I’ve met a lot of wonderful women over the years through bible study, MOPS, my Creative Memories connections, in leading several small groups, and by way of our monthly faithbooking crops. And in sharing my story of grief and loss, many of those women have shared their stories with me. What I will say based upon my experience and theirs is that it is the little things that matter most after losing someone you love. After enduring a season of multiple pregnancy losses, complications, and ultimately the loss of my dream for having more children - it was embracing life in the moment that helped heal my broken heart.
Photos and scrapbooks became the vehicle for that healing as I began to document life from a new perspective. I saw things differently, realizing for the first time that life was fragile. Our time here brief. I was determined to embrace it fully – the good and the bad. I had taken so much for granted and realized those were the very things I treasured and missed most.
For example, once I knew I would never carry a child again I really wished I would have paid more attention to the experiences with my two boys. Really wished I had pictures of my belly full term. Also knowing I would never have another child made me wish I had taken more pictures of them as newborns. Detail shots of their feet. And ears. Even the hair that had been on my youngest son’s back!
I longed terribly to hold onto what was gone.
This is from where my desire for the non-posed stems. You see at the time I also realized that someday I would miss these moments as well:
And I already do! The images above remind me that my youngest loved Calvin & Hobbes, making paper airplanes, and his brother. They bring about emotions because I remember what that time in our life was like, both sweet and painful at the same time.
Posed images, on the other hand, don’t evoke as many feelings or memories.
In fact when I look at the posed images above I think, “Oh, cuuuuuute!” but that’s as far as it goes. If not for the date on the images, I wouldn’t even know my boys’ ages! They evoke no memories or clues as to what my boys liked to play with at the time or what their personalities were like. When my boys grow up (or are someday no longer here), the images that will matter most to me are the ones that live on as reminders of life. REMINDERS of who they were, what they were like, and how we lived.
Every season in their young lives has been just that – a season.
A precious, passing season. And it’s not just like that in my life, it’s happening in yours as well. If you’re anything like I was, just spotting those moments can be challenging – catching them on camera, virtually impossible! That’s why I am introducing a new format for families called the Everyday Session, to provide a series of images that evoke both feelings and memories.
What is exactly is an Everyday Session? I can tell you easily what it is NOT. It is not about children behaving perfectly. Or everyone looking at me, the photographer. This type of session is centered around an activity that involves the entire family. As you engage, I watch and capture moments as they unfold.
Your life. Your story. This moment. Captured.