Photography is my life. To be honest sometimes I wish it were a little less my life. I'm living the holes in the knees of all my pants, props falling out of my car when I open the door, rubber gripping falling off my lenses, chasing two year olds down a hill, fart jokes, acting like an idiot for a smile, someone find the bestman, praying for the sun to come out, drool wiping, baby shushing, carpel tunnel, 60 hours a week, editing so long your brain and your legs are asleep, driving all over this city, bug bites, sun burnt, heat stroked, dehydrated, can barely move my fingers by the end of the day but still on such a post shoot high that I can't sleep at night kinda life. And it's wonderful. I love it. I love to watch these tiny babies grow. I keep myself so busy that little to no time seems to pass between the time when they were squishy little balls of naps and milk, to wide-eyed giggle boxes, to plucky little one year olds who have important agendas, to furious Tasmanian devil toddlers, to these little people who have bloomed into this person that is somehow exactly who they've always been yet totally different. If you don't have kids you don't know that they just are who they are. You think you can mold this little hot mess of erratic emotions and poorly controlled bodily functions into an angel child who embodies all of your finest points and none of your less desirable qualities. Hahahahaha! Sorry. You get who you get and it's so fascinating to watch them unfurl into themselves.
I started out as an artist. But eventually I realized I don't really like the art scene. I don't like highbrow conversations about perceptions. I don't like conceptualism. I don't like to see talent wasted because of politics and I don't like to see non talent touted simply because it's attached to a loud personality. Art is a very personal experience to me and the art world just seemed to taint it and make it obscene somehow. I'm not going to pretend that I spent much time in the art world or even saw that much of it. But what I did see made me walk away. That and I wasn't a very good artist! I worked at a portrait studio in the mall for a while and realized that my favorite thing to photograph was children. They have no sense of self consciousness. I love that. If they have a booger they just dig it right out then and there. If they hate your shoes they will tell you. If they feel an urge to dance, they dance. Its so refreshing. I wish we were all a little more childish.
I have two small children of my own. I love being a mom. It's insanely hard, emotionally taxing, messy, stressful and Sisyphean. But its also so amazing. When both my boys are giggling together my heart is so full I worry it might burst. I am constantly torn between wanting to lie in the dirt and sort rocks at the park with them all day and getting out the camera, clearing my mind and photographing one of the families that graciously lets me in their lives for a few hours. I want to be with my kids always and I want to work always. But that's the conundrum every working parent faces isn't it? I try to my best to ignore the myth of the happy work/family balance. Who is anyone kidding? There is no such thing. Parenting is a full time job and full time jobs are well, full time jobs! Even though I work from home my house is often messy. And that's ok. I still have things on my to do list at the end of the day and that's ok. I am glad my boys will grow up with a mom that is a small business owner. I'm glad that they see their mom set aside that role for a while to aim for personal and professional goals. I want them to grow up admiring women who work hard and hold their own. I just hope that eventually that is what they will see when I walk out the door to go to work. Even if they don't realize it until they are adults. I wish that I could be a stay at home mom and be with them all day. Especially while they are little and still need me and think I'm hilarious. But I just can't do it. It would drive me bonkers. If I have two days off in a row and I'm climbing up the walls!
I'm really lucky to get to see so many families and to get to build such a wonderful bond with them. Some of the families I've photographed have been with me since their wedding day and now have kids that are growing up way too fast. And I LOVE these kids like they were my own. I am constantly flattered and awed that they keep coming back every year to let me photograph them. I'm so thankful that I get to do this job! All my amazing clients are the reason I am still doing this today. And it never fails, on the days when I want to throw my camera out the window and smash my computer to dust, some one will email me that they liked the pictures. Or someone will bring me a cup of coffee before an early shoot. Or someone will make one of my pictures their profile picture. Or someone will send me a message to tell me that the little one wanted to know why I wasn't on the family vacation to take their picture! And I'm just so glad all over again that I get to do this job.