You guys. A dream came true for me last October. Tara Whitney came to my house and took photos of my family. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. I could never forget it, actually, because this photo — my favorite favorite favorite — is on my wall, on my desk, on my phone and iPad wallpaper, and in one of the favorite storybooks I’ve ever made.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Our session with Tara was also a great learning experience for me. It was reeeeallly interesting — and yes, completely unsettling — to be on the other side of the lens for the family photography experience. I make such a point of telling my clients to relaaaaaaaax and leave it all to me when preparing for their sessions. Yet, I’ll admit it — I was a complete wreck in the weeks leading up to mine. What if my kids were sullen and uncooperative? What if I was so self-conscious that I acted like a complete dork in front of the camera? Well, obviously, the moral of the story is that I shouldn’t have worried. I’ve been drawn to Tara’s photography since the beginning of my own photography journey, and there’s a reason that her photos exude the warmth and love they do. She’s gooood, you guys. Within moments of her arrival, we all felt at ease. By the end of the session, Tara felt like an old friend. And in between, she captured these amazing photos of me with my favorite people. In the home and the neighborhood I love. During a time in our lives when we, as a family, are at the brink of huuuuge change. I’ll cherish these photos forever.
As for what I learned? Well, the biggest lesson for me was that no matter how much I assure my clients that they shouldn’t worry before their first session with me, they will. I guess it can’t be avoided. I will still try to convince them, of course. I’ll tell them I know they’ll worry, but that I’m equally sure I’ll be saying “I told you so” when we’re going through the photos they love after their session together.
Here’s the thing. When you choose a photographer, you do so based on what you see in the photos on their site. And what you’re seeing when you look at those photos is more than a collection of decisions about lighting and composition and f-stops and shutter speeds. You’re seeing how the people in the photos are responding to the person behind the camera; how they’re enjoying the experience that the person with the camera is creating. You’ve just got to trust that the photographer you’ve chosen is going to bring that same something to you on your session date that she’s brought to all those clients whose photos you’ve seen on their site. And she will — I promise.
Thank you, Tara, for these amazing photos. And thank you all for looking!
P.S. I promised I’d share a photo of the awesome book I made with Tara’s photos. Here it is. I loooooove it!