September, 30, 2017Personal

Christmas 1994 | A Portrait of Disaster

Lake Forest, illinois

A BEHIND-THE-SCENES STORY ON MY PERSONAL CONNECTION TO HOLIDAY PHOTOS
 
 
The fateful tale of how this 1994 Christmas picture came to fruition begins with a sassy, tender-headed ten-year-old whose hair is baby fine and was suddenly turning curly. Read: becoming a rat's nest because brushing my hair was apparently my mother's "I can't even" back in 1994. Negotiations began. My mom came out of the gate STRONG with the offer of "You can get your ears pierced now, instead of at 13." I countered immediately with "ABSOLUTELY YES" and began daydreaming of all the heart and star earrings I would soon own (the internet was still a baby, so there was just my mind. Or, well, the Sears/Delia*s catalogs). I barely even heard the condition of "if you let me cut your hair." 
 
That sunny, unassuming, fall afternoon it wasn't until I was sitting in the chair at the barber (why didn't we go to a salon, omg mom!) staring at my reflection I realized what I had done. The deal I had made with the devil. They cut *almost all* my hair off and I was now the proud owner of the same haircut as my dad. WUT. The earrings were not a privilege, but a NECESSITY, so you would know I was a girl and not a boy. 
 
There is a delightful timeline of photos here for you to get a glimpse into this special time in my life, a couple of befores and of course, the portrait. You may note the ridiculous condition of my hair in the Christmas photo; made worse from a fight with my mom just before this picture was taken about how to style the hair. My mother, who having lived through the 70s & 80s was clearly more amenable to big pouffy hair, felt my appearance would be enhanced by brushing out the curls for the photo. I, on the other hand, being a child of television and therefore commercials, knew all about John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum and was certain my hair needed to be in darling frizz-free ringlets to be presentable. So it went: mom, brushed my hair out for the pic, I immediately wet it all down in the bathroom and tried to gel it for the look *I* was going for, mom sees the change, freaks out and brushes the now gelled hair into a stiff pouf. Excellent. 
 
On top of that, my middle sister is smiling like she has a gun to her back, the baby was crying, the dog's tongue is out, and my mom has a distinctly goggly eye - likely brought on from the madness of trying to get 3 children, a dog, and a husband ready for a holiday photo. My father looks incredibly poised, but I am sure he got to have a cocktail while mom and I raged over my hair.  
 
Can I directly link this childhood trauma to my current profession? Who can say? But it doesn't seem too far off, based on my own life experiences, that if you asked me at 18 "what does helping people mean to you?" I would respond "take better photographs of them". Being a doctor or a lawyer were not how my stars aligned and maybe I have this holiday photo to thank for my current life path.  
 
All of this to say: family photos matter to me. It is a high priority of mine for adults and kids to know they are fantastic and lovely in whatever stage of life they are in - be it an awkward pre-teen or late-in-life mom keeping the universe of her family spinning.  
 
When I began the Holiday Session Sale 3 years ago, I did not foresee how much life it would bring me. Hearing parents and kids love the photographs of themselves heals that embarrassed, in-progess 10-year-old in me as I get to show these clients *see?! Life is already better than you imagine it to be. Being 10 is awesome! Being a parent is awesome! Being single is awesome!" Every stage of life looks different and is worth celebrating. I am certain I can find the wonder and beauty exactly as it is in your life right now. 
 
I so hope you will join me for this annual event. We will make some gorgeous photographs together and have a fantastic time doing so.  
 
Cheers! 
 
To book a session go here and for all the details visit my post here.

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