it’s amazing how many things in life are that easy. -Henry Rollins
A couple of weeks ago I made the commitment to my mindset coaching group that I was going to resume blogging weekly. And then the resistance - that thing that whispers a thousand other things I could/should/want to be doing - set in. This morning I set it all aside and just did it, mostly because this family has waited a few days plus a few years for these images and I wanted their first interaction with them to be in this space.
This team and I tried to connect many times in the past few years in my regular trips to visit framily (friends who are family, TM) in the Bay Area, but last month was the first time our calendars finally aligned. And it was completely worth the wait. Little Elle has more personality in her little finger than most people exude in a lifetime and she and her beautiful parents are so connected, loving and playful. They were a dream to photograph and I cannot wait to see them again.
One huge factor that contributes to the success of a shoot of a traditional, heternormative family is dad’s level of willingness to show up, accept the premise and engage. Most photographers can tell you many stories of dealing with what I have come to call “daditude,” where dad is annoyed about the activity and wants it to end as quickly as humanly possible. I’ve had men suddenly declare the photoshoot over and leave. I’ve had men constantly second-guess my every direction. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is some sexism at play there - I would love to conduct a survey to see if male photographers encounter the same sort of pushback. And even if that isn’t the case, it is simply interesting that some people can’t be happy about spending 1.5 hours playing with and loving on their family in a beautiful place or at home in the name of documentation and longevity. The fact is, daditude is quickly picked up on and adopted by the kiddos. They are being taught that photos are a chore, when the truth is that photos are a gift. This is my loving calling-out of the trend. Not only is it a cliche (bleh), it is quite frankly disrespectful to me and, I am certain, hurtful for the moms who put so much work and heart into ensuring they remember their kids’ fleeting childhoods. The solution is a simple attitude shift in the direction of love and consideration. Do it or don’t, but I so completely hope that you do.
The images that follow are a shining example of what can happen when dad is completely on board with the goal. These are among my favorite images I’ve made as of late, and I want to wholeheartedly thank Joel, Jeanne and Elle for showing up and showing me their true loving selves.