Before I begin, I'd like to humbly make note that, yes, I know its April. Okay, now that's out of the way, here we go.
I was looking back on 2015, trying to come up with a "highlight reel" of images to share on the blog. I had the honor of photographing some wonderful clients, further developing my craft and meeting/working with some incredible industry professionals.
However, 2015 was first and foremost about becoming a mother. So, as I look through my images, those that stand out the most, those that have the most profound effect upon my soul, are images of my daughter. Don't get me wrong, I love my clients, and can't wait to see what 2016 brings, but 2015 will forever be the year that Lailah came into the world.
As it turns out, parenthood isn't just something you add to your resume. Who knew? Parenthood will rock your world. It will knock you on your ass more times than any of us would like to admit. It will beat you, break you, stretch you, and remold you over and over and over (and over and over) again, until you either emerge stronger, or end up as a shivering, once-human mess curled up in a dark corner, blathering on about your long lost freedom.
Believe me, there are plenty of times I've been ready to call it, to become that shivering mess. But isn't that true of anything worth doing in life? If it comes too easily, we don't learn, we don't grow, we don't change.
These past 10 months, I've been doing my best to trying to separate work and life. Here's what happened: life started kicking my ass, absorbing all of my time and work mouldered in the corner (there are a lot of corners here), timidly coming out once in a while, begging for some much needed lovin'.
I had this crazy revelation. Why am I trying to hide that I have a personal life? Isn't having a life a positive thing? The real question is: does life fuel work, or does work fuel life? Perhaps we all need a balance of each.
Brilliant. I know.
Over the years, some of my kindest and most well-suited clients were those that fell in love with my work because of my personality, my life, what I shared on this very blog. So why am I hiding that I am a mother, that I have a daughter, who, through her very existence, makes my life, my work so much richer?
Yes, I worked last year. Yes, I took photos. But I'm afraid that at the same time, I became a little stagnant. In 2016, I am striving to change that. I will push myself to embrace every aspect of my life, accepting that it is unfolding just as it's meant to. Uselessly struggling against life circumstances won't get me far.
Photographing this baby girl every week for a year (not to mention 41 weeks of pregnancy photos before that), is such a unique challenge, and has lead me to see light and shadow in a way I never have before. Not only have these 10 months grown me as a mother (ever tried to chase a rambunctious / mobile / happy / cranky / tired / grabby baby around with an enormous camera?), they have prompted a development of my artistic eye, my view of light upon a subject, and my ability to let go of "the perfect picture" and embrace the beautiful chaos.
So there you have. Here's to a 2016 filled with light, love, and lots of photos, both personal and... well, everything I do is personal.