After becoming a mama to Colby I had an epiphany about truth. When did getting dressed in matching clothes and picking a location for photos become a “thing?” Don’t get me wrong, I have certainly had my fair-share of posed sessions. They usually consisted of me frantically trying to find and buy matching outfits, Colby crying because he didn’t like his button up shirt, David’s eye rolling and “This is so fake” remarks. Is this really what parenthood looked like?
There was absolutely no truth in us standing there, pretending to be perfect.
The more and more I myself photographed sessions that were posed, the more and more uncomfortable I felt. I sucked at it. I’d get home, import the photos into Lightroom and my heart would sink every time. The connections just weren’t there. No depth, just surface level smiles and poses. It was in those times I felt like I was doing those families a dis-service. While I’ve realized documentary photography isn’t for everyone, I also know that posed ones aren’t either.
When I first discovered documentary photography, the honesty blew me away. The very idea that there were other people out there seeking moments and truth over perfection was just astonishing to me. It’s the routine of our day-to-day life that tells the story of who we are. It’s the moments of chaos trying to get out of the door for church, the dirty dishes in the sink, piles of shoes everywhere, the mounds of laundry waiting to be washed, the traditions being established and passed down from one generation to another.
THIS is parenthood. THIS is life.
Thirty-something years from now, when your children come over for the holidays, and your looking through your albums, you’ll feel what life was like that day. You’ll remember how comfortable you were in your home, wearing the clothes you do every day, and the freedom of your family to “just be.”