The inner & outer chaos for a photographer

Full disclosure: I have 5 children, 2 of which are special needs, so the situation is not the norm, but, ultimately, it’s applicable to all families

Any mom, whether they have one child or ten, will tell you photographing their own family is challenging. Everyone’s expectations of the mom, especially those that run their own photography business, are high. Moms are the almighty holders of the mood, which is where the saying “If mom ain’t happy, no one is happy” comes from, and the entire family looks to the matriarch during a session for cues on what to do. If there is inner chaos for mom, be it the struggles of getting the baby into his outfit without dirtying the socks or that she thinks her pants aren’t fitting right, mom will display outer chaos. This is one of the reasons I have several conversations with mom before a family session, but it’s hard for a photographer to have that conversation with herself before her own family session.

Mom, as the photographer, is also expected to frame the scene correctly and get the best possible out-of-camera shot with near perfect exposure and focus. From in front of the camera. For me, that meant Olympic-style gymnastics, lots of bribery and a large amount of sweat and tears. And the tears weren’t necessarily from my childr

Sure, there are ways photographers to get in front of the camera with their family and several wonderful photographers have shared their tips and tricks, like Brooke Snow, but every now and then a photographer needs to remove as many inner chaos sources as possible in order to relax and enjoy the session. When you’re dealing with your very own cherubs, such as my five, the outer chaos is already present, so limiting the inner chaos is essential.

To remove my session stressors, I hired Tara McGovern of Tara McGovern Photography to capture my family’s moments. And it was just what I was looking for – no traditional posed images and my family in our favorite element, our home.

I chose Tara based on our experience with her in the summer of 2008 on a beach in Oregon. I also chose her because I like her style and her art. When you hire your photographer, find someone whose style YOU like and choose them based on their work, not their price. Choose them for who they are and all that is included in their session – the type of experience, their style, their work, their art.

I knew that by removing some of my inner chaos, my outer chaos would be less and therefore MY experience and MY FAMILY’S experience would be positive. I also knew I’d get the art I was looking for to decorate my home. All of this was achieved by hiring my own photographer.

To all of the moms who run photography businesses: Go out and find YOUR photographer! Your family needs to be documented as much as you document your client’s families. With you in the picture!


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