Maybe it is the fact that I dropped my middle daughter off at camp yesterday – – an adventure that I’m so happy she gets to experience. Or maybe it is the fact that my oldest daughter will be entering her junior year of high school – – really, how can that be? Or maybe it is the fact that I’m trying to hang on to the little thread of mommy idolization that my youngest daughter still has. But I’m feeling a little emotional. I miss the sweet and innocent days of their young childhood so much that it hurts. I’m so proud of the young women they are becoming, but I can’t help but yearn for the days of giggling and laughter and unbridled joy. Not that those moments don’t still exist…they do…but no kidding, they are few and far between. Three teenagers…I’m telling you, it is a roller coaster ride of varying intensities.
When I started my photography business 12 years ago, many of my clients had children the same ages as mine. The nature of a small town, I suppose…so as my children grew, so did the average age of the children I photographed. Now that my children are in middle/high school, I photograph a lot of families with older children, which is honestly so much fun. It’s a great challenge…so many varying personalities and styles and attitudes. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle…kind of a grand mixture of psychology and engineering. And as a mother of three children with very different personalities, I understand the value of getting a family portrait to mesh just right. Which can be so so hard to do!
So yes, my allotment of families with young children is not what it has been in the past but truly, nothing gives me more joy than working with these families. I get to crawl around in the grass, act like a juvenile, laugh at myself and just act plain silly. Perhaps I should have been a kindergarten teacher, but I am over the moon happy when I get to play with these kiddos. And the images I am able to create…they have such tremendous meaning to not only the families for whom I am creating them, but for myself as well. Because I get it. I remember. I yearn, I ache…I intensely need to remember those sweet days of my daughter’s lives.
During the rainy month of June, I really lucked out by having four tremendous outdoor sessions with young children. Ok, two of the sessions were overcast and raining lightly, but hey…I can make anything work. And kids really just don’t care. So neither do I. It was a great way to kick off the summer, which ultimately turns into a senior portrait bonanza that lasts until early October. This video compilation of these four sessions really showcases what I love most about child photography…real, honest and lively interaction.