BARING MY OWN HOME’S IMPERFECTIONS
I have to confess that I don’t keep my house as clean as it should be. I mean, we keep things picked up on a regular basis, but vacuuming, dusting, mopping? Those are a rarity. Recently I did make a list of one little thing a day that I could do for an entire week so I didn’t feel overwhelmed by cleaning the whole house. And it worked splendidly! For a week. Now it’s back to being an overwhelming task and I keep falling farther and farther behind. Not to mention that we moved into this house a year and a half ago and we still have no window treatments, we have mismatched furniture, and mostly bare walls. The reason I’m sharing this confession is because I know I’m not alone in thinking that my house is a mess. I know I have clients (and potential clients!) who haven’t considered scheduling an in-home lifestyle session for their family photos because they think their house isn’t nice enough or isn’t clean enough.
I’d like to share with you images I’ve photographed over the past year of my own family in our “mess” of a house. The images are beautiful to me because they capture memories and they freeze time. I don’t see the imperfections of my home when I look at these. I see the way my toddler looks when she wakes up from a nap, I see the way my daughters lounge with our dog Howard, and I see the baby dolls they play with 24 hours a day. These things won’t last long and will be nostalgic memories in no time, but I’m so glad I captured them in digital images.
If you’ve ever thought that images from a lifestyle session are something you’d love to have, but you’re too worried that your house is too dirty/not styled/too cluttered, read on…
HOWARD AND MATILDA
Blankets tossed around, stains on the carpeting- you don’t notice that? Well, it’s there. But I shot the image so that your eye is drawn to Howard’s protective face and Matilda’s concentration on her book.
Messy hair, ugly blankets balled up in the corner- I don’t see it and I don’t care about it. All I see is that precious face looking out the window at the afternoon sun.
Awwww, sweet baby Coralie. This is that short amount of time around four to six months old when she couldn’t sit up yet and couldn’t crawl, so she constantly played on her belly. I purposely shot this at an angle where you can’t see the many many stains on the carpeting and you don’t notice that this poor second child’s room has bare walls and a mish-mash of second-hand furniture.
DADDY PLAY TIME
The girls went through a time when they loved playing with these vintage blocks that we kept in that ugly ice cream tub. There are toys strewn all about the living room and Daddy is still in his pajamas. But I’ll only think of this as a memory of Daddy building a tower with Matilda.
Those steps are a NIGHTMARE to keep clean. I wipe them down and an hour later they’re covered in dust. They’re covered in dust in this image with little dust bunnies in the corners, but does the camera pick up on that? Nope. And shooting down the steps from up above hides the inside corners all together. It’s just Matilda sitting quietly eating her Cheerios waiting for me while I’m upstairs changing her sister’s diaper.
SISTERS ON THE RUN
I will admit, this one makes me cringe a tiny bit. I do notice the tablecloths we lay down under the high chairs to keep falling food off the floors. I do notice the pillow flopping off the couch and the toys underfoot. But that fades into the background when I remember how just holding hands and running back and forth across the room again and again made them giggle and laugh as if it was the most fun they’d ever had.
Did anyone else have this music player when you were a kid? I love its colorfulness and vintage look and wanted to photograph my daughter playing with it. Even though we’ve lived in our house for over a year, we just can’t seem to make decisions on how to finish decorating. This comforter has spots on it and the bed is sitting on the floor with no bed frame. But I don’t think that shows through in this image at all.
CHUCKS AND BABY DOLLS
This is probably the worst part of our house- the backyard. Rickety fence, uneven yard full of weeds, mud puddles. It made the perfect backdrop for kicking around outside with her baby getting muddy in her little Chuck Taylors, though.
She was getting bigger and stronger and I thought her new trick of climbing up in the chair was something I wanted to document in a photo. It didn’t matter to me that pajamas were draped over the crib and mismatched baskets and books were placed haphazardly on the shelves.
One of my favorite personal images from 2015 is this image of Coralie enamored by our newly decorated Christmas tree. We certainly don’t have a tree or holiday decorations worthy of a Pottery Barn catalog, but what we do have makes for a beautiful moment.
This was a day in early December, not exactly considered a picturesque time of the year. But how many more years will they both be fitting (or willing to ride together) in this old wagon as we head down the street to pick out our Christmas tree? It’s a memory I’ll certainly cherish.
So there you have it, all the imperfections and messes in a house don’t have to be a reason to not book a family lifestyle session. I promise to photograph your family in your home in a flattering way. If you’d like to chat about a lifestyle session or schedule a pre-session visit, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Despite what you might think, your home IS perfect for a lifestyle session.