on the other side

this past weekend, my little family got to be on the other side of the camera. usually that means that i've put the camera on a tripod, but this time that wasn't the case. this time, a real life photographer came from across the big lake, along with her husband, spent a night with our family, and did a slice-of-life, family photojournalism session with us on a saturday morning as we cuddled in bed at 7:30 a.m., made and ate a pancake breakfast, played in the yard, drank our coffee by the fire, and all other manner of ordinary activities. i admit that i felt a little self-conscious. more than i thought that i would. and i was a bit preoccupied with the overcast skies because the lack of clean morning light made me worried that Sarah would have trouble getting the best images. i felt a little self-conscious about the in-process state of our [new] home, wishing that i were more lived-in already, more filled. i also will admit - though it's a bit embarrassing - that i often caught myself extending moments and interactions that i thought were cute or beautiful so that Sarah might grab a shot of it. apparently, even when we're technically not posing, it is still a temptation to pose.

but after she left and i started processing the experience, my excitement grew. because here's the thing: i know she caught us. it doesn't matter a bit about the state of the house or the color of the light. we were really just doing our thing. we were being a family, as our family is in this season of our life. it's not an easy season. truth is, it's a really difficult season on a number of fronts. but it's still worth documenting, will still be something to recall with gratitude. and having these images will help us to do that, years from now. my loose belly skin peeking through my t-shirt, tim's less-than-ideal haircut, hazel's chipped tooth and "crazy face" expressions, and gus' pasty white chub, the house with a few too many bare walls... oh, that's the good stuff. that's the stuff worth remembering. because it's human. it's family.

i haven't seen the photos yet. i'm doing my best to wait patiently. meantime, i have this one preview to look at a grin (isn't my son the cutest little chubby buddy?!):

gus in the morning // photo by Lovely Ember Photography

this probably sounds self-interested, but i have to tell you, friends: you really ought to be photographed in this way. please don't wait until you feel like you're in shape enough, or your child outgrows a difficult developmental stage, or your house finally gets the pinterest-inspired make-over you dream of. do it now. then do it again in 2 or 3 years.

i promise you won't regret it.

what about the money? again, it's so worth it. we planned ahead for this... like 8 months ahead. i put a line item in our budget so that each month we were setting aside some to save up to pay this photographer (who is worth every penny she charges and probably more!). i value this a great deal; enough to sacrifice some other things along the way so that we can do this every couple of years.

besides, i couldn't strongly urge you to do it if i wasn't doing it myself, could i?!