What Really Matters


There’s a recently released book, that I’m reading (well, actually listening to) slowly, in order to process and ponder it all. The book is Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist. I really wish I had read it 30 years ago. Unfortunately, Shauna was probably just a toddler then. And that’s even more amazing… the vulnerability, and wisdom, spoken from such a young one - relatively speaking.

Shauna shares her personal journey, and how it’s brought her to a new focus and vision for her life and family - through the painful realization that she had been pursuing too much. Way too much. And while her career was soaring - personally, she and her family were suffering in the midst of success. 

The pursuit of being present, over being perfect, is always a balancing act.

So, I’m impressed when I see young mothers, parents and families - who are doing it, well. Being present. It’s more than impressive - it’s what really matters. 

When I met this family, I got the sense that they ‘get it’. 

Because the photo session was meant to capture them, as they are, in their home - just doing life.

They have a beautiful new home - only 6 weeks in - so naturally, everything is not completely settled yet. A 3 month old baby girl blessed them with her presence a few months ago, so do the math. Pregnant, building a home, new baby + a 3 year old, and a 9 year old Golden Retriever = a bustling, busy life for mom and dad. And now the holidays are upon us, and in all of the hectic hustle, mom wanted photos to seize the memories of now, for later (oh, and Christmas card pics, too).

Lifestyle shoots are my absolute favorite. 

I get to just be with the family, and enjoy hanging out with them. And in this case, I was in awe, actually. This mom had “staged” their bedroom for Christmas shots - well, actually, just the bed. We shuffled other things around to allow me to get all over the room, and on the floor, to photograph the poses, the not-so-posed — and the smiles, tail wagging, and laughter. 

It. Was. Perfect.

Because they were with each other. And the house didn’t have to be perfect.

It was just a normal Saturday morning, so these two littles and their parents could be relaxed, and carefree in their own environment. And I took a gazillion pictures, like an obsessed photographer should, when it all comes together — in our presence.

It's disappointing that this is something we didn’t do when I was raising a family.  What I would give to have memories documented from sessions like this. It’s uplifting to see families make it happen, and I’m grateful when selected to capture them...

being present, in the present.