* a hundred iPhone photos of this moment- the moment recreated every morning when Elizabeth asks yet again if she can get into Eva's crib with her. and until now, not one single photo of this moment with a real camera. until now.*
I'd been feeling convicted in the past few months. There was in me a growing dissatisfaction for how I'd chosen to document our little family, our life together. I grew up flipping through the pages of an album pulled from the living room shelf, shuffling through tiny square black and white photos in shoeboxes at my grandma's house- seeing family photos in real life, holding them in my hands. What was I going to give my girls? A hard drive? A CD? A flash drive? My iPhone? As a photographer, as a mama- the thought was making me feel a little panicky.
And can we talk about Instagram for a minute? I unashamedly love Instagram. I unashamedly love my iphone. I mean, people. We can take pictures, decent ones that capture the moment right in front of us, WITH OUR PHONES. Will this ever NOT astonish me? I graduated from high school in 1997, y'all. My first "cell phone" was a car phone that was installed IN THE CAR that only worked if the car was actually turned on. So, look, I love the iphone for capturing moments. I follow some amazing photographers on Instagram who can do some wicked photog voodoo with their iphones and truly create art with it. It's fun, it's convienent, it's great. But I started to notice a trend in my own life. I own a Canon Rebel, the really awesome camera I got when I had my first baby and was just a mama who wanted a nicer camera than my tiny pocket size point and shoot. I own a Canon 5d Mark II, a professional camera for professional photographers, and I know how to work that bad boy. I am a portrait photographer- creating portraits of families to hang on their walls and share with generations to come. And the ONLY camera I've been using to document the first year of my second child's life? Mm hm, my iphone.
So, look, there's nothing wrong with the iphone and I will continue to happily use it to document our lives. But I started to feel dissatisifed with the whole set up. All Eva's baby pictures were taken with a PHONE? And they all exist somewhere in the outerspace of Instagram? I don't have a single album printed or put together? I don't even have photos shoved in shoeboxes? Just this little external hard drive that sits to the left of my computer screen? What? This is insanity. I mean, obviously, I feel passionate about pictures- I'm a photographer. But putting that completely aside, aren't most people passionate about pictures? Aren't we all a little obsessed with images of our loved ones? Don't we post them all over Facebook and email them to relatives and schedule photo shoots of our families? Don't we all LOVE pictures?
So, with all these thoughts swirling in my head, I made a committment to myself to start pulling out my REAL camera, something besides my phone, to document our family life. To try a different "style" as a photographer. No more stressful "LOOK AT MOMMY! SAY CHEESE!" trying to capture something "perfect", but a slowing down, a noticing, a paying attention, a capturing WHAT IS. I won't wipe the yogurt off her face. I won't shove the toys out of the picture. I won't tuck her hair behind her ear. I won't demand that she look at the camera. I will capture what unfolds before me. Because THOSE are the images I will want to flip through when my girls are off at college, getting married, pursuing careers, having babies of their own. I will want to remember these days. When Elizabeth thought the greatest thing ever was to wear matching footie pajamas with her baby sister. When Eva's hair stuck straight up every morning. And I also made a promise to myself to figure out a system for printing photos, to research creating albums, or scrapbooks, or something. So I pulled out my camera one morning and started shooting my girls, their morning routine, a moment in our everyday life. Twenty minutes later I get an email from my friend Angela (the amazing photographer behind AMR Photography in Dallas). And she basically spells out in this email every thought I'd been having. About putting down the iphone, picking up our cameras, and printing the photos we take. The timing of her email was nothing short of divine. Excited emails and texts start flying back and forth and there's dreaming and planning and an idea that grows bigger and better and more awesome. In the end, there's a plan. 7 photographers, a website, a blog, a Facebook page. A name- Art in My Every Day. We felt very strongly that through this project, we wanted to INSPIRE others to do the same, and we wanted to create an avenue for people to come alongside us and get involved and share their images.
Angela's written a blog post over on our brand new website that further shares our heart, our intention, our plan. And check back on Monday when we will give you detailed instructions for how YOU can get involved. Every single one of you is invited to do this with us- not just professional photographers. So come check us out at http://artinmyeveryday.com and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/artinmyeveryday. This is gonna be so fun, y'all! xoxo