A Look Inside My Life

First of all let me start off by saying thank you so much to Tabby Cooper - Owner & Photographer of Lost Aurora Photography for capturing such beautiful moments of me and my son. Despite all the hassle leading up to the actual session, the time we were able to spend with Tabby & Corey was wonderful as always and this girls talent blows my mind. I am so so proud of you Tabby!

Ok, so let's talk about what it looks like for a photographer to get ready for her own photo session. I have heard endless apologies from clients for being late, for still not having their baby dressed when they arrive, or for their child having blue paint all over their hands because they got into the art supplies before they left and they didn't have time to wash them off. I am always reassuring my clients that it is ok and I know exactly what they are going through but I am not sure that they believe me. So I decided to document my moments leading up to my portrait session with Tabby. As stressed out as I wanted to be, I decided to take my own advice and relax and just have fun with it. So I took some cell phone pictures of the events that took place (I apologize ahead of time for the really low quality on these cell phone uploads.)

The Stain

I was super excited about our outfits. I had an epic Mr. Pretty Skirt and just went to Target to get Kaiden the coolest outfit. I know not to give kids (especially boys) light colored clothes too soon before it's time for pictures because in my experience, they get hungry and need to eat and the food ends up on the nice clothing.

My brain must not have been working too well because when Kaiden was finally dressed he decided he wanted to eat spaghetti. I thought to myself, you should tell him to take off his nice outfit and wear some play clothes until he was done eating. Did I tell him? Of course not. I was too busy trying to get myself ready because I was of course running late and still had nothing done for myself.

So Kaiden heats up his spaghetti, has sauce and cheese all over his hands and right before my eyes I watch as my tiny little monster swipes his hands down his brand new grey corduroy pants. Not once, but twice. The front leg and the back pocket had a nice orange stain staring back at me, making me question whether or not I actually taught this child how to use a napkin or does he actually believe he lives in a barn?

So I get the stain out of the pants, the best I can. It's not perfect but it will have to do. With only a few minutes before we have to leave, I have to try to blow dry the wet spot because there is no way it will dry by the time we get to the top of the mountain and that's all I need is a big wet spot in every photo. I wish I took a picture of the actual stain for you but I didn't think about documenting my events until after I washed the stain out of the pants. So here you go, the big bad stain that almost every parent is bound to encounter the day of their session.

My Advice: Just go with it. Get it out the best you can if you have time, if you don't have time, switch the shirt or just come as you are. The cool thing about photography is, if you choose the right photographer, they will be able to be creative enough to 1. hide the stain well or 2. edit the stain out if it shows up in photos. Now I'm not saying we are all super excited to edit all the stains out of your child's clothes, so by all means if you have time, wash the pants lol but don't stress about it. They are kids and kids are messy. It's ok. We understand.

The Clock

One of the hardest things for me when it comes to things other than my job is to be on time. If I am working (weddings, sessions, etc) I am always on top of things and fear being late so I arrive extra early. When it comes to my personal life, I am a procrastinator. I also work a lot so I get caught up in editing and lose track of time. So of course, being the last minute person that I am, with about 15 minutes to get ready, I started doing my hair. This my friends is what I looked like right about the time I was suppose to leave for the session to actually arrive on time. Good look?

My Advice: We all run late, it's ok if you are a few minutes late. Again, we understand. Just give us a call and let us know that you are running behind. While I advocate for being punctual to your session because some photographers will leave, I think that you being happy and at peace is a lot better when you arrive at the session. I won't leave you, I promise. Just let me know where you are and how long you will be. Most of the time 1 hour is more than plenty of time to capture the photos we need. If you are 15 minutes late, no worries. 45 minutes is still plenty of time to complete a full session and get a full gallery of images. Side note: I also add cushions between sessions and events just to prepare for these type of situations, so you typically will get your full hour anyway. If you will be more than 15 minutes late you may need to reschedule or settle for a little less time for your session. If you choose an emotional story teller like myself, we are focused on connect, mood, and emotion which is easier to capture if you are relaxed and calm and not upset about how the time seemed to flash before your eyes. So just take a deep breath, give me a call, and we will be ok.

The Hair

Ok, as you can imagine we are not officially late. It is time to leave and I still have no make up on (I will have to do that in the car at stop lights and stop signs). My hair is not done and my child's hair and a wild wild mess. I am just now realizing that he should have had a hair cut before we scheduled these and maybe it would have been a little easier to tame his mane. So at this point I decided to just go the easy route and straighten my hair, let Kaiden wet his pieces that stood straight up (bed head) and blow dry them real quick. What fun. Remember, we should have left already. Kaiden is not dressed (because of the stain) but I was in half of my outfit so we were slowly getting there.

My Advice: Just keep things simple. It's ok if your hair is wild, if your child's hair is crazy. Let it flow and let's just have fun. With my style of photography, simple is ok. Again, I focus on emotion, mood, and telling a story. Of course I want you to look good, but if your hair is not cooperating, just choose the simple route and come with a smile on your face! Also, if you have the time and can remember, get a hair cut the week before. That gives you enough time to decide if you like your new do and makes everything easier to maintain. Plus if you look fresh, you are sure to feel more confident during your session. Reminder: If you are this late, call your photographer.

Crazy hair, don't care.

The Fun

We have finally arrived. Late of course, but we made it. We chased the snow and found the perfect location for our photos. We jumped in and out of the cars to stay warm and I was able to grab a few photos before we headed back out into the snow. Oh hey, look at my make up.. it's finally on my face and not too shabby if you ask me. I did that while driving (shh don't tell on me, I take advantage of stop signs and red lights). Guess what, I am also happy. I'm not stressed because 1. I decided that when Kaiden was eating spaghetti and wiped sauce all over his pants that I should probably document this for you guys. 2. Because I realized I would have really crappy photos if I was stressed out so I chose to smile and laugh and have fun instead.

My Advice: Enjoy these moments. It's going to be crazy, it's just inevitable. I have not seen a mom that has come to a session and said "Oh my goodness, Emily, you would not believe how easy it was to get my kids ready and myself and get here early. It was such an amazing experience." No, more often than not I am greeted by a mom that is getting out of her car with a half clothed child, still trying to put her hair up in a pony tail, put the kids shoes back on their feet, and wiping off cookie crumbs because they wouldn't stop crying on the way to the session. I encounter the late mom, the messy hair mom, the tired mom. Can I tell you something, you look absolutely beautiful. I see you. I see your effort and your desire to have everything perfect to create beautiful photos for your walls and to cherish them for the rest of your life. I am you. Take it from me, these moments are meant to be savored. Embrace the crazy and enjoy these moments because one day you will look back and wish you just enjoyed these moments more and stopped to take in everything. I promise your pictures will still be amazing. I will capture your love for your children and make sure you have the most amazing experience that I possibly can. Even if your child is crying and not cooperating, I can still create magic. Embrace the storms, it will be worth it.

Side Note

This is what happens when you leave your phone in the car with the kids while they get warm. You have a phone full of blurry selfies. lol

The Results

In the end, I promise it will be worth it. Here are just a few images from our session with Tabby. It was totally worth it. Can you see our crazy? Nope, just our love.

Photo Credit: Tabby Cooper at Lost Aurora Photography

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