with Xanthe Photography, North Lakes Qld
Letting go of Perfection…
When hiring a family photographer we might already know what we want. Golden sunlight, everyone looking and smiling, picture perfect surrounds. There’s no trace of boogers, hair is perfect, and the kids are nothing but joyful. Right?? No wonder we get nervous about this investment.
You’ve most likely purchased new clothes, or had hair done especially. You are probably quietly freaking out about how your children are going to behave, and what if the whole thing is a waste of money. What if in fact, it’s less joyful…and more er hmm… tantrum in the toy aisle?
From a photographer’s perspective, I really want to create beautiful images for your family. It’s just absolutely what I love to do. It’s the most amazing feeling. However, here’s what I’ve learnt in the past 7 years. While I was so busy trying to create these ‘perfect’ photos for families…. there were these other photos.. these less perfect moments that cried out to me. For a time I didn’t listen, refusing to press the shutter unless everything was just right. And in doing so, I wonder how many fun, emotive and beautifully messy images I might have missed taking for families?
Because here is the thing… life is not perfect. Your family is not perfect. My family is definitely not perfect. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the mozzies eat you alive. Sometimes your adorable toddler faceplants in the ocean before we even start. Sometimes they manage to stand in that one bit of dog poo, cow poo (insert any kind of poo here really) and yeah.. it finds its way onto the front of their new trousers. Sometimes they choose to kick off the shoes you spent three hours searching for and no amount of coaxing will get them back on. Sometimes they hide behind your dress… or worse under your dress.
But guess what? I’m here to tell you it’s OK. It really is. Things don’t have to go to plan. In fact, we should try to accept that they won’t. And when we let go of our idea of perfection, we create a space for real, one of a kind, beautiful images of our families and kids. Images that are an authentic reflection of us at that time.
Sand on your child’s face can be beautiful.. as is windswept hair.. and the fact you had to take their shirt off because they went swimming a little earlier than you thought. Dusty little hands full of treasures they have picked up for you. Oh my goodness.. one day they stop doing this guys! I want photos of that. Little grazed knees.. and that one bit of sticky up hair. Wild curls that refuse to stay in their plaits. Funky grins, you know the ones.. where there are either not enough teeth or just way too many big and gappy teeth. Laughing too loud.. laughing too much. Pouting. All these things.. are immensely beautiful in their own imperfect way.
These are the photos that are uniquely yours. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day? Our stories told. Our beautiful truth. We don’t want a second rate version of someone else’s. I challenge you to let go of your idea of perfection. Embrace everything that is your family right now.
Tips to help you achieve your own real, honest and beautiful images
1. Tell me about your family.. tell me your story to ensure I’m the right fit for you. You can email or call me to discuss anything you are worried about.
2. Your house does not need to be Pinterest worthy and neither does your clothing. Sure these things look nice… and hey… I like a tidy house… but you want things to ‘feel nice’ too right? Appreciate what is happening in the moment and the other things won’t matter quite so much.
3. Be prepared – have snacks, have drinks, have a bandaid, have a spare shirt, have mummy and daddy kisses ready to go at any point.
4. Trust me in regards to locations and times. If I tell you noon in the park isn’t going to work, it’s for a reason.
5. But most importantly, relax and enjoy your time with your family. Listen to my gentle prompts and look at your family again with fresh eyes and see how wonderful they are.
Regardless of any flaws you might perceive, I promise you…your family, just as you are is enough.
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