the importance of photography.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the kids. are back. to school.
although a joyous occasion for many parents after a long holiday break,
myself included,
the energy and enthusiasm and motivation i thought would sweep through me like a hurricane,
once their little winter boots bounded out the mini-van door,
shuffling towards their day behind a desk,
in WAY more capable hands,
well, it hasn't shown up yet.
and don't see it coming anytime soon.
as laundry piles up, linens wait sheepishly to be changed, dishes from the morning are piled up in the sink,
i stare head on at the Christmas decor,
which glares back at me, kind of wanting to go back to the basement,
but not really.
i SHOULD shower.  put some make-up on.  swap out these killer sweats for some cute jeans, 
but why?  the only hot date i've got planned is with this guy.
and he doesn't care.
he can't seem to keep pants on or his hands out of them, no less.
so, i think i'm good.
as the weather has shifted, and for some reason, like the old lady i am,
so have my bones and my muscles.  creaking and aching from the long week passed.
when i SHOULD be doing a million different things, instead i sit on them.
and type.  and sip coffee. 
thinking about something i read this morning on FB at 6am, when i should've been sleeping.
or meditating.  or preparing for the whirlwind that kicks up around 6:30am.
something about photography.
and i feel SO compelled to comment on it.
it was written simply but beautifully and echoes a lot of what i feel about photography
and always hope for others to see.
let me preface this by letting you know that this letter i read,
is truly not being used as a way to drum up more business for myself.
it is simply how i have ALWAYS viewed photography, myself, 
only expressed in a beautiful note from someone else,
about the importance of photos in our life.  photography in general. . .
a timeless medium used to capture priceless moments in our lifetime.
moments you don't get to 're-do' nor will get back.
i can tell you wholeheartedly, i am SO happy, content even, with my client base.
i always look forward to new clients each year, 
being welcomed in to new families with my work,
but don't try to sell myself.  nor really advertise.
i love the families that value not just MY work but photography in general and see the beauty in it and don't scoff at the price.
is it expensive?  absolutely.  
do you have to budget for it?  of course.
but think for a minute.
how many things are you buying in your week that you don't need?  
that only last a few days or a week and give you nothing in return?
so much.
photography is expensive,
but compared to manicures, massages, $4 mochas,
it's invaluable and lasts a lifetime.  A LIFETIME.
some of my feelings on this are on my website, but don't go nearly as deep as i'm going here.
i've had a camera since i was 6.  
i can't even tell you how many rolls of film i've processed.
in college and post college,
i brought my little olympus point-and-shoot to every wedding, every party, EVERY thing,
capturing every moment i could.
i was obsessed. 
and then i'd bring it to walgreen's (before the online ordering world took over,)
and always bought doubles, giving copies freely to friends and everyone that made their way into my photos.
it was costly, but i didn't care.  i LOVED doing it.  LOVED giving that gift of a memory.
LOVED picturing that friend on the receiving end, getting an envelope from me filled with good times had.
after four years of college tuition and years of debt,
well, i'm not sure why it took so long to recognize my life's passion staring me back in the face.
or gone through the financial and emotional stress that pursuing something totally different, put me through,
all of that to get right back to where i always was.:)
it was the path i was on.  and now here i am.
but finally there it was.  in the weirdest of places, but finally.
i hired a photographer to take some photos of jack, grace & i as a gift for brian.
and the whole time, i kept thinking, 'i can do this.  i can TOTALLY do her job.  and (self-rightously, i thought,) do it better.'
and i did.
it took some time and lots of money.
my first few clients, God bless them, got a few good photos out of hundreds.:)
they were so bad.
but hey, we all have to start somewhere.
i had and STILL have so much to learn, but i'm settling in.
the self-confidence i was seriously lacking, despite taking the risk to start a business with this passion,
is slowly building over time.
appreciating the eye i have but also learning to master the technical side of this art.
the lighting and the posing and the angles which make photos even more amazing,
is always a challenge.  but something i learn more about after EVERY session.
also learning to embrace and own MY OWN personal style.
lots o' sunlight, lot's of candid, little to no editing the finished product if i can avoid it
(and not because i'm lazy,) but because i like to keep my images as organic and authentic to the moment as possible.  
leaving as perfectly imperfect as they may be, yet proof of that moment shared.
although it has cost me (and by me, i mean my husbands' hard-earned money, who has funded this dream and passion of mine,)
it has been and continues to be completely worth it.
photos bring a moment to life and freeze it forever.
THAT is what i love.
in my own home, a great example of the value I see in this art,
