I can't believe it's been almost a year since I did one of my first home sessions. It began as a request to get in a few maternity shots before my friend's third child was born. Knowing I would be there in later weeks to photograph her newborn session, I told her I could get a few of her precious baby bump. I asked if I could linger a bit and capture her family doing all the things they love.
I’m a firm believer now that parents should do a home session at least once in their lifetime, but especially when the kids are small. There are so many moments that go unnoticed or undocumented that just ooze with simple beauty. As mothers, we tend to get overwhelmed with the day in and out of picking up clothes, wiping down counters, stepping on legos, doctoring booboos and speaking to broken hearts. Rarely do we get to slow down in the sweet times and remember the goodness in the midst of the crazy.
I love how a fellow photographer put it: "My job is to capture the fleeting moments in the life of a mom. Yes, there is drudgery in the everyday, but there's also magic. I want to capture that magic and preserve it so your kids can look back and see their childhood the way you gave it to them." I almost tear up every time I read that. It's such a good reminder to seek out the goodness in the monotonous. When I did this home session, THAT was on my mind. How can I remind this dear mama that there is magic in the mundane?
I asked my friend, Heather, if she could share a few words about her experience. This is what she had to say:
"Right before we had Van, Michelle came into our home to do a lifestyle session. This basically meant she spent several hours of the day alongside us, carefully capturing our current season of normal. I was afraid it would be awkward to have a camera following us around, but she really made it so comfortable and easy for us. I honestly cannot say enough about how grateful I am for what she captured in those few hours- Clara's dirty feet as she played with Calico Critters, the way the afternoon sunlight hit Hudson's face as he concentrated on building a block tower, their sweet little expressions as I read from their favorite book. These images could not have been achieved by simply dressing up and going for a photo session. We have been given a raw, imperfect, and honest glimpse into our daily lives. I will forever cherish these photographs."
Take a moment to get a peek into their home session and think about what you would want photographed given the opportunity. What would you like to freeze in time? Maybe Saturday pancakes, morning walks, making cookies, painting pumpkins, or even putting up the Christmas tree? I treasure that what I was allowed to capture with this family will be a bookmark in their story that can be revisited and celebrated for years to come.
I love that one of the images even stirred a whole movement to encourage us to scroll less on our phones and train our minds to gravitate to more worthy pursuits. You can read more about that here. Heather is a gifted writer and I can't wait until she has authored her own book one day. But, until then, you can see a bit into her life as a mom below. Read more of her writings on instagram and articles she's posted as a contributor for engagingmotherhood.com.
And, keep looking for the magic in the mundane. I promise it's there.