December 20, 2009
Let me just tell you about this picture.
This is a picture of my family, the week after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. That’s her in the middle, and that’s me standing right behind her.
Right here at this moment… we were all feeling pretty tender about the whole situation. Naturally, I was channeling my emotion into feeling an urgency to take some family photos. Everyone was making their way home for Christmas, and I knew it was my golden opportunity! It was not ideal, believe me. First of all it was FREEZING. This was early in the morning, and with 4 littles to get ready, I’m sure my sisters wanted to physically harm me for deciding that 8:00 in the morning was the only reasonable time to get this done. I was too paranoid that if we didn’t get it done then, it simply would NEVER GET DONE. My sweet sweet friend and roomie at the time, Lacey, drove to my hometown with me to snap a few photos of my family with my Canon Rebel – my first “big girl” camera that my dad bought me. Side note – so thankful for her. Only a good friend would drive 35 miles to take photos of your uncooperative family in the freezing cold, early in the morning, in a particularly grim situation with a smile on her face.
Anyway, trust me, I understand all too well the frustrations of getting a lot of people on the same page. Sometimes, family just pushes you right to the edge, and sometimes you think, “Lord, help me. if they do not get dressed and are not out in the cotton field by our house on time to take pictures, someone is going to pay, and I just might lose my mind in the process.”
Life is messy.
I know that struggle of getting ready for a photoshoot just like the rest of you. I get it – you want it to be good. You feel the pressure because you made an investment. You want it to be perfect. Sometimes, it feels like you are herding 50 undomesticated cats… and you don’t even know if you are related to these humans and now you are forced to stand within inches of them.
But man is it worth it.
These were our last family pictures that we all took together, and our last Christmas together.
Mom passed away a short 10 months later, and I can’t express how thankful I am that I have them.
Several months later, my laptop was stolen and I lost all the original digital files from this day. I downloaded these off of social media. I’m just thankful it still exists, and I still have it in print.
You can find every excuse in the world not to do it.
You don’t want to. You don’t have anything to wear. You didn’t lose that extra 2, 5, 7, 20, 50 lbs. It’s too cold. It’s too windy. I don’t like having my picture made. It’s vain. I don’t like how I look. I have a zit. That’s my bad side. She’s pissing me off.
What am I even going to do with this picture?
YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE IT TO LOVE AND KEEP FOR-EV-ER
The point is, these pictures aren’t the most amazing quality. They’re pixelated, and maybe nowadays I would have edited them differently. Maybe I would have taken more time to find the perfect location, or the perfect outfits… maybe. Let’s just be real, who know’s if everyone is even showered in this photo.
These are my people.
I love them. They are God’s gift to me, and that makes them precious.
When I look at this picture, all the details fade away and all I feel is my heart swelling from remembering my Mom and my family, just exactly like that.
I love that I have this moment frozen in time when everything seemed right, and whole.
Schedule the shoot, send the note, reconcile that relationship, make the phone call.
Let me help you create timeless, beautiful images of you and your loved ones. I want it to make you feel something. I want you to be able to print it as big as your car if you want to. Maybe you’re the one that has to do some herding in your family, but they’ll thank you later. You’ll love them, I promise.
Just do it.