i'll never forget the day I took this picture for adeline's birth announcement.
i was determined to get some amazing newborn pictures of adeline. she was already a week old and i felt as though time was slipping away. i had just finished a book on photography and was excited to practice some natural light techniques. in my mind, I knew all of the shots wanted to get. it was the perfect time of day when the most beautiful afternoon light would stream in the bedroom window. i had finally gotten adeline to sleep and so i set to work. audrey had come up to see what I was up to and wanted to climb on the bed and play with addy. more than anything she just wanted my love and attention that had been lacking since adeline's birth. instead of holding and cuddling with her or including her in the pictures, I kept asking her to back up and move away from the camera. i was determined to get the right shot, whatever that is. eventually, i ended up hurting her feelings and for that I'll never forgive myself. i'll always remember the hurt look on her face.
i took up photography to document the joy and love that fill our lives and here I was causing the opposite. that was eleven months ago, and from that day on, i vowed to give up "getting the shot." of course i enjoy practicing my photography skills but i'll never again let it be at the expense of my children's happiness. that being said, it isn't always easy. images come to mind, and much like a default setting, i have to remind myself that trying to force the issue won't produce gorgeous images I'll cherish forever. they will evolve out of the love I for my children and having fun with them, if the camera is around and I happen to capture a beautiful picture, so much the better.
you can see here, she wasn't interested and instead of forcing the issue or trying to make it work, i noticed audrey watching in the chair next to adeline.
i started playing peek-a-boo with her to show her my love and attention.
i knew my camera settings weren't right but i wanted audrey to feel included and so i started snapping pictures of her too. if i had taken time to change the settings, the moment would have been lost.
i knew the images would be out of focus but i would rather have a million blurry pictures of this smile than a perfectly exposed and posed portrait any day.
i didn't have intentions of getting a picture of the two of them together but what unfolded was a beautiful interaction between two sisters, four years apart. their love for each other is easy to see, even at such a young age.
so these days i prioritize the interaction and connection i have with my children over the perfect camera settings and lighting. not because both aren't possible, but because they are often inversely related - one increases to the detriment of the other. i'm giving myself the grace to make mistakes and do the best to learn from them. i no longer worry about getting the perfect shot and instead i focus on having the best time.