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Perfect Moments

Something struck me today and I just wanted to share it with whoever is paying attention. As a photographer and a self proclaimed perfectionist, I am always looking for that "perfect moment" to snap my photos. I don't always know exactly what that moment will look like, but I have a general idea in my mind before the photo session even begins. When photographing children, most of that goes out the window, but for some reason I still try to see it all before it happens. I've come to realize that is a huge mistake. Here is an important lesson I've learned... Have you ever tried to take pictures of multiple children at the same time? If so, then you know it is never a simple task. To add to that statement, taking pictures of multiple children that you are related to (one of which is your daughter), can seem down right impossible. I have always been drawn to candid shots and I set out every time with that mindset. However, I appreciate a nice smiling picture that sits in a frame on a desk or hangs on the wall, so I also know that I need to at least try to get one of those. I recently did a photo shoot with my two nieces and my daughter. Let me lay some ground work for you. Emmalyn is my sister's child and is 6 years old. McKenley is my brother's child and is 4. Addison is my child and is almost 2. Emma and McKenley have this wonderful love-hate relationship. They can't wait to see each other and then ten minutes later are fighting and crying about anything and everything, but then cry again when it's time to go home and they can't spend the night with each other. Addison is too young to understand any of that but is her own little bundle of craziness. The three of them really do absolutely love each other and we love them. So let's take pictures! After about an hour, maybe two, I really don't know how long it lasted, I was done. I deemed it the worst photo shoot ever and was actually irritated with all three children and my family "helpers." The girls were sweaty, dirty, crying, fighting, running, frowning, and mostly just ignoring me. We wanted ONE good picture with the three of them sitting and smiling...just ONE. That did not happen. I honestly didn't even think I got any good candid shots either. That's how defeated I felt when we were done. Fast forward to several weeks later... I brought up the pictures on my computer to see if there was anything there. I did look thru them once on my camera the day of the shoot but didn't even want to mess with them because I was sure it was a bust. I scroll thru picture after picture of blurry, crying, frowning, etc. Then I come across this image...

They aren't doing anything they had been asked to do other than sitting on the blanket we laid down, but this is an absolute "Perfect Moment." They are having fun. They are being kids. They are making memories and I was there to capture it. No, you can't see all their faces. No, they aren't looking at me. No, they aren't sitting all pretty and posing for the camera, and there is no way that I would change this image into one of those.

That's when I decided to start back at the beginning of the images and look at them differently. I found myself editing image after image and then having trouble choosing which ones I was going to post because I loved so many of them. This is just a sample of what I found...

I no longer consider this the worst photo shoot ever. They aren't all in focus, and there are things that might not make the best background, but I love these silly, crazy girls and will treasure these photos every time I look at them. They are indeed "Perfect Moments" of our children being who they are. I will continue to search for that ONE good image that everyone wants to frame, but what I'll always do from now on is look for those truly "Perfect Moments." Honestly, those are the ones I want on my walls.


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