Isn’t it fascinating how difficult it can be to let go… Letting go of perfection, expectations, and the pressures we place on ourselves is HARD. Yet, it isn’t until we truly let go that we are able to see what is waiting to be revealed. And often times, it is actually perfect... the kind of perfect we can’t expect or control. It just happens.
It is not uncommon for me to prepare my clients in this way. It has become a mantra for my work. I truly believe that the best moments happen when we have fully let go of pressures and expectations. Not only are children most at ease when adults are at ease, but my best photographs also happen when I am able to get lost in my surroundings without worry.
As I prepared for this session, however, something was different. My client didn’t need a lick of advice or preparation. She gets it. She wrote me candidly about her life’s potential changes to come and how meaningful it will be to capture some special everyday moments with her 3 year old son. She told me how she loves the way they snuggle up in her bed first thing in the morning, the way they lie on their bellies… she expressed how they love to cook together and explore their favorite hiking trail.
As we brainstormed ideas and planned our session, I quickly realized that I was battling my inner perfectionist. I was worrying about not having enough light in the bedroom at 8:30am and ending up outdoors when the sun is so harsh. But, perfection is not the goal, here. Instead, my goal is to be fully present in order to capture true “day in the life” moments as they naturally unfold on this ordinary day, regardless of when and where the light will be “best.” It didn’t take long for me to step back and take my own advice. I needed to let go.
And the result – a perfection that I could not have predicted, planned, or pre-visualized. So, maybe this 3 year old was in “bad guy” mode on this particular day... and maybe he put his shirt on backwards... and maybe he fought the getting ready routine, which resulted in sporting his bed-head hair for the rest of the day. And maybe there was barely enough light in the bedroom and we ended up shooting outdoors at nearly high noon. And maybe it didn’t matter. We chose to not let it matter.
In all of its imperfection; it was pretty perfect. And that is typically how it goes.