This past weekend our little family had a photoshoot with someone incredibly special and who has in her possession an amazing eye for composition and phenomenal photography. We live in different towns and while we’ve been chatting for absolute ages, but we’d never had the pleasure to meet in person. So when she contacted me to say she was coming to my little town and wanted to do a photoshoot of our family I was blown away!
We’d had phenomenal photographs taken of myself and Charlotte when she came home from the NICU 3 years ago. They were captured by an incredible photographer who also happens to be one of my closest friends and an absolutely phenomenal woman. They meant so much to us at the time, they still do and for so long now I’ve wanted to set a date and get more family photographs. The idea of being in the photo’s myself though had me stalling, for so very long. So when Roxanne contacted me and we set a date I knew there was no turning back!
I was excited at the prospect of this amazing woman and photographer capturing our little family. But I was also apprehensive. I would be in the photo’s… all. Of. Me. Squishy arms, floppy belly and all three of my chins, all the ugliness and areas that made me feel insecure would be in full display for the world to see.
I love taking photographs of my family, the antics of our delightful toddler, her interactions with her dad and myself, but I’m very select in what angles I use to capture my own moments with her. As I believe many women do.
I didn’t for a moment want my own body issues affecting how our photographs turned out. I didn’t want to sit paralyzed in fear that my every lump and bump would be on display and ruin what should be a memorable outing and memories captured for a lifetime to reflect back on.
I’ve posted before about body weight issues and how I don’t want my insecurities to affect my daughters’ quality of life and memories of me one day. It’s a daily concern for me and one which more often than not has felt too daunting to tackle and easier to hide from.
So when the big day arrived, I was terrified. Concern almost fully consumed me that I wasn’t going to fit into any of the dress options, terrified that my weight would overshadow what should be beautiful images considering the dashing husband I was blessed to fall in love with and our beautiful daughter along with her wispy, wild hair.
When I got the first photo I was blown away at how beautiful my family is. How my daughters light and love is so impeccably captured, our silly grins, the adoration in my husband’s eyes when he is looking at our daughter. The smile of a father who knows that his daughter is the most beautiful creation in this world. How she picked flowers, tried to feed them to dad and he played along. I cried ugly tears at how beautiful it all was.
And then I cried some more because my negative thoughts kept trying to take over and ruin what are truly beautiful photographs of my family. I couldn’t take my eyes off my waist, my arms, my chins. I felt as though I had ruined the photographs with my extra weight. The feeling of hopelessness threatened to take over and I decided to take a step back and look at them in their entirety.
These photographs, what they represent, the story which they tell. They are filled with love, hope and happiness. They show a family that very nearly wasn’t. A family who fought so many obstacles to get to this point. A family who have loved and lost along the way but haven’t given up and aren’t about to.
They tell a tale about three survivors and that there is light after darkness. And I’ll be dammed if my three extra chins and chunky arms are going to ruin those memories and reminders.
Roxanne, your talent and gift is one which will be a part of this family and our memories for the rest of our lives. No amount of words in the world could ever convey how thankful we are for these photographs!