So let’s take a minute and be real here. It’s mid-November, I’m buried in shooting and editing, and I just thought it might be nice to take a minute of reality with you guys. I absolutely adore posting family love, family sweetness and all that good stuff here on my blog and all over, but I thought it might not hurt to tell the honest story behind a photoshoot, since (I know you’re shocked) kids everywhere are kids… and nothing ever goes according to plan.
So the plan, in case you were curious, was that this mama’s parents were in from out of town, and she really wanted a nice photo of her parents and her family all together. Really shouldn’t be that much to ask of her 10 and 7 year old boys, right? Oh… you’re getting ahead of me. Yup, you got it. That morning it seemed like too much to ask.
I get the text en route to their house, but I don’t see it until I’m pulling into their neighborhood - things weren’t going well at the house that morning. Can I tell you how often I get this kind of text? I don’t usually bother mentioning it because it happens so often… but it’s real life. Sometimes it is really hard to be a kid, and you know what? Sometimes the only thing you can control is your willingness to do what your parents want you to do. So you express, in your way, that you're uninterested in doing it.
But see, I don't mind. It's OK. It's real life. And I kind of really adore real life stuff. It'd be so boring if everyone was all sunshine and rainbows all the time, don't you think?
I don’t want to take too much time telling you all about it because I’m certain it’s happened in your house as well… and see, I’ve been doing this for fifteen years, guys. I completely get it.
So sometimes my photoshoots don’t start with photos.
Sometimes my photoshoots start with hangout time. Sometimes the camera stays in the camera bag for a while at the beginning, because we need to do some talking with stuffed animals first. I need to learn every single one of your stuffed animals’ names, obviously. It’s OK for us to take some time just hanging out on in your room, without your parents there… just talking and getting to be friends. Because that’s more fun than faking smiles.
And we can be inside, we can be outside. We can play anywhere.
Because even if you aren't feeling it? You guys are still gorgeous. And even if this morning’s photoshoot is nowhere near as fun as playing with the friend you were hoping to play with this morning? That’s OK. You’re still incredible.
And with a little time and a little bit of play, smiles come. They just take time.
Oh, and it never hurts when your dad is willing to toss you around a bit.
And when you and your brother get to just hang out and be yourselves... that's the ticket.
Yup, that's the stuff.
Eventually we get there. It can just take some time. I get it, real life takes time. And oh my goodness these kind of photoshoots? They’re so so SO fulfilling for me. I walked out of my time with this family absolutely glowing.
I get it. Sometimes you just want to talk about your stuffed animals.
I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2018 marked my 15th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.
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