For a long while now, I’ve wanted to document “a day in the life”, a popular photographic challenge that I’ve seen so many ladies on Clickinmoms do so well. I used to put it off thinking, maybe on I’ll do it on a day when the house is clean, or on a day when I have plans to do something really creative and educational that will make me look like Super Mom! I mean, obviously I can’t take pictures of what we really do. It’s not amazing enough right? I mean, it’s just… boring.
I recently participated in a CM Breakout Session by Erika Ray entitled Let’s Get Real: An Honest Approach to Photography. And, wow. Just… I mean, wow! Erika’s message resonated so much with me; it was like someone was finally saying what I knew to be true but couldn’t say out loud. In photography, one of the things you learn early on is to remove clutter and distractions from your images. That looks “snapshotty” and unprofessional. But there were so many times when I would clone and heal the story and emotion right out of my images until they felt sterile and lifeless to me. It was almost like I felt the need to sanitize my photos to make them into something I thought would be accepted by others as looking ideal. But Erika said something that completely sums up why I love photography in the first place – she said (I’m quoting loosely because I can’t remember word for word) “I shoot to remember. I shoot what I’m going to want to see when I’m really, really old.”
What do you want to remember when you’re really old? When your house is back to it’s pre-toddler tidiness. When you’ve donated the scratched up coffee table to Goodwill and replaced the threadbare sofa with something a little more Pinterest worthy. When your children are grown and have kids of their own, you will want to remember the way they fed their breakfast to the family dog and how they always had to not only sing “Hot Diggity Dog” but perform the dance moves too. Every single time.
You may not think so now, but you will forget the little things. How much happiness a cold diet coke and a couple pieces of dark chocolate could bring after you finally got your toddler down for her afternoon nap. That surge of energy knowing you had one hour (give or take) to do whatever you wanted (as soon as you half way clean the living room that was destroyed earlier).
You will want to remember the routines of your life. The things that seem unimportant – not worthy of being photographed because, after all, they happen everyday. But everyday things change just a little until enough time passes and you realize all those little things were actually big things. More important than your big family vacation, more important than birthday parties, more important than all those “special events” that seem like good excuses to pull out the good camera.
It’s a little work to drag out the camera and take it everywhere. You feel a little like a weirdo taking pictures in the aisle at Publix. You feel a lot like a weirdo asking the Starbucks barista if she can just hold it right there while you snap a picture for your blog. But really, it won’t matter what they thought in 30 years. And I promise, it’s worth it.