I was thinking about the idea of perfection in terms of family photography. I remember when I first dipped my toes into the waters of family sessions oh so many years ago, I thought my job was to capture the perfect still of a family. You know, the one where mom, dad and kids are all perfectly posed smiling straight at the camera as if perfection is their last name. I soon learned that particular pose while beloved by most families is one of the most difficult poses to achieve. I also learned that spending most of my time during a session trying to get everyone i.e. the kids to sit still was my least favorite thing to do and so I put family photos in the category of something I was not interested in shooting.
Over time I kept coming back to families and developed what I now consider the beautiful chaos of family life. In adjusting my shooting style I also adjusted my perspective on family photography. I love it now and it is very near and dear to my heart. I love the challenge of a cranky or uncooperative kid, the goofiness of family interaction and the opportunity to create something new. I strive for genuine real emotion and connection. I try to help mom and dad see that even though the children might not be doing what they see as their vision and instead understand that we are creating the view of what it is really like to be a family. Parenting is never what anyone thought it would be so why should the photos be any different, am I right?!
Having said all this, the Shaw family has one of the most awesome little boys. He is kind, sweet and always camera ready so the line between perfection and chaos is very small. Mom and dad both love the experience of photos which is always much appreciated on my end and dad is always down to goof around. It’s pretty much my idea of fun when working. Plus we did this session in Balboa Park so I got to my ride my scooter to the shoot. I mean come on, is this a dream job or what?!