Documenting our family adventures in San Francisco
Recently, Will has been asking to use my phone to take pictures, and it dawned on me that he's simply trying to copy me and Jeremiah. When we see something beautiful or Instagram worthy, we instantly want to document it and show the whole world.
So, we are trying to be better examples and have been encouraging Will to just enjoy the moment.
I've been thinking a lot about how and why I photograph my kids. I think they get annoyed sometimes, and I often feel the need to just be and experience new things with them, so half of the time I purposefully leave my camera behind. I'm sure other photographers out there have had similar feelings, am I right?
Selfishly, as a photographer, I don't want to miss any opportunity to challenge myself, to get better shots, to find another amazing location for the next booking. Shooting a client session is very different from documenting my own kids. My kids don't have certain expectations and I don't (usually) tell them how to pose. I'm just simply there. I wish that is true with all client sessions, and I strive to capture that genuine connection between the family members, but as an adult, I know the minute someone is pointing a camera at me, I feel and act differently. That's why I love the concept of a family adventure session! Your focus shifts from posing and looking good to exploring a new trail and relaxing with your family.
Anyway, I digress. Back to talking about my dilemma.
This is a really special time in my boys' lives. They live in the now, and I love that about them, but several years from now when they are big boys, they won't remember these adventures we had together if I didn't have photographs to remind them.
This particular year we are in, before Will goes to kindergarten next year, has given us so much freedom and so much time to explore together. So, for me, there's a fine line between being a mom and being a family photographer. I'm still learning the balance between those two roles and how to be the best of both without failing to give my family the attention they need.
As a family photographer, I'm blessed to be able to set my own schedule. Often, I'll take the boys with me while location scouting for an upcoming session. I usually have my camera with me so I can test the light and just get a feel of what I have to work with. They love it when we get to explore a new place with me, but they always say "wish daddy was here." So, on the weekends, we often take daddy back to these places we found, and I try to leave my camera at home then, so I can be fully engaged.
These boys have played a huge part in shaping me to be the person I am today, and they are my inspiration as a photographer.