A little while a go, Mandii Jones from Xanthe Photography wrote her first guest blog piece for us... and we loved it! She has been at it again - thanks Mandii! This time Mandii talks about letting go of "perfection"... because those other moments in between are actually so much better! I will pop links to Mandii's work at the bottom - all photos in this pieces are Mandii's
Letting go of perfection - as both the client and the photographer
Often when we hire a family photographer or head into a photo session ourselves as the photographer, we can't help but have images in our mind... of the kinds of photos that we want. We can have really high hopes. We might be able to envision exactly what we want, a sunny day, everyone looking and smiling, picture perfect surrounds. There's no trace of boogers, hair is en pointe and the kids are so joyful they look like they are at Dreamworld. Right? No wonder we get nervous.
From a client's perspective it is a reasonable expectation. Hiring a family photographer is normally a significant investment. On top of that, you've most likely purchased new clothes, or had your hair done especially (goodbye frizz!) You are probably quietly freaking out about how your children are going to behave, and what if the whole thing is a waste of money. What if in fact, it's less Dreamworld smiles.. and more er hmm... tantrum in the toy aisle at Kmart?
But here's what I've learnt along the way as a photographer. While I was so busy trying to create these 'perfect' photos for my families.... there were these other photos.. these less perfect.. imperfect moments that cried out to me. For a time I didn't listen, I refused to press the shutter unless I was convinced everything was just right. And in doing so, I wonder how many fun, vibrant and beautifully messy images I might have missed taking for families.
Because here is the thing... life is not perfect. Your family is not perfect. My family is definately not perfect (oh where do I start?). Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the mozzies eat you alive. Sometimes your adorable toddler faceplants in the ocean before we even start. Sometimes they manage to stand in that one bit of dog poo, cow poo (insert any kind of poo here really) and yeah.. it even finds its way onto the front of their new trousers.
But guess what? I'm here to tell you it's ok. It really is. Things don't have to go to plan. In fact, we should try to accept that they won't. And when we let go of our idea of perfection, we create a space for real, one of a kind, beautiful images of our families and kids. Images that are an authentic reflection of us at that time.
Sand on your child's face can be beautiful.. as is windswept hair.. and the fact you had to take their shirt off because they went swimming a little earlier than you thought. Dusty little hands full of treasures they have picked up for you. Oh my goodness.. one day they stop doing this guys! I want photos of that. Little grazed knees.. and that one bit of sticky up hair that no amount of hair gel can tame. Wild curls that refuse to stay in their plaits. Funky grins, you know the ones.. where there are either not enough teeth or just way too many big and gappy teeth. Laughing too loud.. laughing too much.. with big open mouths. Pouting. All these things.. are immensely beautiful in their imperfect way.