Suwanee Family Photographer

My son + ugly wallpaper + dirty shower + broken plastic mini-blinds.

Hi, my name is Amanda…and I’m addicted to CreativeLive.  It’s ruining my marriage.  (Ok, not really, but is definitely the source of constant frustration for my poor hubs.)

CreativeLive is an AWESOME site that broadcasts courses for photographers, musicians, designers, crafters, etc.   I basically have their photography calendar memorized.  When I see a course coming up that I MUST take, I clear my schedule.  I barely sleep.  And it’s worth every second.   I have it playing while I fold laundry, wash dishes, edit photos…I carry my laptop around the house.  I pull it up on my phone if I’m out and about.  I may have fallen asleep with my laptop open on my bed… It’s a disease, people.  I can’t help it.

I tell my husband it’s my version of “tv.”  He watches ESPN and CNBC.  I watch CreativeLive.  It’s all the same, right?

Suwanee Family Photographer

Long curls that will be gone (today as a matter of fact. It’s 1st hair cut day and I want to remember his sweet wispy baby hair.)

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Suwanee Family Photographer

The boy playing with his sisters’ vanity. Poor boy has too many girly toys to play with!

Ok…on to my point.   A couple weeks ago, I watched (and re-watched and re-watched)  Kirsten Lewis‘ course on Modern Storytelling in Family Photography.  Her brand of “family photos” is so radically different from what we’re all doing.  She made me realize something about myself, and I suspect other mamas and daddy’s out there might feel the same way…even if they haven’t ever thought about it.

What kind of photos will make me smile in 30 years?   Which photos will be my favorite?  Will they be the stiff, posed, cheese-smile ones with a lovely park in the background?    Will they??  No….no they won’t.   But those are the photos I TAKE of my clients.  That’s what THEY want, right?  Right?

suwanee family photographer

Their (my?) favorite princess movie plays while the girls “read” a book. Next to a gigantic playpen for the boy.

Suwanee Family Photographer

Yes. Those are my children eating while watching tv. I’m a bad mom.

Suwanee Family Photographer

Looking for fruit snacks. Too bad they expired a few months ago.

Suwanee Family Photographer

She insists on ice cream as a “snack” every afternoon after her nap. (Sigh.) I usually give in.

Kirsten’s course showed me the BEAUTY of my every day, messy, cluttered life.  The dishwasher open, papers on the counters, kids either in pajamas (at 4pm) or donned in princess costumes or blissfully mismatched because they decided to dress themselves.  Their crazy bed-heads.  The horrific wallpaper hung in my master bath in 1992, which had already started peeling by the time we moved in, and now is missing in chunks after the kids started pulling it off…  My ghetto-fabulous, weed-infested backyard.   All of the things I DON’T want you to see….All of the things I DON’T want to post to Facebook because of the horror and judgment of all of my perfectly clean and organized and fancy friends.  All….two of you.

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But these are all the things I’ll miss and if I never freeze these moments in time, they’ll be lost forever.   So what that I’m embarrassed by my messiness and utter lack of interior design savvy?  This is my life, my family, my memories.   And besides, who doesn’t LOVE that photo of themselves as a kid, sitting on that HORRIFIC orangey, florally couch from 1978?  Wood panelling, the avocado green fridge, and why is everyone smoking in every picture from the early 80’s?

I LOVE those old photos.  They help me remember the home I grew up in.  The way I knew it.  I want to give that to my kids too.  And to me…Because someday, I won’t ever see their bedhead. Their clothes will match.  My house will (finally) be clean and organized.  (Maybe.)   My backyard will be neat and tidy and devoid of ugly gigantic toys like trampolines and sandboxes and swing sets.

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Kirsten calls her photography sessions “Day in the Life” sessions and photographs the ordinary, the routine, the messy.  All the little things that are missing from our photo albums (err, I mean, Instagram feeds.)   I would love to offer this to my clients, and in the mean time, I’ll get my practice capturing my messy, imperfect life.   Maybe someday I’ll look back on these and realize how perfect my life really is.

Suwanee Family Photographer

Hangry. Just like his daddy.

Suwanee Family Photographer

her baby KK.

Suwanee Family Photographer

favorite food at 13 months? pancakes, baby.

Suwanee Family Photographer

tickling sister while still in pull-up from nap time

Suwanee Family Photographer

coloring together at the kitchen table. we do have air conditioning. they just prefer to be as close to naked as possible.