When I was in grade school, I never understood why we had to take photos at school every year; the canvas backdrop with the picture of the bookshelf that looked nothing like books I was interested in confused me. When I was a little older in middle school, I would spend all of my allowance on developing rolls of film - pictures that I took in a very old camera of my friends. My favorite part of taking pictures and getting them developed was seeing what images I had captured once they were developed. It became a ritual for me to sit in my 1984 Mustang with duct tape on the roof and flip through the photos the second I got to my car - it was such a joy for me.
My first digital camera changed everything. Not only did I have instant gratification, being able to see the photos I took just seconds before. But I also didn't have to wait days or weeks to discover what kind and quality of images I had taken. I still have a couple film cameras and like to take them out on walks to challenge myself, to see what I can come up with - without the instant feedback of a screen. I absolutely LOVE black and white film. All of these changes are quite satisfying!
But one thing change that I am bittersweet about is not having the photos printed. I have a lot of computer memory that displays my sweet memories when I open them up and look through them. A photographer friend of mine recently posted an article about today's young generation not having any photos documenting their lives anymore. And when I say photos, I mean actual, tangible prints of the meaningful moments in their lives that are intended for display. Those images are digital and are saved on their Iphones, computers and tablets. After reading this article, I decided that I wanted to help my children understand their stories, and I want to tell others the story of my family through photos when I can.
I have made a special date with my children each year to capture how they've grown since the last time they added a year to their age. With young ones, it's difficult to do, but it's something I have committed myself to and I intend to see it through. I absolutely love seeing what features have changed and how I can see aspects of their personalities come through in the photos.
I have been blessed to become an annual photographer for several clients of mine and I picked out a couple families who have been with me since the beginning - they are letting me share some images of past sessions with me.
Let me introduce Aidan and Charlotte; they are brother and sister. I met their mom at my oldest son's soccer game and because of her seriously envious fashion, we got to talking. She ended up taking my card and I was surprised when I heard from her but so blessed by meeting her awesome family.
Watch her son grow over three years...
Aidan is a blast and the more I take photos of this little guy, the more I see his personality come out. I love the cheese in this last photo! :-)
Now get ready for some serious cuteness...Aidan's sister, Charlotte...
One thing I love about taking photos of kiddos is that you don't have to pose them and they don't have to be smiling to be utterly adorable. Charlotte wasn't a real fan of getting her photos taken by me at first, but we weren't above bribery and we ended up with some good images. ;-) Bottom line is that she is naturally adorable and will pose herself - and did.
The second family that I absolutely love taking photos of also has two children, Ethan and Madelyn. These two are hilarious and sweet, and they make a photo session fun. Just start the giggles with camera at the ready.
Meet Ethan...what little boy isn't adorable when his cootie-filled sister kisses his cheek?
As he grows into a young man, his family gets to see how he has grown each year. You miss it sometimes when you see your kiddos every day and then all of a sudden, they're a foot taller!
Finally, meet Madelyn...
Madelyn is an absolute ham and so much fun to capture shots of!
Display tip: I am working on a display project of my own kiddos. What's my plan? I'm going to be printing large black and white styrene matted images of each kiddo at each year on the same wall. I might try another wall of metal prints - this is a good product to purchase for a wall that gets hit by either the sunrise or sunset - the image looks as though it's moving. I'll have to try it out!
"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."
- George Eastman
Stuff I wrote...