well, i represent.
 {yes, they're crooked right now.}
but there isn't a wall or a room in my home which doesn't display this passion i believe in so much.
these irretrievable moments that can really, only be relived in a memory.
 {yes.  i know that lamp shade is too small.  have to get a bigger one for that gigantor lamp.}
but THIS is what i believe in.
i will tell brian over and over, if our house was burning down, the only other thing i'd grab (other than the children,)
would by my framed photos.  and even those, i would leave, because they're all backed up on external drives.  but you get what i'm saying.
they, my photographs, are THAT important to me.
and my most TREASURED ones, are not even the ones i took.
me, super hella pregnant at the county fair,
anxiously awaiting the arrival of our third.
months after his arrival.
lounging with great grandma.  one of my most FAVORITE photos.  
these two generations snuggling together.
the lens capturing perfectly the difference in years on their faces and all the beauty in each.
every shelf.
every window sill.
every wall.
in our home, at least, hold the things that mean the most in life.
so in this new year of 2012, think about how you're spending your time and money.
is it bringing you things that truly FULFILL you and bring you LASTING happiness?
before a fight ensues with your spouse about the budget for this year,
whether or not you do family photos, stop and think for a minute.
remembering that whether you hire someone to photograph for you,
or upgrade your OWN camera,
it will be worth every penny.
my blog was initially created, as many photographers do, 
to post pictures of my recent sessions,
clients and their families.
finding a passion for writing and sharing my deep thoughts has proved for me,
to be much more exciting than sharing recent sessions.
but i want to share some of my own personal fave's from this past year,
of a few clients of mine, a little snippet to go with each.
one of my most favorite people on the planet and her family.
her girls aren't perfectly posed, her husband isn't looking my way.
but i still love this photograph.  because it captures HER essence.
in just one snap and with a little help from the cool fall breeze whipping through the cornstalks,
it is her, my dearest, her beauty, positivity and inner strength exploding from this photo. 
(and she'll probably kill me for posting this.  but i don't care.)
natural and unabashed beauty, inside and out.
these 3 brothers who completely had my heart.
each unique and special in their own way.  
the bond and friendship between them indestructible.
i could've photographed them and their cool, cool parents all day.
3 sisters, also near and dear to my heart and family.
but also sharing an indescribable connection, that EVERY mother only hopes to achieve among their own children.
this beauty who we held as an infant, a short 8 years ago.
who made me sigh a breath of, "i want this.  i want one.  she's perfect."
who, along with her siblings, we've watched grow and blossom.
and i have the pleasure to photograph each year.
a quiet senior, who, although, a little shy at first,
warmed up to reveal his inner beauty and confidence.
this beautiful couple.  who have built one of the most amazing families you'll ever meet, 
who's lifetime, despite children, heartache, loss,
has a love and devotion to each other 
now seeing them through the throws of stage 3 esophageal cancer.
this sassy and sweet lil' thang.
who had to say good bye to her mom too early,
taken slowly by breast cancer,
her inner strength and resilience caught easily in one snap.
as well as the love between her and her brother,
who will no doubtedly be her best friend.
photos are clearly so much more than the perfectly planned outfits, how great your hair looked that year,
how perfect the background. . .
it's about where you were in THAT present moment. 
where your thoughts and happiness were.  the challenges you were in or coming out of.
the connections and love and stillness in those cherished moments.
those moments, like the one above, that were the beginning of the end.
it is a life re-lived with greater appreciation and gratitude.
and a motivation to live the upcoming moments even better.
so think about that when you question whether you splurge and hire a photographer,
buy a new camera,
or simply start using the one you've got.
i'll tell you this, (and if you read that letter i posted above,)
you'll regret not having caught more of it.
this handful of photos i shared, is just a GLIMPSE in to a few of the lives i'm able to experience and give breath to in photographs.
i LOVE it.  a lifelong passion i will continue to share and breath in to  not only my own family,
but yours.


Anonymous said...

I love how you point out that your frames are crooked (totally what I was thinking before I read it)!
I totally understand where you are coming from when it comes to photography, and a lot of what you said rings true with me. To think, all these years we could have been talking shop and we never realized it!
I have mixed emotions about that letter you linked to. That's a whole other conversation :)
Keep up the good work.

Sara Bartig said...

Hi Liz, Sara Bartig (Anna's mom from ECFE). :-) I saw your link on FB and decided to click on it. Beautiful pics and sweet pics of Jamie's family. I was just thinking of her the other day. Thanks for posting those.

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