Mamma don't miss what will be gone all too soon

"You will never have this day with your children again.  Tomorrow they'll be a little older than they were today.  This day is a gift.  Just Breathe, notice, study their faces and little feet.  Pay attention.  Relish the charms of the present.  Enjoy today, it will be over before you know it."

I recently took a photography class as I'm always looking for ways to better myself and I strive to always be learning something new.  In this class one of the first things I was asked to do was write down why I choose photography.   My answer was even more personal than I think I realized it would be.  As I thought about this last year and all I have learned, moments I have gotten to be a part of and document for so many families, It brought up my regrets and guilts of all those moments in my own life that are lost in time and I cannot retrieve.  How desperately I would give anything to have some kind of documentation of all those amazing moments now gone that i miss so much!

When my son was born, professional photos were not a priority for me.  I had my little point and shoot camera and I took hundreds of photos of him each month.  I would fill up an SD card and take it to walmart and print them out.  I literally have an entire photo album for each month of his first year of life.  Why on earth would I pay someone hundreds of dollars for pictures right?  Well, maybe because with all those albums filled with tiny feet, first steps, and silly grins, i have only a very few photos of ME with him over the years.  I have nothing there to show him and to look back on how much I loved every bit of him so much.  How he made me smile and how his whole face lit up when I smiled at him.  What I wouldn't give to go back and have photos done, have those memories of us together to share with him and cherish myself.

 It wasn't till I was due with my daughter (when my son was 6 years old) that we had photos done.  I still treasure those photos so much.  Me with a big belly,  my son beaming with excitement about this tiny little joy inside of that big belly, and my husband sweet and gentle,  excited but nervous about introducing a girl into our family (WE BOTH WANTED ONLY BOYS).  Those photos of our hands on my belly, my husbands large and strong, mine a little swollen and puffy and my sons so sweet and small.  The pictures show how much we loved that sweet girl before she even arrived, and documented one of our last days as just a family of 3.  When my daughter was born I had full intentions of having more photos done.  I had her newborn photos taken of her and her brother.  I wanted no part of them because I was so insecure about my post baby body and dark circles that had taken over my once bright eyes. My husband hates photos and I felt like I didn't have the energy to fight that battle with him. Looking back, oh how I wish I had been in them too, to see the way I  looked at her, the way i touched her tiny feet and kissed her sweet cheeks, the way she just melted in my arms as if GOD had designed her to fit perfectly inside them.  What I wouldn't give to see myself with her, to be able to show her how quickly I fell in love with her after she was born.  

Even with good intentions,  again we only had photos done once in her first four years.  There are so many moments that I want back.  To just have something to be able to see, to hold, to remember.  Something to give her one day so when I'm long gone she could look back and know how much I cherished every smile and laugh along the way, and yes even the tears, but I don't. Even as a person who doesn't like to have regrets, I regret that. 

I started my photography journey full time in the spring of 2017 and the more photos I took the more i realized the importance of capturing these memories, and the sadder it made me about all the moments I missed.  I  had my third and last baby last October and  I am proud to say we've had 3 photo sessions in the last year and have another planned for April.  I can't go back and capture moments that are already gone but I can make sure to not miss anymore!  

THAT IS MY WHY.  I want to advocate how important these photos will be in the years to come even if it doesn't seem like it now.  I want to be there to capture these photos in a beautiful way and create images that will take you back to those amazing imperfectly perfect moments in time that may not seem like much now but when they are gone will seem like the whole world.  

So please, if you are choosing me as your photographer or someone else, make it a point to have those photos done as often as possible.  Capture those fleeting moments before they are long gone.  Most things you can have too much of but you can never have too many photos!

Here are a few of my recent favorite images that I was honored to capture.  I can feel the laughter, the joy, and the love just looking through them ( and it's not even my family lol) maybe it's the post baby/breastfeeding hormones but these are the moments that make me smile, laugh out loud, and tear up a little lol and I hope they touch the hearts of all of you as much as they do me!

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My word for 2018

 When I started seeing everyone's posts of their "word for the year"  I was a little sad I've missed out on this in years passed. What an amazing opportunity to not just make a new years resolution but perhaps a life resolution.  When you start a business you create a mission statement that you build your business on and can reflect on to make sure your values and services are always in compliance with your mission statement.  For me this word will be like my mission statement for life.  

My word for 2018 is MEMORIES.

 I want to spend the year making as many special memories for my kids as I possibly can.  Every day I want to REMEMBER THAT OUR PRESENT DAY ACTIVITIES WILL BE THEIR MEMORIES when I am no longer around.  This includes my mood and the words I chose to say when speaking to them.  I want to make sure their memories are of me  being kind and loving and always making time for them. While I do want them to see the value in how hard I work I also want them to remember that I took the time to take a break and just snuggle and watch a movie, go to the park, take a saturday off and go somewhere fun.  

I also want to take the time to capture these memories.  My job is being behind my camera and when I'm home I put it away because that's work right lol.  So this year I want to leave the camera out.

I want to capture memories of my son while there is still some little boy left in him. He turns 10 in two weeks and he's so grown up in so many ways, but he still has these moments when he fights his sister for the spot next to me on the couch and wants to help me make dinner or gets excited to show me what lego structure he's created.  I want to capture that adorable little boy grin before it turns into the smile of a man.  I want to capture the way he looks at me with love and adoration before those sweet looks turn to sarcastic eye rolls.  I want to capture the boy that still digs in the dirt and plays pretend with his sister before that little boy is gone.

I want to  capture my oldest daughter in her sweet, silly, carefree ways as she dances around my living room in tutus and tiaras and as she goes outside and covers herself in dirt playing with her big bubba or working with her daddy.  The moments she runs to Bubba's room when she is scared, how they love each other so much and even the moments where they can't stand each other. 

I want to capture my littlest who is currently 2 months old whom i have tons of blurry over or underexposed cell phone pictures of but very few good photos captured with my camera.  I want to capture her and all her little milestones as much as I can as she will grow and change so fast in these next few months and years. She's already changed and grown so much in just the last two months.  

I also want to capture more real memories for my clients, not just posed photos but actual moments that your family will cherish forever.  I am making the transition this year to what I consider a storyteller photographer.  I want to tell your families story.  Capture the looks, smiles, and laughs between each other and even the tears and comforting when necessary.  I want to capture memories for my own family and for your families that will reflect life as we know it today and want to remember it in the future.  Be it the sweet beginning of a life with someone you love or a life full of crazy kids, laughs, smiles, tears and all.  Moments you want to stay in forever and moments you might want to pull your hair out over, all of these are special moments and all of them deserve to be captured and remembered. 

What is your word for 2018?