This past year I took more photos than I care to admit. When it comes to my own life, I tend to shoot a lot. As a parent, I never want to miss a moment. The moment he laughs at something the dog did. The moment he catches air on the bed. The moment he says “cheese” as I take the picture. Because every moment with my son is precious. And while I love photographing my child, taking as many photographs as I do of him is a bit obscene. Between iPhone photos and my big girl camera, I wind up with a whole bunch of digital files that will never see the light of day. So while it’s not a resolution so much as my new mantra, this year I’m going to shoot with purpose. It isn’t about taking 5 million photographs of Camden smiling at me, it’s about freezing something special in that moment. It’s about choosing to shoot from the heart. Shooting to create memories that tug at my heartstrings. And photographing my little boy so that in 30 years I’ll remember that time he tried to ride the tricycle that was given to him as a Christmas gift from his Aunt JJ, but was too little to reach the pedals. I’ll look at the last picture and see the little boy that rediscovered the lovey he snuggled with when he was 2 months old. And how for a time, he snuggled with that little owl wherever he was, even if it meant holding him while he ate dinner. Because for me, sometimes it’s the tiniest little thing that makes me smile. It doesn’t have to be something posed or planned. To be honest, those are sometimes my least favorite shots. Life isn’t posed or planned or even remotely perfect so why would I want to change the reality of life? The reality of my life? That’s where my new goal to shoot more purely comes in…it’s the true documentation of my family in the silly, crazy, all over the place moments.
So when you go out to photograph your kids, try to photograph them when they’re not looking at you. Snap that shutter when they’re just being themselves- bouncing off the walls, jumping up and down, playing in the dirt, or just sitting their loving on their favorite stuffed animals. In 30 years, I promise you won’t regret having taken that not so perfect moment photo. If anything, it will have even more meaning to you.