Working with families is one of my greatest joys in photography. Each family has their own dynamic, their own rhythm. Each child has their own delightful personality and sometimes I honestly cry when I am editing pictures, because, as a parent myself, I know how special these photographs will be to these families. I love it when the parents interact with their children - not afraid to not be "posing" in front of the camera. Those shots, to me, are the perfect pictures.
When I was growing up, one of my best friends was the wife of my youth pastor. She embraced imperfection and that was always something that awed me about her. My favorite example was her children's school pictures. You know those pictures - it's kind of like your drivers license photo - there is a quick "Smile!" and a FLASH! and then you just hope to the Lord Almighty that you aren't blinking or cringing or tilting your head funny. Well, my friend embraced those pictures. The goofier the picture, the more likely it was to get hung on the wall. I can picture her slightly malicious laugh as she gleefully hung the awkward portraits on the wall.
It is her inspiration that has allowed me to see the beauty in those type of pictures. I am probably one of the biggest perfectionists you will meet, but if I am your photographer, you will most likely get a CD that has several pictures of children crying, awkward facial expressions or just that one shot that you didn't think I was paying attention for ;)
I mean, come on people. This is real life. Let's be real! Life isn't always rosie and as much as you want your toddler to smile for every picture (I'm talking to myself here...) it just isn't going to happen. Because kids are real. They have real emotions and they don't hide them.
My sister in law was visiting recently and when my two year old started bawling because she was hungry, Melissa said, "I wish I could just start crying when I was hungry." Isn't that the truth? Kids tell it like it is.
Imperfection is glorious. It reminds us of who we are and where we have come from. So let's be honest, and just say that sometimes we wish we could just forget for a minute that we are adults who care what other people think and cry our hearts out.