This little guy is turning two soon! And if there's one thing that I've learned as my own little guy rapidly approaches this milestone himself, it is that toddlers are not naturally still. They are full of wonder, movement, amazement, and emotion. And here I got to capture a few moments of reflection in the chaos that is love and life.
When this family rolled out of their new mini van clad in eyelet lace I swooned. I have always had a (secret) thing for eyelet lace, so I just knew I would love photographing this family.
The girls were so adventurous, climbing up everything and running everywhere. The oldest said, "take a picture of me, I'm lost in the forest." What a brave little soul, running carelessly through the dappled fading sunlight among the palm trees.
And what an inspiring, loving momma. She is so full of love you can see it pouring out of her in everything she does. From the way she explored along the water's edge with her daughters, to how she melted into her husband's arms, and especially in her immediate response to nurse her youngest after she had been bitten by a hand full of fire ants (alas, it is Florida and they seem to be everywhere). I consider myself lucky to know her and her family.
As of yesterday we are cloth diapering. I have been on the fence for a while about whether to and in a whole new (and more laborious) routine to our already busy lives. But when I was given 2 diapers by a dear friend I couldn't say no. A few days after that I was cleaning out another friend's stash.
I am lucky to have such great friends and such wise and generous women in my life. And this little guy is lucky to be certifiably at least a little bit Irish. My great grandmother stepped off the boat with a shock of red hair and a smile that would melt anybody's heart. Oh, and I'm pretty sure she was a female Leprechaun.
To celebrate all that is lucky, green, and even a little bit Irish I velcroed on one of his new-to-him, well-loved green cloth diapers. Then I followed him as he ran around with his Irish sheep that his auntie brought home from Ireland while he was still in my womb. Yes. He was just in a diaper in March... it was 82F out. I am still not used to Florida; last St. Patrick's Day we were in Maryland with snow!
I am a huge fan of Instagram. Next to Pinterest, it is my favorite social media to gather inspiration from. I lay in bed at night with the lights out browsing hashtags and oohing and ahhing over so much gorgeous imagery. Photographs can be so captivating, so moving, and sometimes life-changing. That is why those forms of social media are so popular, and that is why I am drawn to photography. I am drawn to capturing everything I see around me like a visual diary, always seeking the light and magic that makes one image stand out from all the rest.
Having a child makes each captured image so much more special. You look back through albums and are suddenly surrounded by memories you forgot you had. You smile to feel it all over again. You laugh at the silly things you did back then before you really got the hang of parenting (as if we ever really do). You cry because he was so tiny then and now he is so grown up.
Last year I decided to do a weekly series of photographs of my son in the same chair with the same stuffed animals. It was amazing to see how, in the beginning, he had to be propped up and finally, in the end, he was practically jumping out of the chair and throwing the stuffed animals about. I loved taking the pictures and watching him grow in reference to those objects, but for his second year I was looking to do something new.
Back to the Instagram thing, I have been inspired by the series @fieldsofsage was working on. She was (and still is) taking a portrait a week of each of her children for a year. She is an amazing photographer and mother of two from Tasmania. Take a look through her images and blog and you will be inspired, too.
This kind of project would work so much better for my now active toddler (ack! I still can't believe he's made the transition from baby to toddler!) who is more interested in exploring the world than sitting down for a posed portrait. Yet it should still reflect the weekly gradient of his growing body and personality. Photographing life as it is is one reason why I find lifestyle photography so fascinating. LIFE does not freeze for the photographer. Instead the good photographer records moments, capturing the essence of life and preserving it in a visual medium.
So here's to another year of watching m'boy grow. Here's to capturing his essence. Here's to preserving memories of the everyday that make life so rich and wonderful.
52 WEEKS // WEEK 1:
(cross posted from my personal blog at https://thekelpknot.wordpress.com/ )
With a nickname like Shark Bait he simply HAD to go as a shark for his first Halloween. Remember, "Fish are our friends!"