Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Behind the Photo

This year I booked dozens of photo shoots, met many wonderful parents and took hundreds of photographs of their smiley {or not so smiley} children. Nearly every single one of those sessions began the same; with a sweet Mom who had clearly invested a decent amount of time and energy ensuring that faces were clean, outfits were coordinated and the shoot was not scheduled smack in the middle of Game Day Sunday. And while I most certainly admired the effort, more often than not, those sessions ended the same. With Mom worrying that a redo was definitely in order.
I never scheduled a single redo {newborns not included!} 

Because, here's the thing, "when it comes to kids and photographs, you never know what you're going to get." I hear it all the time. From parents, from friends and from fellow photographers. And sure, there is a bit of truth to that. You don't know if little Jack is going to pull through with that grin you practiced the entire car ride over or if sweet Ainsley is going to decide that her carefully chosen princess dress is the perfect attire for bug catching and puddle jumping. But you do know what you're going to get.

You're going to get goofy grins. 

You're going to get grumpy scowls.

And you may even get a tantrum or two.

You're going to get dirty hands. 

You're going to get wrinkled shirts.

You're going to get imperfect.

You're going to get real

And maybe it's just me but aren't those the best kind of photographs anyways?

So in the coming months, as your newsfeed becomes inundated with smiling faces and your mailbox fills with Christmas cards of families who appear as if they stepped straight out of a LandsEnd catalog, remind yourself that there is always an "imperfect" photo {or 10} that preceded that shot.

And those photos? They might look a lot like skinned knees, squished caterpillars, tear-stained cheeks and husband's who proclaim that family photo day is indeed the "worst.day.ever," but don't discard them. 

Print them. Frame them. Love them. 

They are after all the ones that tell the real story. 

Your story.  

**If you're in the Minneapolis area and looking for a photographer, check out Elyse Rethlake Photography. Not only is Elyse insanely talented, but she has a serious knack for catching the beauty of everyday. 


  1. LOVE <3 Especially the Lands End catalogue :)

  2. Also, this is my favorite post you've EVER done!!!!