Monday, September 9, 2013

Photographer, Maybe

Over the weekend, I did something brave. I took some photos.

Why, you might wonder, would bravery be needed to wield a camera? Why would I need courage to do something I do all the time?

Because the photos weren't for me.

About a month ago, a friend casually mentioned that she'd like me to take some family photos for her. I think I said something along the lines of, "Thanks. You're so nice. Maybe. But I don't really know what I'm doing." Then, although I continued to think about it, I dismissed her proposal as "just being nice."

If I don't try, I can't fail.

mother walking on the beach holding baby girl

I'm trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm wondering if it might be photographer. (Did you see that? Another brave moment right before your eyes.) Before you shoot me down, I realize that pretty good photos of my own kids are not justification for someone else to pay me. And I know that I don't know that much yet, but I'm taking classes and reading books and following photography websites trying to learn. And I know that I wouldn't support my family doing it, but luckily I don't need to do that. After a lot of education, a lot of late work nights, and a lot of time off to be a mom, I finally have a passion.

My passion for photography might just be a hobby. But it might not. In a moment of courage, I emailed my friend and offered to take her family portraits. To my surprise, she said "yes." So I did.

She liked them. In my lacking-self-confidence way, I told myself that she wouldn't tell me they stunk, so who knew what she really thought. Then she said she might use some on her Christmas card and I began to think that maybe she actually liked them. Imagine.

I shot some standard posed family portraits, but my favorites are the candids. Capturing moments between parents and their children is a special kind of fun. While I took some "pretty" photos, my favorite might be one I first considered an outtake: big brother over-loving his baby sister. It's not one that their mom will want to frame and hang above the mantel, but it made her laugh. I'm pretty sure it was a funny-because-it's-true sort of laugh, and that's what I aim to capture--the truth, even when funny.

Thanks, friends, for taking a chance on me. I had a ball.

brotherly love - big brother over-loving his baby sister


  1. Susie: Good pics. I like the brother kissing sister one.

  2. Cute pics! Do you sell digital copies or prints of your pics? I'm interested in some of your Paris ones to decorate my living room!