Every time I walk into his house, my nephew Max (master manipulator that he is), either grabs my hand or crawls up into my lap, looks me directly in the eye and says, “Aunt Wachel, will you pway wif me?”
His main objective in life is to invent, create, and engage. He wants to enter imaginary worlds all day long where he absorbs a different persona: a dinosaur, my dog Bernadette, The Stealer, a ninja, a baby, the list goes on. My point is that he has no other concern in life than being who he wants, when he wants.
There is such a freedom in that. And over the last month, I spent at least a little time with him each day. And day after day, he would ask me that question and I eventually started internalizing it. Do I live to play? To be who I want when I want? Do I invite others to join me?
This month felt a lot like playing. When I’m photographing families, especially those with younger children, I feel alive. I feel like I’m living my best role, being my best version of myself. I see only the good in people when I’m behind my camera, even in tough moments. When kids melt down, I see learning opportunities, for child and parent. When parents lose their temper, the next moments are often tender ones with I’m sorry‘s and I love you‘s … the judgment that comes easily to me melts away when I’m working.
I love this playful version of myself. My #MaximusAndAdeline project brought out a lot of emotions for me: the main one being excitement. It confirmed for me that documentary family photography is my only option if I’m going to run this business. It may not be the photos for everyone, but it is for me. If I’m going to give my best self to my clients, it will have to be this way.
I’m now offering these long-term “projects” as packages for my clients. I’m so excited to spend more time with families, and get to know their nuances even better. If you’re interested don’t hesitate to reach out. Can’t wait to start this new chapter; I hope you’ll be a part of it!