I had a full day of photography mini sessions for a playgroup at a nearby church. I have been photographing some of these families for 4 years....I have become so attached to some many of them. They have added family members, grown inches and feet and some of them (the dads!) have even become better listeners over the years. And when a tutu'd, pink pearl-wearing, pigtail'd 5 year old runs up to you shouting "Miss Bethany! Miss Bethany!" and then gives you a hug, you might decide right then and there that you have the best life anyone had ever lived.
There were 14 families today.
6 hours of photographing.
1300+ pictures to sort through.
It is a lot. I have only (only!) half that tomorrow and it increases the work load, that is for sure. And it will be a little stressful on my time management skills. And parenting skills. And my "balance my life so I can do it all" skills. (But I don't think anyone actually possesses this skill.)
But one of the things that keeps me coming back to this playgroup, to this little side "hobby" of mine, is seeing families. There was a family of 3 snuggling on a rock with the golden light of sunset on them. The mother, father and son were looking off in the distance and for a split second, the mom turned her head straight to the camera and her face, filled with peace, said "This is my Family." And I absolutely started crying.
Family photos can show who you are (the one year old eating mouthful and mouthful of sand) or hide some of your flaws (the boy who gave his brother a bloody nose and then stood next to that brother with smiles all around.) But every once in awhile, a photo can completely sum up who your family is when they are together. And, as a photographer, I live for those moments.
Especially since, many years ago, I was the recipient of one.......