As a mom, I find that I'm much more frequently found behind the camera -- not in front of it.
And you know what, most of the time, I'm totally OK with that. I love capturing the moments and the milestones that become the memories that we weave together as the fabric of our lives.
I love the silly pictures, the tender-hearted pictures. The ones with chocolate pudding goatees and milk mustaches, the ones with bed-head and even the ones where we can see that the house is a bit messy.
But sometimes I'm not such a big fan of the candid shots my family gets of me.
Sometimes, I look tired. Sometimes, I look, well... not slim. Sometimes, I don't have any makeup on or my hair isn't even brushed.
Then I see my family look at the same pictures that I'm so critical of, and I notice that they don't react at all. They don't see my imperfections. They see me. Mommy. Wife.
They love me as-is.
After all, they see me every day, without my hair all sleek and salon-perfect. They see me without make-up and lounging around in my jammies all day on Sundays.
They see the real me, all the time.
And that's just fine by them.
In fact, they tease me for worrying so much about how I look in photos. Because who am I trying to please, anyway?
I'm trying to please what I *think* they expect of me. In the end, I'm trying to please... me.
And I have to remind myself that imperfect pictures of me are better than NO pictures of me, for when my daughter has to go to her dad's for 2 weeks. She just wants something that looks like me, to look at when she misses me.
She doesn't care if I stumbled into bad lighting that made my under-eye area look like I just went 12 rounds in a boxing ring.
She doesn't care if I haven't got a drop of makeup on my skin.
And that reminds me that I shouldn't sweat over it so much.
And it also reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place...
Sometimes, we need a break from holding the camera. We actually want to be in the shot with the kids and the hubby.
And we want the pictures that we get from that session to be ones that we not only like, but rather that we love. That we want to blow up and hang on the wall for all the world to see.
That we look almost perfect, but still like ourselves.
Again, that goes right in line with my whole thing about fantasy with a touch of honesty.
We don't want to look plastic-perfect, but instead -- perfectly joyful, perfectly loving-life, perfectly happy and catpured forever with the people we love most.
That's my kind of perfect.
Perfectly happy, as-is.