“This is so perfect! We don’t even need to hire a photographer to come out to Albuquerque! You can totally do it!”
My husband was that excited when I showed him my final project for the Family Film class I took this summer.
Not only was he was proud of me and the work I’d created, but as someone who’s careful about how he spends his money, he was psyched about the possibility of a deal.
And as happy as I was with my project, I could see in that instant that he had completely forgotten why we were hiring a photographer to document our family.
“Because I’m not in it,” I reminded him. “Other than a shot of my feet and one of my hand, I’m not in it.”
His shoulders dropped, and he gave me a hug. “You’re right,” he said.
My husband has a lot of wonderful qualities that make him a great provider for our family.
He’s a saver.
He researches major purchases for months before investing.
And I can tell you for certain, he’s not hopping on any bandwagon, just for the ride.
It makes total sense that he’d think, “Hey! I love my wife’s photography! She should do all of our photos! We can save money by using her skills, and she’ll have photos in a style she knows she loves!”
The problem with that line of thinking circles back to one fact.
I’m missing from our family photos.
Sure, I can set the correct exposure settings and hand my husband the camera – he’s pretty great at composition – but then we don’t have photos that include the both of us.
And I can set up the tripod and focus for self-portraits, but making sure to stay in the same spot AND hit the trigger AND be in the moment isn’t quite the same thing as being free to be yourself. (If you haven’t tried it yourself, trust me.)
Honestly, I want what my clients get.
I want to just be with my family, enjoying our time together, while it’s documented for us to keep in prints forever.
I want the details and the big picture all meshing together to tell our story – one that includes ME – in an album that I can look at over and over again.
I want to experience the joy and peace that comes with seeing how beautiful our every day life is in photos.
And because my husband understands the value of what I do for other families, he agrees. We should have this experience, too.
Through the close network of documentary-style photographers across the US, UK, and Australia, I’ve made some wonderful friends - all of whom I’d love to have photograph my family.
I met Stacey Ilyse in an alumni group for a documentary photographer’s course we both took.
We hit it off right away – and not just because we have the same name! She’s kind, thoughtful, and helpful, and I love her style.
When she mentioned a couple months ago that she was interested in doing more traveling for sessions, and I found out she had gone to UNM, I knew we had to hire her to document a day of our family’s life here in New Mexico.
A day that includes all five of us.
Our family’s photo session isn’t until October, but I can’t wait. It’s going to be such a wonderful experience, and I’m so thankful to have it. I'll be sure to share the whole thing with you.