A couple years ago I noticed that the new trend for newborn photography was capturing parents with their precious little one in his or her nursery and around the home. I thought this was so beautiful, natural, and raw, so I started playing with the idea of doing a shoot similar to this one day.
Instead of newborn photography, it would be photography that would capture a season in our lives that I always want to remember: our girls being little, in the house we’ve worked so hard to make the cozy retreat that it is, with a few pictures that show my husband with our girls in his Army uniform as an active duty soldier, something they will likely have few to no memories of (but an experience that has shaped my husband and me in every possible way).
The next step was finding the photographer. I found her on Instagram about a year ago, and I instantly knew that she was it. I fell in love with her style, editing, angles, story telling, and more. I was captivated by her and her work!
So I reached out last fall, told her what I was dreaming of, and she couldn’t have been kinder or more confident that she could make this happen. Next, she offered a quote.
Though I found her prices reasonable, I was super nervous about making that kind of investment "just" to photograph my little family. I kept talking myself out of it about how we could use that money to go on a short weekend adventure or buy something useful for the house, but my mind changed when I was having dinner one night with a dear friend and her mom (who is a professional photographer in Iowa).
I showed her mother the photographer's work and told her about the quote, and she was that 100% confident my investment would be worth it. She said that a photographer of her caliber in her state would be way more expensive, and that she considered this photographer a deal! She said that if I went with someone else who was cheaper, I likely would be disappointed that I didn't pick the photographer whose style and images I loved. She reminded me that these pictures are images I’ll be able to treasure and show for decades, and that if I miss photographing it now, I’ll never get the chance back since our girls are growing.
So obviously, I paid and booked the session the very next morning.
On our photoshoot day, all we had to do was straighten up the house, throw our clothes on, and welcome her into our home for a 10 a.m. shoot.
This type of photoshoot was a teeny bit more work than just hoping in the car and heading to a field or something simply because we needed to clean up the house. Thankfully for us the timing was good since we’d already minimized what we have out since the house is staged to sell, so spot cleaning was all that was necessary that morning.
I can’t imagine that taking photos of a toddler and preschooler would be any easier than telling them to play in their own home and forget about the photographer. Holy moly, the smiles she captured just kill me! I kid you not, the photographer walked in, chatted with us for a second, and then just started snapping pictures of the the girls being themselves in the playroom.
We got the pictures back a few weeks later, and my husband and I just died looking through them. I knew I wanted this season captured, but I didn’t realize what a treasure they would be until I laid eyes on them.
About halfway through I was so caught off guard when tears welled up in my eyes; I just thought about how these pictures depict our girls and their personalities so well. They also so accurately depict what my husband's and my relationships are like with each other them.
I couldn’t believe how beautiful these pictures are, and that they’re my family. I know this makes me sound like a big sap, but I was so happy that this precious, fleeting season of change, chaos, and love was right in front of my face to hold onto forever.
I know when I look back at these, I’ll remember dancing in the kitchen, tons and tons of snuggle time in mommy and daddy’s bed (their favorite place to snuggle, relax, and be silly), their goofy relationship with each other, and how my husband and I have needed each other and grown in our marriage through it all. I’ll remember how real all of these images really are and what a story they’ll tell.
I wouldn’t say we're always caught snuggling in front of our one-year-old's crib (haha!), but every other scene is something you’d see in my house daily if you were a fly on the wall (not pictured: all of the daily meltdowns, piles of laundry, and spilled drinks, because I guarantee that’s happening too!)
My husband caught me sitting on the floor of our bedroom about a week ago slowly looking through all of these pictures again, and he laughed and said something like “Looking through those pictures again?” I told him how much I loved them, how I noticed different things every time I looked at them, and then thanked him for being so supportive about doing them. He never said anything about the price, having to take a morning off of work, and taking pictures in general (something most guys loathe doing).
What he said next was so sweet and meant a lot to me. He kind of laughed under his breath and said “You know, I’ve realized that as a guy, I’m never going to think of taking pictures or arranging something like that because it’s not my favorite thing, but I’m really glad you women think of doing that kind of stuff because I really love those pictures too. So thank you.”
Mic. Drop. And there goes my love tank filling right on up!
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