I've not had many people divulge to me why they don't want to have their lives photographed - but I'm sure as I continue on my path of photographing 100 families over 2018, I'm going to come across various excuses.
Through my self guided training via online workshops, I have had some rejections brought to my attention, and based on my own perception & love for preserving memories, I would like to address some of these. Pretty much all of them can be summed up with "forward thinking."
"My house is a...mess....too small....not very fancy..." - Most people LIVE in their homes - and this means that they aren't going to be Martha Stewart Magazine material. When I take photos of your family in your home - my focus is on the moment and the story. The ultimate goal is to create a memory that will be cherished. In 10 years when your child is graduating high school and you're looking through photo albums and remembering their childhood - and you come across a photo of him/her doing a front flip off the couch in their underwear with a towel-cape - my hope is you'd laugh at the memory and not regret having me there capture that moment because your house wasn't very fancy & your furniture was old.
"I'd love to do this, but I need to loose weight first." - First - how long have you been saying that? If it's been longer than a few months and you're still not actively attempting to loose weight, but just WANT to loose weight, then I'm afraid you might miss out on creating some memories of your life RIGHT NOW for several more months and possibly even years. Second - look at a photo of someone you love, and tell me if the first thing in your mind is "Wow - they're fat!" Third - imagine your children looking for photos of you reading them bedtime stories, baking cookies with them, tickling them until they cry, loving them the special way that you do ---- after you've passed away. And they can't find any, because you thought you need to loose "a few pounds" in order to exist in these memories. You are loved and you are important.
"Our life isn't that interesting." - Yes it is. Part of my process is to have a questionnaire, and it's pretty simple. Nothing crazy. Ask your kids what they love about you. What their favorite thing to do with you is. And I guarantee, these things will make beautiful pictures. Something that you both will love and find meaningful. Do you have a toddler? Do they have chubby little fingers and dimpled knuckles? Do they make a mess when they eat? Because they won't in 5 years - and you'll miss that. The smallest of activities can make emotive pictures.
"My kids are naughty - I yell a lot - I don't wan't you to see our real life." - I get this. I totally understand. I'm a mother of a 9 and 14 year old. I have been through the yelling, screaming, swearing, punishing, time outs and meltdowns. It's a part of life and parenting, and let's be real. It's a small part. I do not and will not judge or insert myself into your business. I'm there to capture moments and memories for YOU. If your real life means your 2 year old has a meltdown every day at 2 before her nap, then so be it. It's temporary. She'll grow out of it. You'll remember it as a blip on the radar of life as a parent, and I'm not there to pass any judgement.
"My life isn't for everyone on the internet to see." - I do not, and will not share or post any images without your consent first. I look for emotive moments - humorous moments - pictures that will make people FEEL something. The ultimate story I want to tell is love. The love you have for your family, and that your family has for you. If there is an image that is too personal, or revealing that you'd rather me not share, then I won't. Simple as that.
Forward thinking. While I am in a lot of these photos - so are a lot of people who I love and have lost. These photos make me smile. My daughter looks at each and every one of them - intently. She studies them, and I just know that the photos are taking her to a place and time she's never visited, but can because of the photos. She gets to meet my dad - her grandfather - through the photos. Seeing his personality, and what he liked doing, even though she's never met him. Posed portraits at a photo studio are beautiful - but they aren't the ones that I look at when I want to remember my loved ones.