The difference between those sessions and my time spent with The Harder Family is that I knew this was a pivotal moment for me as it was happening, it didn't take hindsight to see that.
I was honored to be invited into their home to capture such an important time in their lives. Grateful that I have a career that allows me to witness these private moments. Somber at times, thinking about the reason I was there. Humbled that I was not only photographing the evening, but also invited to sit around the table and eat along with them. I felt admiration for the family, especially their mother and father. And as I drove home, although my eyes were tear-filled, I felt content knowing I had done all I could do to provide them with these lasting memories.
The video is a little lengthy, but worth the watch. Thank you Harder Family. I was truly a pleasure.
If you have trouble viewing the video - CLICK HERE - to view on YouTube.
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A little bit of business and a little bit of my own world.