This journey into lifestyle photography began when I had my first baby. I was struck by this overwhelming need to capture everything. Not only to record and take snapshots, but to have visually appealing images that would help me remember more that just what she looked like. I wanted to remember exactly what she smelled like, sounded like, and all of the endearing things she did. With a rudimentary knowledge of camera and composition basics left over from photography classes in high school, I purchased my first DSLR and began to consume every educational resource I could find.
I have never not been involved in some kinds of creative pursuit...I sew, paint, dabble in graphic design. It was always my desire to be a fashion designer. A dream that my practically minded father talked me out of. You're SO smart! Please get a degree in something useful, something that affords you options for lucrative careers, he said. Now my father is a wise man, who wants nothing but the best of everything for his children. So I listened to him and changed my major...to something more academic, something I hated. Eventually I changed again and settled on a degree in Anthropology (because that is so very useful and lucrative, right?). But I loved it...like LOVED it. I loved studying people, families, and culture. I love the stories of the explorers and researchers who immersed themselves in the lives of other people in order to learn and record their unique traditions and world views. It was all so romantic and insightful. And while it was never intentional, I think it's pretty obvious that my education has had an enormous influence on my work as a photographer. That love of discovering and celebrating the small idiosyncrasies and traditions that make groups of people different, and special, has spilled over into my art and drives me to tell capture families and tell their stories in a way that goes deeper than surface level pretty.
I have an amazing husband...who's just like my father. (Yep. I'm a cliche.) He is practical, driven to succeed, wise, and kind-hearted. He doesn't understand (and is often annoyed by) my need to create, and my love of photography and visual storytelling. Nevertheless, he is always supportive and encouraging...so long as I don't make him my subject very often. We also have two babies. Our daughter, Isla (pronounced eye-luh), is smart, creative, fiercely independent, and sassy in every way. She has the most incredible heart for others, and is always looking for ways to meet the needs of those less fortunate. And she HATES being photographed. Ironic, being that she is the reason I started doing what I do. It has become next to impossible to get a picture of her NOT contorting her face or sticking out her tongue at me. She does love being behind the camera and editing though. It is my hope that one of these days she might make a good assistant. Or at the very least, that photography be something we can bond over. Our son (his name is Hirst Jackson, but we call him Jack-Jack) is a total character. He's sweet, snuggly, and keeps us laughing continuously. He loves being infront of the camera and never fails to be the epitome of a lifestyle subject. He just keeps doing his thing, every now and then looking at the camera with a big, joyful grin.
We are monumentally imperfect and uncool. I love every second of our messy, chaotic, and incredibly blessed life together. I am thankful to have a skill that allows me to capture our memories and to recognize the beauty and powerful story in all of the small, unremarkable moments. And I am constantly blown away that I have the opportunity to use my gifts in work that satisfies my soul, fulfills my need to be creative, and allows me to serve other women like me with my whole heart.
Want more? Check out this sweet family lifestyle video that my friends over at Flomobooth put together for us.
A huge thanks to both Flomobooth and Indie Pearl Photography for indulging me and my mission to capture my own real life moments.