The idea for this blog post came during a rare, long, hot shower. I am mentally and physically exhausted from my full time job as a
referee mom. I had to clean the bathtub floor of toys before I took aforementioned shower. My mind spun with a to-do list a mile long. “I need to get the laundry out of the dryer, check to make sure Gunner had his medicine, pick up the toys in the living room, start the dishwasher, get camera ready for tomorrow’s session,” etc. While I was thinking of all of those things, my mind started to wander. Instead of thinking of my own to-do list, I started thinking about every other mom who had just tucked her babies in bed, breathed a sigh of relief, and had to clean the toys off of the floor of the tub before they could wash their own hair. And that made me think about my business and the photos I make for other people like me, so I wanted to take some time to introduce myself to those of you who haven’t met me yet.
My name is Lauren. I, along with these two and my husband, are the faces behind my business. I do what I do for other families because documenting my own family history is priceless.
I’ve had a camera in my hand for as long as I can remember. My sister was born when I was six. It was that defining moment in my life that made me want to document our story as a family. Preserving our family’s history for future generations is my mission.
Looking at old snapshots of my family, even from years before I was born, and listening to the stories that surround them reminds me that I am part of something bigger than myself and I seriously hope that one day, years and years from now, my great grandchildren will look back on the photos I am taking today and have that same feeling. Making photos that we can hold and feel and pass around the table to share stories about is my passion.
There’s a few things to know when you hire me:
1: Your photos won’t be “pretty.”
I’m not the person you hire when you want to wear coordinating outfits and say cheese. My goal is to simply document your life as is. I don’t pose or guide or ask children to act like they’re not children. I expect tantrums and tears. I expect messy meals and mismatched clothes. I expect your living room floor to be full of toys.
2: I will ask a lot of questions before our session.
I want to get to know YOU. Really deep down who you are and what makes your family unit tick. I want to know about each member’s personality, their likes and dislikes, your daily struggles, the journey to where you are now. I want to know it all.
3: Your session will be impactful.
I’m not saying that to toot my own horn. I am saying it because, we rarely see ourselves in this light. Photos are usually set aside for a time when everyone is happily looking at the camera, you’re in your favorite outfit, you had a chance to wash your hair, and your kids are on their best behavior. Seeing yourself as the mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend that you truly are can affect you in ways you didn’t expect.
All of the pictures hold a special place in our heart because while not being staged, they capture all of our raw and real emotions and we love them so much.
Then, I got the pictures back. I cried. One of those, “wow, I haven’t *seen* that person (me)” in years cries. And yes, you can tell I’ve lost hair, aged, and looked plain old tired, but I didn’t care. When I saw my genuine smile, my kids genuine giggles, my husband’s genuine loving way toward me on film- I’ve committed that I don’t want to see pictures of us in any other way.
Life is about authenticity and ownership. The person you are is enough.
4: Your photos are an heirloom.
Maybe you wouldn’t consider photos from documentary session as “wall hangers.” Maybe you don’t want to post them on social media. That’s ok. That’s not why I make them. One day, 50 years from now, when your grandkids come to visit, these will be the photos you will pull out of an old box, pass around, and reminisce over.
5: Your story is important to me.
I take a part of each story with me when I leave. I spend hours preparing for, shooting, and editing each session. The stories I document leave a lasting impact on me. My clients become friends. Their lives are meaningful to me. I love my job.
My passion for photography is deeply rooted. It means more to me than just showing what my clients look like. I want to show who.you.are. Your life in images helps other moms like me realize that I am not alone . You remind me that I am not the only one who has to clean the toys off the floor of my shower before I can wash my own hair.