Can I let you in on a little secret, though?
It wasn’t until recently that I appeared in ANY of them. This is because (as many of you snap-happy parents are already aware) photography works a whole lot better when there’s someone actually operating the camera. Since my first baby was born, that’s been my main job. So yeah, I’ve always had pictures of my kids up all over our home. And even some pictures of my husband and the kids. It’s entirely likely, however, that a person snooping around the Tripple home for the first time would wonder if these three blond beauties had any mother at all, or if they were adopted straight from Sweden by the dark haired, handsome man who appears with them in a handful of the shots. : )
I recently had to come to terms with a difficult truth: no matter how good I am at my job, how adorable my studio is, or how many awards I’ve won, it is impossible for me to be on both sides of the camera. You’d think this would be obvious, but I ignored this little fact for quite a long time, assuming that since I took great pictures, I could always just “pass the camera” off to someone and talk them through it. And yeah, I have a few pictures of me with my kids like that, but the look on my face always says something like, “Do you have any idea what you’re doing with that thing?!?” or “Please, PLEASE don’t drop my camera, because it cost me more than my first car…”
No, getting meaningful images of me with my babies is not something I can do from the front side of the camera. And those pictures are so, so very important. About 18 months ago, the Tripple family stepped out in front of a professional’s camera for the first time. As I viewed those precious images through blurry tears, I instantly knew that we’d made a big mistake in putting family photos at the bottom of our priority list for so long. We had such an amazing time that day that we’ve done it again a number of times since.
Which brings us to today’s post topic… : )
A colleague and friend of mine, Heidi Peters, and I decided to swap services last year for family pictures. It went so well that we decided to do it again this year. She asked (as a good photographer always will) what I was hoping to capture. My answer? Family, family, family!!! Not us all looking at the camera, really, as I couldn’t care less about that… I wanted pictures of our family being, well… our family. Giggling. Playing. Laughing. The things we do on our best days. : ) And then, I said, if at all possible, I wanted a picture of me with each of my babies. I can capture my kids alone anytime, but I truly need a professional to capture the relationships between me and my children.
What do I mean by a professional? I mean someone who understands all the aspects of her camera, can change settings on the fly, knows how to handle type-A firstborns, squirrel-y four-year-old boys, and shy two-year-old princesses. Someone who has the equipment to back up her prices as well as the experience to manage three crazy kids, a self-conscious mom, and a dad who does his best to find the joy in family sessions, though it does not come naturally. Someone with the personality to draw out the best in all of us.
Heidi nailed it.
And (even as a photographer who experiences this with her clients all the time), I was HUGELY surprised (and thrilled to tears!!!) with what she was able to capture. Want to see them? I’m SO EXCITED to share!!!!
Heidi’s family session was scheduled to be just after mine, but (alas!) the weather was not on our side that day, so we rescheduled for an afternoon the following week. It was SO FUN to have a crack and her three truly wonderful kids. They’re older than mine (therefore quite a bit easier!), and so darn good for the camera!
We started at a nearby forest preserve:
Then headed over to Heidi’s LaGrange studio, where she’s got a couple of fantastic walls.
We had some fun there… : )
It’s a very, VERY good feeling to know that someday, when I’m not by their side, my three babies will to be able to flip through stacks and stacks of precious photos and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was there, that we were a family, and that they were deeply loved. Of course, I pray that day will be many long years from now, but (as all parents are painfully aware) life gives no guarantees. As a person who deeply cherishes photography, it’s highly ironic that I spent so many years holding this precious gift back from my own three children.
These images are precious to me… they are among some of my most treasured things in all the world.
More importantly, however, they’re a gift we give to our children. One that will last for their lifetimes. : )