You guys, listen. The struggle is real when you are a photographer. You spend countless hours, meticulously shooting and editing amazing portraits for your clients, and over time you start to expect that level of perfection from every. single. photo. that you take. Of your kids, of the dog, of your vacations, everything. It is so hard for a perfectionist to let it go! My family was recently blessed to be able to go on a Make-A-Wish trip for my daughter, who was born with a congenital heart defect. What I knew would be a once in a lifetime trip for her made me want to take all the pictures, of everything, all the time. But I also wanted to BE there. Do you get me? I didn’t want to get home and have to relive it through the photos because I forgot to put the camera down and experience the trip along with her. This I am often guilty of, as you’ll usually find at least one member of my family telling me to put the camera DOWN already! I ended up taking 1405 pictures of the 5 day trip. Oops.
I think as photographers we also feel like we have a standard to live up to. Like we can put out only our very best work, even in our personal photos, because otherwise it may be judged. (I see you nodding there!!) Hear me – a quick snapshot of an amazing memory is better than not remembering. Give yourself grace to capture the memory and then go live it without the guilt of worrying about how perfect the picture is! And if you are so lucky that your photographer is also afriend, and you get to enjoy all of her awesome personal photos too, just keep in mind… giving your undivided attention to a photo session is a WAY different ballgame than trying to grab a decent snapshot of 3 kids boarding a plane while dangling luggage from a stroller, hunting for the dropped paci, and waving frantically to get the middle child to just look at you for once!
So, I’m admitting the truth… my vacation photos kinda suck. Ok, maybe that’s going to the extreme, but they aren’t amazing, they aren’t perfect, and THAT’S OKAY!! They are crooked, sometimes blurry (on purpose, artistically right?), and often only 2 of my 3 kids are cooperating. They are full of photobombs, chopped limbs, bad lighting and odd composition. I’m usually either wearing a baby (who loves to grab everything!) or waving to said baby with one arm while trying to keep a steady hand with the other. And I never take my best gear on vacation, heck I shoot a lot of my personal shots with my iPhone! But I am not going to weed out only the best, and I am not going to hide the less than perfects from friends and family. Because I remember being there, and enjoying the moment, not just shooting. And you should too! So the next time you want a really cool shot of your 18 month old with airplanes in the background, but she’d rather run around the terminal carrying a banana and refuse to look at you, take the shot anyways. 😉